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

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
2 months ago
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
2 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...

US clears updated COVID boosters targeting newest variants

U.S. clears updated COVID-19 boosters targeting the newest omicron strain; shots could begin within days.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Salt Lake VA Hospital Gets Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine