AUSTIN (KXAN) — Across the nation, those who have served our country have been pushing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Saturday, the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic saw some good fortune as they were able to vaccinate a couple hundred local veterans.
Those who qualified had to have been already enrolled with the VA healthcare programs, and 75-years-old or older.
“Aside from the fact that my GPS was screwed up and once I got through all the twists and turns of road construction, I got in here and it was very smooth,” said Army Veteran Richard Kennedy.
At 83-years-old, this army vet is finding relief in receiving his first COVID-19 vaccine dose.
“I told my daughter I’m finally going to get my shot,” said Kennedy.
The Austin VA Outpatient Clinic contacted Kennedy directly last week along with hundreds of other Austin-area veterans.
“The goal for today was to target our senior veterans 75-years and older since that’s the higher risk category,” said Amjed Baghdadi, Assistant Operations Director at the VA Outpatient Clinic.
Amjed Baghdadi says the veterans association came with over 800 doses to give out Saturday. The minimum number they had hoped to get into arms was 500, but veterans who qualified came in the masses.
“We’re going as quickly as we possibly can. Today has been a testament to that,” said Baghdadi. “The fact that we have been able to streamline, and see so many veterans in such a short amount of time.”
Baghdadi says there’s still a bit to go. The Austin VA Outpatient Clinic serves 2,900 veterans who are 75-years and older.
It’s a sure saving grace for those who were able to get vaccinated.
“Frankly, I am very pleased that the VA has made the vaccine available to us,” said David Sipperly.
“I need to be active, I cannot stay locked up. This shot is necessary,” said Richard Kennedy.
Amjed Baghdadi says veterans who are 75-years and older can still schedule a time this week to come by the clinic and get vaccinated.
Veterans may receive the latest information and sign-up for updates on VA’s COVID Vaccine webpage.