Podcast: Veterans Age 50 and Up Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccinations Through VA

Luis Santiago. (Courtesy photograph.)

Problems receiving the COVID-19 vaccine have been well documented, and the current focus is on individuals age 75 and older, but many military veterans qualify right now.

Haverhill’s Veterans Service Officer Luis Santiago, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program, said veterans may be able to get vaccinated sooner.

“If you’re a veteran and you’d like to get the vaccination and you are 50 plus, the Bedford VA in Bedford, Mass., is actually having everyone get vaccinated, if you would like to get vaccinated and you are a veteran. They are located at 200 Springs Road in Bedford. Their phone number is 781-687-2000. You can please call them up, let them know you are interested in getting the vaccine, that you are a veteran. If you are not enrolled in the VA’s Health Care Facility, they can actually navigate either through the application online or over the phone,” he explains.

Santiago said those veterans that need transportation will also be helped.

“So the bus or our shuttle is running through the MBTA and we also offer transportation. If anybody would like to make it to the Bedford VA they would call my office. My office number 978-374-2351. We actually schedule individuals to go into Boston, Jamaica Plains, Roxbury and the Bedford VA and on occasion to the Lowell Vets Center. So, if anybody needs an appointment that needs to get vaccinated, please give me a call and we’ll try to work it out and get you down there,” he advises.

On another topic, Santiago talked about the Salute to Veterans—Hometown Heroes Banner Project being organized by the Haverhill Exchange Club, which he calls “a work in progress.”

“We will be supplying or hanging up banners throughout the city and downtown Haverhill starting Memorial Day weekend. The plan is to have them up Memorial Day weekend all the way up to Veterans Day weekend and then we can do either a start ceremony and an end ceremony in the sense of having the banners brought down and to be given to the individuals or the families who are either buying or sponsoring the banners themselves,” he explains.

Santiago says there is a sample banner hanging on a pole by the Battle Grounds Coffee Co. in downtown Haverhill. Those looking for more information or to purchase a banner are advised to contact his office at the Haverhill Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., or call a member of the Haverhill Exchange Club.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

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