Veteran Bruce Gardner was taken by surprise one day – in a good way: VA texted him asking if he’d like to be scheduled for a COVID vaccine at his local clinic in Colorado Springs.
Within minutes of his reply, a second text arrived, inquiring about availability the following week. A few minutes later, a third text arrived: “I was now scheduled for the vaccine at one of my chosen times,” he said.
He calls the whole experience “helpful, easy, convenient and timely,” and concludes: “Amazing!”
Vaccinations through VEText
Gardner obtained his vaccination appointment through VEText, an interactive digital solution from VA that automatically reminds Veterans of upcoming appointments via text messaging. He’s hardly alone: more than 150,000 COVID-19 vaccination appointments have been scheduled through VEText.
How does VEText work? If you’re a Veteran enrolled in VA and you have a cell phone number listed in your health record, you literally don’t have to think about enrolling because it happens automatically. (You can easily opt out by replying “STOP” to any message.)
Once you’re in, you’ll receive regular text messages reminding you about appointments. You can use the system to confirm or cancel appointments. You can even get notified of appointment slots that open up earlier than your scheduled appointment via VEText’s Open Slot Management feature.
Designed for scheduling appointments
It’s a system that’s literally designed for speedy and efficient scheduling of COVID-19 vaccination appointments – as shown by these comments from Veterans on VA social media:
- “Because of their excellent planning, we were in and out in about an hour for the second dose.”
- “Thanks to VA for their handling of COVID vaccine program… they kept me ‘in the loop’ about plans, availability, progress and when I’d be scheduled… and ultimately getting me scheduled for this morning.”
- “My appointment was @ 1130. Got there @ 1115, checked in via text & was on my way home @ 1150.”
So keep an eye out for that text from VA inviting you to make a vaccine appointment. As one Veteran put it, “What a great job they are doing with the COVID vaccine. Sign up, wait for a text or call, get appointment and receive shot. Thank you VA.”
To learn more about VEText, read the VEText FAQs.