A 79-year-old Florida elder told Granthshala News that he felt “annoyed” and “humiliated” after his local veteran affairs (VA) clinic abstained from receiving a shot of the coronovirus vaccine because he would have made too much income is.

Seymour Kagan, who rose to the rank of captain in the US Army before being honorably deported in 1969, is among a group of military veterans at the Sunshine State who are reporting barriers to getting vaccine supplements from VA clinics Huh. Under federal law, how much money does a veteran make annually One of the factors In determining what they are Is eligible to receive its cost-free services, Says the VA.

“The president or someone at the VA must change the rule and step up the vaccination program to reflect the epidemic,” Kagan, a retired Sarasota lawyer, told Granthshala News on Friday. “This would have the added benefit of increasing the distribution of the vaccine at a faster rate than going through the states – it would also reduce the states’ demand for people who are elderly who would get a shot directly through the VA clinic.

Seymour Kagan's mother and father pinned their second lieutenant bars on their uniforms after graduating from Rutgers University's ROTC program in 1963.  His uncle is seen in the background.  (Courtesy Seymour Kagan)

Seymour Kagan’s mother and father pinned their second lieutenant bars on their uniforms after graduating from Rutgers University’s ROTC program in 1963. His uncle is seen in the background. (Courtesy Seymour Kagan)

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Kagan says his vaccine saga began in mid-January when he spoke to a fellow veteran who said he had received a shot from the VA. Kagan said that he then went to his local clinic in Sarasota with the hope of getting himself.

After filling out the paperwork, Kagan states that he was told later on the phone that he was not eligible to receive the vaccine on the basis that his annual income exceeded VA’s local limits. In Sarasota County, This figure starts at $ 43,670 Scales upward to the same veteran and then depending on the number of their dependents.

He The person was then shown to the location again – this time, to talk to the supervisor in charge of his vaccination program. But Kagan says that under this facility, staff gave him a similar answer.

He told Granthshala News, “I felt very bad. It’s okay to hear words like ‘Thank you for your service’ and they all say it’s a mantra.” “But when it comes to real practical help to a veteran, I’m 79 years old … I have some respiratory limitations … I felt that if I needed a vaccine and it’s public policy, They should open it. ” Any veteran who has received a respectable discharge regardless of their income. ”

VA Clinic in Sarasota, Fla (Google Maps)

VA Clinic in Sarasota, Fla (Google Maps)

In a statement to Granthshala News Thursday, the VA states that “we are focusing on the allocation of vaccines received for enrolled, eligible Veterans who are listed in our highest-risk categories,” but also “White Is working with the House and the FADA “to explore ways in which the VA can assist with the nation’s vaccination efforts, including to include Veterans who are not currently enrolled for VAA care is. ”

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“With our legal rights and vaccine supplies, the VA would like to vaccinate as many veterans as possible,” it added.

Kagan says he has failed to take vaccine shots elsewhere, including the popular Florida Grossery Publics.

And he is not the only veteran to share such an experience.

Paul Jacobs, a 91-year-old veteran of the military, told South Florida Sun-Sentinel In mid-January that a VA clinic in West Palm Beach turned her income away.

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of 16 veterans denied eligibility to vaccinate during a walk-up event held at the end of holiday week, saying it’s not fair that he left us. “It was just a shame that veterans were discriminated against because of their income.”

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Bob Hulsey, a 76-year-old American navalman from Fort Lauderdale, said he was serving during the Vietnam War.

“A lot of income, no pill,” he said.

Kenita Tiles, a public affairs officer at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center, told the newspaper that she knows people are “disappointed”, but that “this rule has been set by Congress. It’s not a decision made locally.” ”