MANCHESTER — The VA Manchester Healthcare System is providing the COVID-19 vaccine to enrolled veterans who are 75 years old or older and/or are experiencing homelessness, are hemodialysis, solid organ transplant or chemotherapy patients.

“Initial efforts were to administer vaccine to health-care staff and residents of our community living center,” said Mary-Jean Kellermann, chief of the Manchester VA Medical Center pharmacy services. “Our staff have been really incredible; we are moving forward to the next phase which includes our most vulnerable high-risk patients now and on-target to roll out vaccine within seven days of receipt.”

Among the first veteran outpatients to receive the vaccine were 94-year-old World War II veteran Allen B. Morgan and 98-year-old World War II Veteran Joseph Raymond “Ray” Goulet. Both served in the Army; Goulet was part of the D-Day first wave response.

“This is an unprecedented effort that takes support from everyone for success, and I am proud of our team here at VA Manchester,” said Kevin Forrest, director of the VA Manchester Healthcare System.

Veterans who went through the vaccine process reported it was seamless and that they were happy to receive a call from VA’s staff to come in. Following the first Moderna dose injection Morgan joked, “It was nothing, I didn’t feel it — is it over?”

VA Manchester Healthcare System is working to vaccinate as many veterans as possible.

Veterans can share their vaccine interest at va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed. There is no need to call to schedule an appointment. VA Manchester’s vaccine team will reach to schedule veteran appointments as the vaccine becomes available based on CDC and VA guidelines.

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