VA holds clinic in Albany to help vaccinate veterans

VA holds clinic in Albany to help vaccinate veterans
The state website says tests have actually gone up in the last two month, but so have the case counts. (Source: Hawaii News Now/file)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - After a long wait for being vaccinated, veterans now have the chance to get their shots in Albany.

On Saturday, Veteran Affairs (VA) saw the need to provide vaccines for veterans. Most of them said they felt relieved that the wait is finally over.

“Thankfully, it came to the city. Albany is such a small city so I’m glad we got it done. I’m very glad,” said Reginald Starling, a registered veteran in Albany.

Albany was one of the hardest-hit areas during the pandemic but was one of the last cities to provide a VA vaccination site. Part of that was due to the logistics with the Moderna vaccine.

Veterans did have the opportunity to drive to a vaccination site in Tift County but with over 8,000 veterans registered in the Albany area, it was difficult.

David Whitamer, FACHE Medical Center director, said that it was a lot of work.

“It was a challenge logistically because we have to travel from Dublin all the way to Albany. So that’s a two in a half-hour drive. The Moderna vaccine that we use, as well as the Johnson & Johnson, after we prepare the vaults we only have a certain amount of time in which we can deliver the vaccine. So, there are some logistical challenges to coming out further way, but we wanted to make sure we came to this community,” said Whitamer.

Reginald said that for him it was fairly easy.

“It was pretty simple. A young lady came and greeted me at the front and got the paperwork and got it signed. Came in with no problem. I think I may have waited no more than 10 minutes just to sit down and then did my Johnson and Johnson and went from there.”

Both the Johnson & Johnson and the Moderna vaccine were given out on Saturday. The clinic said the majority of people had to receive the Moderna vaccine and return for a second shot since the Johnson & Johnson ran out quickly.

Veterans who received their first Moderna vaccine this weekend will be rescheduled for their second vaccine the following weekend of April 24.

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