AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — Days after the FDA granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, the first shipment arrived at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta. It was the first VA medical center in Georgia and first hospital in Augusta to receive vaccine. It has since administered more than 40,000 doses.
Since the first shipment arrived, the VA’s team hoped to take vaccine doses out into the community to inoculate veterans who could not travel to Augusta. Those hopes became reality this Spring. The hospital has hosted vaccination events at its clinics in Athens and Aiken, offering veterans and their families hope after living through the pandemic for more than a year.
“We’re very invested in giving our veterans access to care,” Beverly Moore, the nurse manager of the VA’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic, says. “We’re able to get out into communities and meet the veterans where they are. This [vaccine] allows us to offer that service.”
Moore tells NewsChannel 6 demand for vaccine is dropping. She says the VA averaged 350 vaccinations per day in April. That number has since dropped to between 50 and 60. But, the VA’s work is not done yet.
“We’re waiting to see if there will there be a [vaccine] booster. We’re participating in other outreach programs. We’re meeting with our DOD partners on base. We’re trying to get out to those other populations where there may be some smaller sub-components.”