CORONAVIRUS

Salt Lake VA Hospital Gets Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Dec 22, 2020, 7:02 PM | Updated: Feb 11, 2021, 12:23 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived at the Salt Lake VA hospital Tuesday morning and just a few hours later, medical workers started getting shots.

You don’t get into the medical field unless you truly care about people. There’s no doubt Pamela Makris cares, especially when it comes to helping veterans at the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City. 

“It’s very hard to watch them suffer,” she said. “We’ve watched a lot of suffering and a lot of death nine, 12, 11 months.” 

Tuesday afternoon, though, it was her turn to sit down. Even though she’s had plenty of shots before, the one she received in her right arm was different. 

It came with cheers. 

Makris, who works as an emergency room nurse at the VA, was the first health care worker there to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

A dry erase board showed the excitement over the arrival of the Moderna vaccine at the Salt Lake City VA Hospital. (Aubrey Shafer/KSL-TV)

“It’s a step in a new direction to restore our life as we knew it,” she said. 

The VA hospital took delivery of  2,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday morning. 

Although it’s not mandatory for medical workers to get the vaccine, plenty of them lined up for it. 

“It’s so nice to know that there’s hope at the end of this,” said Janiel Green, a physician assistant at the hospital. 

The vaccine isn’t just to protect veterans from the virus. It’s also so those veterans, who have done so much for our country, can enjoy the simple pleasure of seeing family and friends again.   

The hospital got enough vaccine for 2,200 shots. (Aubrey Shafer/KSL-TV)

“There are times when they will say, ‘You’re the only one I have talked to in a couple of weeks,’” said Green. 

Depression among veterans is an issue, and the social distancing aspect of COVID-19 leads to isolation. 

“We have seen a high degree of mental health conditions where people are reaching out and really having trouble coping with their normal life and dealing with the things they have to go through in this pandemic,” said John Nord, deputy chief of staff at the VA hospital. 

However, at the clinic Tuesday afternoon, you could feel the hope. 

The vaccine in those little syringes really is a big deal. 

“Yeah, and you know, it may not be normal for a while, but this is the first step,” said Green. “That’s what’s important.”

The hospital expects to have their entire staff done in 3-4 weeks. Then, the plan is to start vaccinating their high risk veterans.

KSL 5 TV Live

Coronavirus

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

14 days ago

FILE —  Respiratory virus illness activity continues to increase across the US.
(Joe Burbank/Orl...

Emma Benson

‘Not viruses to mess around with’: Experts urge caution during ongoing ‘tripledemic’

Experts say though not as severe as last year, this winter we're seeing another "tripledemic" – rising cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV in Utah.

2 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Emma Benson

‘The ICUs are full:’ Keep yourself and others healthy this holiday

It's time for holiday gatherings, but with more people around us comes a greater risk of getting sick.

2 months ago

Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

3 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

3 months ago

FILE - Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, Aug. 1, 2022. The COVID-19 ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

The COVID-19 treatments millions of have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Salt Lake VA Hospital Gets Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine