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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine heads to Salt Lake City VA

More long-term care facility residents and staff are set to receive COVID-19 vaccines this week, while Utahns 75 and older shouldn’t be far behind. (PHOTO: AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sixty front-line workers at the George E. Wahlen VA Medical Center received the newly authorized Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. 

Jill Atwood, Director of Communications for the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, says they will be vaccinating 2,200 healthcare workers over the next few weeks. 

Atwood says healthcare workers are happy to roll up their sleeves if it will help bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end.

“It’s a sense of relief, a sense that the end is coming,” Atwood says. “Because for a long time it was just a dark tunnel.” 

But what about vaccinating veterans?

“We just have to make sure that our healthcare workers are protected first or we won’t have anyone to take care of [veterans],” Atwood says.

However, veterans will not be out of the loop. 

As COVID-19 vaccines become more available, VA care teams will reach out to eligible veterans to schedule vaccinations.

“We really look forward to vaccinating our veterans,” Atwood says. 

Meanwhile, many veterans are calling about the COVID-19 vaccine already.

The Center is one of 113 VA medical centers across the U.S. to receive the first shipments of the Moderna vaccine. Those medical centers getting the limited supply shipments were identified as a high priority for the vaccine, according to the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine comes in two doses, which will be administered 28 days apart. So far, Moderna’s clinical trials show their vaccine is 94.1% effective in protecting vaccine recipients from the virus.  

Veterans can get up-to-date information about the vaccine and can sign up to receive regular updates on the vaccine here.