VA Sierra Pacific Network (VISN 21)
1,001 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Veterans
VA NorCal gives COVID-19 vaccines to more than one thousand Veterans during Saturday clinics
The VA Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS) gave 1,001 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Veterans during Saturday mass vaccination clinics at the Sacramento VA Medical Center and community based outpatient clinics in Chico and Auburn Feb. 20.
As of Feb. 22, VANCHCS has distributed more than 27 thousand doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Veterans, caregivers, and VA employees and volunteers across Northern California. According to VA’s Access to Care website, 14,375 Veterans who receive their care at VANCHCS have received a first dose, and 5,374 have received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as of Feb. 22.
“Since we started offering the vaccine in late December, we’ve been busier than usual, as you can imagine, and the response from the Veterans, caregivers and employees has been extremely positive,” said David Stockwell, director of VANCHCS. “As a health organization, we’re happy to see that the number of new COVID cases is continuing to drop significantly across the state. Mass vaccination events like these are having clear impacts, not just on numbers and cases, but on the outlooks of many of the Veterans we serve. Veterans have been telling us that these vaccines are giving them hope again.”
“If I can take it, so can you”
Ruby Bruce is one Veteran who is now looking forward to 2021 after receiving the vaccine at the Chico VA Clinic Saturday. On the day before her 84th birthday, the U.S. Air Force Veteran walked into the clinic with hope but also a few nerves. Even though she had a reaction to a flu vaccine in recent years, she said she wasn’t going to let that stop her.
“I checked with my doctor about getting the vaccine, and he said I could get it,” she said. “Shots don’t bother me. If I can take it, so can you.”
Photos: Top left, U.S. Army Veteran Joel Sterling receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Chico VA Clinic Saturday. Top right, Veteran Leroy Hansen gives a thumbs up after receiving a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Chico VA Clinic Saturday. Bottom left, Veteran Paul Tippens gives a thumbs up outside a Vet Center vehicle after receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Chico VA Clinic Saturday. Bottom right, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Michael Sechrist receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Chico VA Clinic Saturday.