VA Begins Vaccinating Montana Veterans and Spouses Following Signing of Tester’s SAVE LIVES Act

Montana VA Health Care System begins vaccinating veterans, spouses, and caregivers in Kalispell and Billings following Tester’s efforts

The Montana VA Health Care System is starting to administer COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans, spouses, and caregivers this week as a result of bipartisan legislation championed by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester. President Joe Biden signed Senator Tester’s Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize all Veterans and Every Spouse Act (SAVE LIVES Act) into law last week, allowing VA to provide COVID vaccination services to veterans and their families, regardless of whether they are enrolled in VA health care.

Tester visited the Kalispell VA vaccine clinic on Monday where he spoke with volunteers, staff, and veterans about Montana’s vaccine distribution. The Montana VA Health Care System announced that it administered COVID-19 vaccines to eligible veterans and their spouses during this event, with 300 additional vaccines headed to Billings today.

“It was great visiting with veterans and staff in Kalispell and seeing this new law in action with veterans who were previously ineligible and veteran spouses getting vaccines from VA,” said Chairman Tester. “I fought hard to pass my bipartisan SAVE LIVES Act in Congress to ensure every veteran, spouse, and caregiver has access to a vaccine from the Department. I look forward to seeing VA administer more shots to veterans and families across the state, so that we get folks the protection they need to put this pandemic behind us.”

Veterans who would like to verify their eligibility to receive a COVID-19 vaccine under Tester’s SAVE LIVES Act, must contact (877) 468-8387 select Option 2, and then Option 2 again. This includes Priority 8e and 8g Veterans. Once eligibility is verified, qualifying veterans, their spouses or veteran caregivers can schedule a vaccination at any of the upcoming Montana VA COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

For months, Tester has been fighting to ensure Montana’s veterans and VA staff-especially those in rural areas-get their fair share of the COVID-19 vaccine supply. He has continually announced vaccine distributions across Montana, with hundreds of vaccines expected to be administered to eligible veterans in other cities in the coming weeks. Last month, he also successfully secured billions in the COVID-19 relief package to vaccinate, support and protect veterans in Montana and across the country.