House Passes Rep. Delgado-Backed Bipartisan VA VACCINE Act

March 11, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) joined Democrats and Republicans to help pass the VA VACCINE Act, which empowers the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans and their caregivers. Recently, members of Rep. Delgado's locally-based Veterans Advisory Committee highlighted the disparity in veteran vaccine eligibility at the VA and called for legislative action. Currently, the VA is only offering vaccines to veterans enrolled in VA healthcare.

“This common-sense, bipartisan legislation would get shots in more veterans' arms,” said Rep. Delgado. “I thank members of my Veterans Advisory Committee for informing me of regulatory barriers preventing veterans not currently enrolled in VA healthcare from receiving their vaccines. The House's swift introduction and passage of the VA VACCINE Act is a testament to our focus on supporting all those who served our country in uniform. I am calling on the Senate to pass this critical bill immediately.”

“This is tremendous news for veterans across the country, millions of whom who weren't previously eligible to be vaccinated,” said Malia Du Mont, Chair of Rep. Delgado’s NY-19 Advisory Committee on Veterans. “Now, thanks to the VA VACCINE Act, all veterans will be able to get COVID-19 vaccine shots at VA facilities. Here in the New York’s 19th Congressional District, it will make a potentially life-saving difference for tens of thousands of veterans. As a veteran myself, I'm grateful for Congressman Delgado's continued leadership on these issues - he has prioritized supporting veterans from day one of being in office.”

“Dutchess County’s Veterans Services Department has been on the frontline assisting those in need since this crisis began almost a year ago to the day,” said Adam Roche, Director for the Dutchess County Division of Veterans Services. “Making vaccinations more accessible for veterans in our community is critically important and the VA VACCINE Act takes a tremendous step forward in assisting that effort. When Dutchess County discovered that there was an income threshold for veterans seeking vaccination, we immediately sought to correct this issue. We thank Congressman Delgado for supporting this potentially life-saving legislation.”

The VA VACCINE Act will expand VA's authority so they can provide vaccines to:

  • Veterans who are not currently enrolled in VA's healthcare system, including veterans without compensable service-connected disabilities and veterans who have incomes above a certain threshold;
  • Caregivers of veterans who are enrolled in various VA home-based and long-term care programs; and
  • Veterans living abroad who rely on the Foreign Medical Program.