World War II veteran, 96, receives COVID-19 vaccine, becomes first nationwide VA patient to receive jab

The first veteran patient to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was a 96-year-old World War II veteran according to the health care system where she was treated.

Shortly after noon on Monday, Margaret Klessens became the first VA patient in the country to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last week. The vaccine, which requires two doses given weeks apart, is the first jab to receive such approval in the United States.

Klessens was vaccinated at the VA Bedford Healthcare System in Bedford, Massachusetts, according to his Twitter account.

Medical centers in New Orleans and Bedford, Massachusetts became the first two facilities in the department to administer the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday to “front-line health care workers and veterans living in long-term care. Community life and centers for spinal cord injuries and disorders.” cord “. said the US Department of Veterans Affairs in a statement.

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The two citations are part of about 37 VA medical centers across the country that began receiving and administering jab this week, which were chosen for “their ability to vaccinate large numbers of people and store vaccines at extremely cold temperatures ”, which the Pfizer vaccine in particular requires.

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“Ultimately, the department’s goal is to provide the vaccine to all veterans receiving care at the VA,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “As the vaccine supply increases, VA intends to distribute these vaccines to other facilities to provide the vaccine to more veterans and employees.”

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