TOPEKA, Kan. – Veterans at Topeka’s Rose Villa received their second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
Ellis Hathaway was among 77 veterans vaccinated on Tuesday and he says it was worth the wait.
“Oh great I couldn’t ask for more,” Hathaway said after he received his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Nursing staff from the Colmery O’Neil VA Medical Center told me this is part of the process to protect as many veterans from the virus as possible.
Ellis Hathaway said a little soreness in his arm is worth it to get his COVID vaccine.
“We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for a shot, and everybody in here wants one,” he emphasized. “It’s not easy going through lock up. It’s been pretty hard but we had to do it in order to survive.”
The Colmery O’Neil VA Medical Center nursing staff visited Rose Villa Residential Living to provide the second dose to 77 veterans.
“We have the Moderno vaccine and there are 10 doses in a vial, except some vials you can get 11 doses out of,” a Pharmacist at Colmery O’Neil VA Medical Center, Melissa Hinrichsen explained. “So, today we were lucky enough to get 11 doses out of all seven vials that we brought over today.”
After each veteran receives their shot, nurses monitor them for any reactions.
“We just have to make sure that they don’t have any allergies,” Hinrichsen said. “If they had any severe reaction to a medication in the past or a vaccine in the past, we have to watch them for a little bit longer to make sure that they’re OK. We have to make sure that they haven’t had any other vaccines within the last couple of weeks.”
“I’ve sat here for 11 months so what’s 15 minutes, you know it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Hathaway added.
Hathaway says getting the vaccine is giving him a little hope..
“My brother lives in Nebraska, he’s four years older than me, and he can’t even get a shot,” Hathaway said. “That’s why the shot is so important for people because that not only gives us freedom.”
“We’ve been locked down for 11 months, but other than that being safe is something. It means everything because I can get a shot and be prevented from getting the coronavirus,” Hathaway emphasized.
The nursing staff says veterans get full immunity after the second dose, but they will continue to monitor all veterans.
Veterans Affairs of Eastern Kansas says veterans don’t have to sign up to get a vaccine, they are reaching out to everyone in their system to schedule appointments.