Hampton VA to offer COVID vaccines to healthcare workers, selected veterans

Lisa Vernon Sparks, The Daily Press

The Hampton VA Medical Center will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday to its health care workers and a select group of veterans, a news release said.

The center is among 113 veteran facilities nationally that have received a limited supply of the Moderna vaccine. At the Hampton VA, the vaccine will be offered to the medical workers, veterans in the spinal cord unit and the community living center residents.

“Receiving the vaccine is like having hope delivered,” Dr. Shawn Alexander, the center’s interim director, said in an email. “As vaccine supplies increase, our ultimate goal is to offer COVID-19 vaccination to all veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”

Staff will be vaccinated in the center’s COVID Vaccine Clinic and veteran residents will receive theirs in their residences, a Hampton VA spokesman said in an email.

As more doses become available for more groups of veterans, VA care teams will reach out to eligible veterans to schedule vaccinations without the need to sign up or preregister.

Veteran facilities receiving the Moderna vaccine were identified based on the Centers for Disease Control first round prioritization and a facility’s capacity to store the vaccine at subzero temperatures.

The vaccine is administered in two doses given 28 days apart. Some commonly reported side effects, which can last several days, include injected-site pain, fatigue, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Last week, 37 medical centers received the Pfizer vaccine for health care personnel and veterans, with as many as 15 more veteran facilities slated to receive doses this week.

Employees are still encouraged to wear masks, adhere to social distancing guidelines and wash hand frequently, the release said.

Lisa Vernon Sparks, 757-247-4832, lvernonsparks@dailypress.com