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July 01, 2022

VA provides programs for veterans who experience lingering COVID

Up to 500,000 veterans have had COVID-19, and approximately 23,000 experiencing lingering COVID symptoms have been diagnosed with long COVID. Although veterans are not more susceptible to long COVID than others, they do have higher risk factors such as age and certain disabilities. There are currently 17 VA programs that focus on long COVID care. These programs help treat veterans who, through VA studies, show to be at a higher risk of other serious ailments because of long COVID. The program includes care by various specialists,t including psychologists and cardiologists, to help combat lingering COVID. To date, only a small number of veterans have been treated by these programs for long COVID, and many are unaware the programs are available. For example, one facility requires veterans to receive referrals from their primary care providers 12 weeks after their COVID diagnosis; from there an interview with a VA physician is conducted to determine what type of care is needed. Nevertheless, the VA is encouraged that research from these programs will help veterans and non-veterans improve their long COVID symptoms.  

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