by Janet D. Smith
Colleton County Veterans
On February 1, 2021, the VA opened a portion of the North Charleston Out-patient Clinic for COVID-19 vaccinations. According to the Public Affairs Office, the Ralph H. Johnson, VA Medical Center has administered over 7,500 shots in the arms of Veterans. This new state-of-the art 75,000 sq. ft. facility is located at 6450 Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. The clinic will be used temporarily to meet the demands for Veterans who want to get the vaccine.
Veterans 70-years-old and older who are enrolled in VA health care are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by appointment. The clinic will be able to vaccinate up to 5,000 Veterans per week, dependent on the availability of vaccines. Veterans who are eligible for the vaccine should call 843-789-6900 to schedule an appointment. The appointment line will be available Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The VA is administering both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. For those Veterans who have already received the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you should return 28 days to that same location for your second dose. Veterans can locate the date of their dose on the Vaccination Card. Any Veterans who have already been contacted by the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and have a scheduled COVID-19 vaccine appointment, you should keep the date and time of that appointment at the location scheduled.
Also in the VA news, on January 1, 2020, the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 was signed into law. The new law adds three diseases to the list of conditions that are associated with exposure to Agent Orange herbicides. The new conditions are: Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism or Parkinson-like symptoms. Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 – May 7, 1975, or in a unit near the Korean demilitarized zone between September 1, 1967 – August 31, 1971, are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange. Janet Smith, Colleton County Veterans Affairs Officer states that the Department of Veterans Affairs is accepting claims; however, decisions are currently being deferred pending implementation of the final procedural regulations.
If you have any questions, please contact the Colleton County Veterans Affairs Office at (843) 549-1412. For health care enrollment, you may call the VAMC Eligibility Department at 843-789-7008 or apply online: https://www.va.gov/health-care/apply/application/introduction.