Durham VA hospital selected as one of 37 VA sites to receive initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham VA Health Care System today announced that it has been selected as one of 37 VA sites to receive initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

DVAHCS was selected for its ability to vaccinate large numbers of people and store the vaccines at extremely cold temperatures.

In accordance with Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, Durham VA Health Care System will begin vaccinating health care personnel and veterans in VA’s long-term health care facilities once the Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization for a vaccine.

Some people are calling this development the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’ve lost an aunt from COVID so it’s a very serious matter to me. This is needed because a lot of the veterans are not being properly taken care of and they don’t have adequate insurance and adequate ways to get the medical attention that they need,” said Natasha Johnson, a Durham resident.

COVID-19 vaccine implementation will include an initial limited-supply phase followed by a general implementation phase when large supplies of the vaccine will be available to veterans who want to receive one.

“Yes, with the cases spiking the way that they are I think it’s a very big deal. We need those vaccines around here,” said Nichole Parrish, who also lives in Durham.

Officials say their ultimate goal is to offer it to all veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.

“As more vaccine becomes available, we will begin scheduling appointments with eligible veterans,” a release said.

“We are very excited to provide a vaccine that has the potential to help get COVID-19 under control when used alongside public health measures such as masking, physical distancing and frequent handwashing,” said Paul Crews, Durham VA Health Care System Executive Director.

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