COVID-19 vaccination efforts underway at Hampton VA Medical Center


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Vaccinations have started at the Hampton VA Medical Center.

Officials tell 10 On Your Side that they started administering vaccines on Dec. 23 and so far, distribution is going well.

Nationwide, medical staff at VA facilities have administered more than 146,000 COVID-19 vaccinations.

Doctors at the Hampton VA Medical Center can’t provide the specific numbers of vaccinations administered at the hospital, but say the facility is one of 113 VA medical centers across the country to get the first limited supply of the Moderna vaccine.

These vaccines started going out to staff and high-risk veterans last month.

“They were very, very hopeful, excited, they felt like each one had a personal story,” said Dr. Usha Subramanian, chief of primary care. “Someone said they did it for their parents, or their child, they personalized and humanized truly what is a momentous thing for our country.”

Doctors say they have a specific building on campus dedicated to vaccines, and the rollout has gone well.

“The overwhelming positive feedback we have received for our rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has been overwhelming,” said Subramanian.

They are almost finished giving the first dose of the vaccine to that first group and they are determined to use all of their supply.

“We really are prioritizing throughput as much as possible,” said Dr. Carl Kesgen, COVID vaccine coordinator and chief of pharmacy. “We have dedicated staff who are just assigned to these tasks who are really focusing on optimizing the schedules and getting as many people, staff and veterans vaccinated as fast as possible.”

The doctors say they haven’t seen anyone with significant side effects and encourage every veteran to get the shot when it’s their turn.

Kesgen said, “It’s vitally important for their own health and really the wellbeing of our community at-large.”

The next phase includes veterans between the ages of 65 and 74 who have may have other medical conditions.

The Hampton VA Medical Center wants to be able to vaccinate all veterans when it is their time. They say they will contact veterans as they progress through these tiers.

You can find more about COVID-19 vaccines at the Hampton VA Medical Center here.

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