March 09, 2021

Chairman Takano & Ranking Member Bost’s VA VACCINE Act Passes the House

Urges swift Senate action to ensure veterans won’t be turned away from a COVID-19 vaccine

Press Contact

Jenni Geurink (Takano) | 202-819-4684

Samantha Gonzalez (Bost) | 202-225-3527

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Mike Bost (R-Ill.) released the following statements after H.R. 1276, the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans’ and Caregivers’ COVID-19 Immunizations Now Expanded Act of 2021or the VA VACCINE Act of 2021 unanimously passed the House of Representatives. This bipartisan bill expands VA’s authority to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans and their caregivers and earned the support of 50 additional cosponsors—including all Members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. So far, H.R. 1276 has the support of nine Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) including Paralyzed Veterans of AmericaMinority Veterans of America, the Elizabeth Dole FoundationVeterans of Foreign WarsDisabled American Veterans, The American Legion, Wounded Warrior ProjectAMVETS, and Veterans for Common Sense.


“Today, the House took swift action to ensure VA can provide COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans and caregivers who walk through its doors,” said Chairman Takano. “The VSO community is behind our bipartisan bill, and I’m so grateful that Ranking Member Bost and I could get this passed on the House floor so quickly. We don’t have time to waste—frankly, I’m worried that any delay in passing this legislation may force VA to turn away decorated WWII veterans, like the last living veteran from the Band of Brothers, who may not be enrolled in VA. I urge our Senate counterparts to ensure that won’t happen and ask that they move rapidly to pass this legislation. We must get more shots in arms—our VA VACCINE Act makes sure that VA can.”


“I was proud to vote in support of the VA VACCINE Act today. After such a difficult year, stories of vulnerable veterans being denied lifesaving vaccines from VA are painful to hear. The VA VACCINE Act would make sure that doesn’t happen again,” said Ranking Member Bost. “The bill gives VA the authority it needs to meet this moment. It is a lifeline for veterans and their caregivers. I am grateful to Chairman Takano for working with me to pass it out of the House tonight. I join him in urging our Senate colleagues to send it to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”


The VA VACCINE Act of 2021 will expand VA’s authority so they can provide vaccines to:


  • Veterans who are not currently enrolled in VA’s healthcare system, including veterans without compensable service-connected disabilities and veterans who have incomes above VA’s threshold;


  • Caregivers of veterans who are enrolled in various VA home-based and long-term care programs; and


  • Veterans living abroad who rely on the Foreign Medical Program (including those who reside in the Philippines).