There's vaccine momentum for Connecticut’s veterans - nearly 55% of veterans eligible for care through the VA Connecticut’s Healthcare system are now vaccinated.
“It absolutely is a goal to get this done as fast as possible, to get that vaccine in the arms of our veterans who are enrolled in eligible for VA healthcare,” VA Connecticut Healthcare System CEO and Medical Center Director Al Montoya said.
On Monday, Montoya announced the VA would offer the vaccine to all enrolled veterans regardless of age, after a steady supply and strong interest.
“What we’ve done here is really aim at that 70% mark, so for us 70% is about 33,000 veterans that we’re hoping to get vaccinated,” Montoya said.
The numbers are encouraging. Montoya said Connecticut’s VA system now ranks second in the country for vaccinating veterans, behind Nebraska.
“The VA Orange Annex is one of the busiest clinics vaccinating Connecticut’s veterans. It has the ability to administer up to 1,000 vaccinations a day."
Airforce veteran Dave Lanfair received his final dose of the vaccine Thursday.
“It’s a relief, my wife and I have been quarantining and hiding out for the last year,” Lanfair said.
Marine Corps veteran Patrick Hughes was able to get his first dose, weeks before he anticipated.
“For me it was good because my mother is in a nursing home so honestly the reason that I wanted to get it done,” Hughes said.
This week the VA also offered appointments and walk-in clinics at its Newington campus and the East Putnam Fire District. It hopes to have more than 20,000 Connecticut veterans vaccinated this weekend.
“We’re definitely bringing in the vaccine to our veterans which is an amazing story to tell,” Montoya said.