The first local veterans receiving care under the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Coastal Healthcare system have received the coronavirus vaccine.
Sixteen veteran residents and four staff members of the VA’s community living center received the Moderna vaccine.
Richard McLeod, the Fayetteville VA’s oldest veteran at its community living center, was among those who received the vaccine.
McLeod, 88, is an Air Force veteran who served during the Korean War.
Providers are grateful to be able to launch the first phase of the vaccine distribution to those at high risk for COVID-19, said Tara Ricks, a spokeswoman for the Fayetteville VA.
“We are following (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance as we continue fighting for the health of our veterans, fellow employees, our families and communities, Ricks said.
The vaccine arrived Dec. 22 at the Fayetteville VA Coastal Healthcare System’s main hospital on Ramsey Street.
Similar to the national Department of Veterans’ Affairs COVID-19 plan, the Fayetteville VA vaccinated its “vulnerable population and those that care for them,” Ricks said.
The Department of Veterans Affairs submitted an order of 73,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for 37 sites and 120,000 doses for 188 sites, said Dr. Richard Stone, executive in charge at the VA’s Veterans Health Administration.
During a Dec. 9 Senate Armed Services Committee meeting, Stone estimated the request will not be enough to reach all 7 million veterans and 400,000 employees who the department believes will want the vaccine.