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New York’s Excelsior Pass now available to veterans vaccinated in the VA health care system

Military veterans who received a COVID-19 vaccination at a VA facility are now eligible for New York’s Excelsior Pass to allow them to prove their vaccination status.

Governor Kathy Hochul has signed an executive order paving the way for the VA medical system to transmit its records to the state. Before this change was executed, the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs shared COVID-19 vaccination data received by U.S. Military veterans living, working and getting vaccinated in New York directly with the federal government. This inoculation data therefore remained outside of the State’s jurisdiction, and could not be included in the State’s immunization databases.

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“As we fight the winter surge, it’s more important than ever that New Yorkers get vaccinated and have access to the Excelsior Pass,” Governor Hochul said. “From health care to housing, New Yorkers who served our country deserve care and respect when they return home. That’s why I’m proud to announce hundreds of thousands of New York veterans will now be able to utilize the Excelsior Pass, so they can share proof of vaccination and be easily welcomed into businesses and venues across the state.”

This fall, Governor Hochul issued an executive order that began the process to allow the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to transmit immunization records related to COVID-19. Through this coordination, it gave VA the authority to provide this data to allow its veterans to participate in the Excelsior Pass programs. There are now more than 700,000 veterans living in New York.

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Individuals can learn more about Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus here.