July 26 Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced he will make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for Title 38 VA health care personnel — including physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, registered nurses, physician assistants, expanded-function dental auxiliaries, and chiropractors — who work in Veterans Health Administration facilities, visit VHA facilities or provide direct care to those VA serves.
Note this last statement would imply the inclusion of providers that provide direct care to Veterans under authorized care plans as Community Service Providers. This would apply to acupuncture providers even though you may not be providing care directly in a VA facility but to any VA authorized patient.
There is nothing published at this time on how the VA will make this verification or enforce the rule. However, it can be assumed providers registered in the VA Choice program will have to provide some proof of vaccination.
The VA is indicating to take these steps to keep the Veterans it serves safe. Those employees or providers will be given 8 weeks to be fully vaccinated. Stating “We’re mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it’s the best way to keep Veterans safe, especially as the Delta variant spreads across the country,” McDonough said. “Whenever a Veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19. With this mandate, we can once again make — and keep — that fundamental promise.”
The full press release and additional links they may be found here https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5696
In addition, both California and New York City have put into place rules that will require health care provider offices to be vaccinated or tested once per week. Here is the statement from California “Employees of hospitals, nursing homes, dentists’ and doctors’ offices and other health care settings will have to comply with the requirements by Aug. 23. In addition, all employees of state agencies will be subjected to a verification process that will be mostly in place by Aug. 2,” according to state officials.
Note California after this news item appeared made further clarification that this mandate would have an exemption for acupuncture offices.