Over the weekend, Branson’s Veterans Administration Clinic did their part to help get COVID-19 vaccinations to some of the area’s most vulnerable veterans.
On Saturday, the clinic administered 300 doses of vaccine to veterans who qualified for it under the state’s current guidelines, including those 65 and older with chronic health conditions.
“Today we are doing our first mass vaccination event for veterans that we serve in the Branson area at the Branson VA clinic,” said Clinic Nurse Manager Sheryl Tilus. “We’re hoping to give about 300 vaccinations today, and we’ll continue to give more in the future as we have more of these events.”
Veterans who want to sign up for future vaccination events can register at www.fayettevillear.va.gov/locations/branson.asp.
The Taney County Health Department is also administering vaccinations at the Branson High School Activity Center. For information about registering for a vaccination through the health department, visit taneycohealth.org/covid19-vaccine.
To sign up for a vaccination through the Stone County Health Department, call or text: 417-337-4254 or 417-527-4770.
One can also register for a vaccine with CoxHealth at coxhealth.com/covid/vaccine, or through Mercy at mercyhealth.com/health-and-wellness/covid-19/vaccine.
The Branson VA clinic was administering the Moderna vaccine, according to Tilus.
Irvin Lisec, of Powersite, was among those veterans getting his first dose of the vaccine.
“I think going to prevent me from getting real sick, which I understand has affected a lot of elderly people,” Lisec, who is 86, said.
Those receiving the dose have to wait 15 minutes at the clinic to ensure they don’t have a reaction. Several minutes after receiving his shot, Lisec said he was doing well.
“Other than the stick, that was about it. So far, it’s good,” he said.
The room was busy, but patients were seated in chairs to aid social distancing. Everyone, patients and nurses alike, wore face coverings.
Lisec said he was impressed with how everything was being run.
“It’s a beautiful place,” he said. “It’s a well-run place.”
Bud Wade made the 40 minute drive from Shell Knob to the clinic. He said it was worth it to get a vaccine.
“I’m here for the vaccine, for my health and the health of everyone around me,” he said.
He had nothing but praise for the clinic.
“I’ve been at this one for about three years now,” Wade said. “In fact, next week, I got to come back for a hearing aid.”
According to Scott Whittington, the chief of communications for the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, the oldest patient to receive a vaccine at Saturday’s event was 101.