The call for veterans to get the COVID vaccine


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Veterans Outreach Center Executive Director Laura Stradley has a pandemic-related message for all veterans — consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Veterans Outreach Center is partnering with the Monroe County Health Department to get this important message out.

“Veterans, unfortunately, through military service have been exposed to a number of toxins that can make COVID quite serious for them should they test positive for it,” Stradley said Tuesday during News 8 at Noon. “When we think of Agent Orange, and the burn pits in Iraq, and even those bromide pills that our Desert Storm vets took leading to some of those unexplained illnesses, the complications from COVID could be really serious based on those exposures, so we want veterans to know it’s probably a good idea to really consider taking that vaccine.”

In addition to opportunities provided by the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester Regional Health, and local county health departments, Stradley said veterans can also go to the VA. “The VA is vaccinating veterans over the age of 75 right now and as additional vaccines become available they will continue to vaccinate additional veterans.”

Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza has created public service announcements in conjunction with the Veterans Outreach Center to encourage veterans to get vaccinated and stay vigilant. “Of course we all want to see everything open back up,” Stradley said. “We want to get time with our loved ones again and be able travel and do all of the things that we used to do before COVID and so, I know that the Health Department has said that it’s very important for all people to be vaccinated so that we can do those things, and again for our veterans who have a higher risk of those serious complications – we urge you, if you’re not sure, check with your primary care doctor and really consider getting that vaccine.”

Veterans can go to the Veterans Outreach Center website – – to find more information.

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