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VA NY Harbor Healthcare System


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News Release


December 16, 2020

VA New York Harbor Healthcare System begins COVID-19 vaccinations

NEW YORK — New York Harbor began administering COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline health care employees and Veterans residing in long-term care Community Living Centers today this week.

Harbor is part of the initial group of 37 VA medical centers across the country that began receiving and administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week.

The sites were chosen for their ability to vaccinate large numbers of people and store the vaccines at extremely cold temperatures.

“Harbor is proud to be a part of the initial 37 VA medical centers receiving the vaccine,” said Director Martina Parauda. “We are dedicated to ensuring all Veterans receiving care at VA and our employees are ultimately offered the vaccine.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that in clinical trials the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 disease. The vaccine is administered as a series of 2 doses, 21 days apart. The side effects appear similar to those of other vaccines and are short-lived. 

COVID-19 vaccine implementation will include an initial limited-supply phase followed by a general implementation phase, when large supplies of the vaccine will be available.

As increased vaccine supply becomes available, VA plans to distribute these vaccines at additional facilities to offer the vaccine to more Veterans and employees.

VA will report directly to the CDC data on all vaccine doses administered by VA. The department will also provide general, public updates on the number of people who receive the vaccination at these sites, similar to how VA posts COVID-19 testing figures.

Veterans seeking additional information can sign up to get updated information through VA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Keep Me Informed tool, visit the VA Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs webpage, contact their care team, or visit their facility website.

If you don’t qualify for an approved vaccine currently, we invite you to join the AstraZeneca clinical trial at our facility. By joining a vaccine clinical trial, you may get early access to a new vaccine and will receive more regular health check-ins as part of your study visits.

Anyone interested in participating in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial at the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan Campus should sign up for VA’s coronavirus research volunteer list at For more information about the AstraZeneca vaccine trial at our site, visit:


Michael A. Drake
Public Affairs Officer
Manhattan Campus
212-686-7500 Ext. 7199

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