CINCINNATI — As COVID-19 cases surge in Southwest Ohio, the Cincinnati VA Medical Center is making it easier for veterans to get tested while the Department of Veterans Affairs employs a new social media campaign to encourage veterans to get their COVID booster shot.
In a video posted to the VA's YouTube, infectious disease specialist Dr. Vivian Vega with the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida answers pointed questions about the booster — like why people should get a shot when others who have been vaccinated are still getting sick.
"Vaccines are not like Saran wrap all around you. They're not going to necessarily keep you from getting infected, but we know that they are really, really good at keeping you from ending up in the hospital and they are really good at keeping you from dying," Vega said. "Please, I'm asking everyone go get your boosters — please schedule your boosters right now."
Vega also explained the efficacy of the vaccine changes over time.
"We have information now that's telling us that the immunity that we get the vaccination series starts to diminish and it wanes down...especially after six months to your two-dose series, two months after your one-dose series with the J&J," Vega said.
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According to data as of Monday, the Cincinnati VA Medical Center has vaccinated 21,584 veterans and 2,112 employees. Nationwide, VA facilities have fully vaccinated 4,350,814 individuals of which 3,861,161 were veterans.
According to the Cincinnati VA Medical Center website, all veterans, spouses and caregivers can get a COVID vaccine at the VA by appointment or walk-in clinic.
Due to the rise in cases the CVAMC opened a new drive-thru testing area on the Vine Street campus. It runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Signage directs drivers to the area where technicians will verify your information and run testing procedures.
The VA says nationwide they've completed nearly 6.3 million COVID tests and has diagnosed 461,940 individuals positive for the virus.
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