News

U.S. Secretary Of Veterans Affairs Discusses Push To Vaccinate Veterans, Combat Vaccine Hesitancy

While veterans are getting vaccinated, some may still be hesitant. Denis Richard McDonough, U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs, discusses ongoing efforts to get veterans and their families vaccinated.
While veterans are getting vaccinated, some may still be hesitant. Denis Richard McDonough, U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs, discusses ongoing efforts to get veterans and their families vaccinated.
Credit Courtesy photo

Denis Richard McDonough, U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs, says an estimated 19 million veterans live in the United States, and the Department of Veterans Affairs has administered vaccines to roughly 3 million veterans so far.

On Monday’s edition of “Closer Look,” McDonough told show host Rose Scott that more than 94,000 veterans in Atlanta are not vaccinated and the Department of Veterans Affairs is working to make sure vaccines are available to every veteran and their families.

“I’m not going to rest on this until we vaccinate everyone who wants to get vaccinated,” McDonough said. “The reason why is we know that health outcomes are better when you’re vaccinated. We know that the vaccine is safe, and we know that with vaccination comes greater freedom to move to see families.”

McDonough says the VA is contacting veterans directly to combat vaccine hesitancy and is also making sure every veteran has access to the vaccine by deploying staffed mobile units to administer it.

McDonough also shared his top priorities as the new leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

To listen to the full conversation, click the audio player above.