‘Federal partners’ get vaccine from VA


Who are the Department of Veterans Affairs federal partners? Inquiring minds want to know.

A recent VA press release boasted about surpassing the VA’s milestone of administering one million doses of the COVID vaccine. That’s a great number, but that one million-plus isn’t all veterans.

Some 626,000 veterans got the first and (and sometimes) second dose. Over 400,000 went to VA employees. But 1,200 doses went to “federal partners.”

Nowhere, in much research across the Internet, could I find just who those partners were.

The VA has done a good job of setting up a website showing just how many people at each of the many sites across the country have received the vaccine. But once again, those “federal partners” weren’t identified.

They also aren’t identified in the 88-page Memorandum of Agreement between the VA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where it’s stated that the VA will vaccinate those “federal partners.” It did say that those who receive the vaccine will be entered into the VA’s electronic medical record, and that they could be given by VA staff who go to the partner sites. The VA will let the CDC know how many doses they need out of the VA’s vaccine allocation.

So, who are they, these federal partners?

I did come across a few clues about “partners” in my search, although not the ones getting the vaccine: Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention, Bureau of the Fiscal Service (which seems to keep a list of taxpayers who owe child support), Veteran Employment Services Office, the Food and Drug Administration Federal Partners’ Collaborative, the Bureau of Indian Education and the Faith-based and Community Initiatives.

In other words, it’s across the board, and all manner of government departments can have sub-groups that may be considered partners.

Granted, 1,200 doses isn’t huge given the scope of the program, but these are doses that didn’t go to veterans.

(c) 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.

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