DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Hundreds of veterans received their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday as the Dayton VA Medical Center ramps ups their vaccination efforts.
602 veterans received either their first or second dose of the vaccine during the appointment and walk-in clinic.
The lines were long, but veterans with appointments said they got right in.
“10 o’clock we came up to the check-in, there’s lines, probably 60, 70 people,” Marine Corps veteran from Miamisburg James Denman said. “I thought this was going to be an all-day affair, but they came up, said if you got a 10 o’clock or earlier, come on down and I think by, in 15 minutes, I’m through the line, shot and here with you.”
Dayton VA Administrative Officer of Primary Care James Baisden said even those who walked in without an appointment found it worth the wait.
“Most of the time it’s liquid gold, or we’ll wait all day to get our shot,” Baisden said.
Vaccines are available to any veteran registered with the VA age 60 and older or pre-existing conditions.
Baisden said the VA was able to open up to age 60, which is five years younger than the state’s 1B group, because they had fewer veterans age 60 to 69 compared to the other ages groups.
That meant Air Force Veteran from Huber Heights Sheila Ingram could get her shot.
“I was ready when they first started offering the shot, but I understand the age, try to get the older people first, then go down the line, so it was very exciting,” Ingram said.
She said the first dose of the vaccine will put her one step closer to visiting loved ones.
“I wanted to get mine because I have a brother that has cancer and I want to be around him,” Ingram said.
Baisden said as the number of vaccines they get increases, they’ll expand to more veterans.
“As soon as we get it, we take the necessary steps to let our veterans know, inform our veterans, so they can get it as soon as possible,” Baisden said.
The vaccine clinic continues Sunday from 8 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. and they are accepting walk-ins.