WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has reached an agreement with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to assist in providing COVID-19 vaccines to NARA staff supporting VA claims processing.
VA stated it will provide medical staff and enrollment specialists to administer the vaccine.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided a separate allocation of vaccines to the National Archives to vaccinate its staff members. NARA employees will be scheduled appointments to get vaccines at an off-campus site.
“The staff at NARA play a vital role in making sure Veteran claims for compensation for service-related conditions are processed in a timely manner,” said Acting Under Secretary for Benefits Thomas Murphy. “By assisting their vaccination efforts, we can make significant progress in processing the backlog in claims, which has increased since March 2020 due to the pandemic.”
VA requires medical evidence obtained from military personnel records to adjudicate Veteran claims for compensation. Due to pandemic-related facility work restrictions, NARA has had limited onsite ability to process requests for military personnel records. These documents are only accessible through copies made available by NARA staff from their location in St. Louis, Missouri. Currently, there are more than 25,000 pending requests for personnel records.
In addition to its partnership with NARA, VA also stated it works with other agencies such as HHS and the Department of Homeland Security to administer their vaccine allocation to essential staff supporting critical missions. VA’s nationwide footprint and vast network of medical professionals ensures the department can provide needed support to federal partners while delivering the quality care Veterans expect from VA.
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