Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. has issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plan for COVID-19 vaccine distributions:

“Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it would first provide COVID-19 vaccinations to 37 of its medical centers across the country to administer to their front-line workers and veteran residents. I am disappointed to see that this expansive list does not include the Kansas City VA Medical Center (KCVA).

“The Kansas City VA Medical Center is in a metropolitan area exceeding 2 million people, with a service area of more than 200,000 veterans and is a primary referral center for the VA Heartland Network. As the rate of deaths and infections continue to increase in Missouri, it is difficult to understand why the western part of the state was disregarded, leaving KCVA staff and veterans vulnerable to additional harm.

“I would urge federal VA officials to add the KCVA to its list of centers to first receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We have a responsibility to provide quality care to the men and women who have honorably served our country. That commitment is greatly enhanced when the most vulnerable are given the necessary protection they deserve.”

The VA’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution announcement can be read by clicking here.