Veterans in SLC VA Hospital get COVID-19 vaccine sooner than expected

Dec 28, 2020, 7:35 PM
First veterans in Salt Lake City's VA Hospital get COVID-19 vaccine sooner than expected...
(Sally Rich with the Salt Lake City VA Hospital administers the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to residential patient Dana Hare. Credit, Paul Nelson)
(Sally Rich with the Salt Lake City VA Hospital administers the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to residential patient Dana Hare. Credit, Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – Good news for veterans being treated at the VA Hospital in Salt Lake City as Administrators were able to start giving the COVID-19 vaccine to some high-risk veteran patients sooner than expected.

The first patient on the list of veterans to receive the vaccine was Dana Hare.  He served in the Army for 16 years, and was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012.  Since then, he has been struggling with drug addiction and has been living at the hospital for two months for treatment.

Hare says, “It has destroyed my family and taken my kids from me.  It has been an ugly and long fight.”

Hare won’t be able to go home for another two weeks, and COVID-19 has been one of his biggest concerns ever since he started treatment.  His immune system has already been weakened by the substances he took, so the disease could be especially dangerous for him.

“Coming through rehab, through a substance abuse treatment center, I was afraid I wasn’t going to have the immune system to fight it if I did catch it,” Hare says.

Hare didn’t know he would be getting the vaccine until the night before he received it.  Hospital staff called him to ask if he wanted to be the first vet in Utah to get it, and he jumped at the chance.  On Monday, four patients were given the vaccine and officials with the Salt Lake City VA say they were able to administer them because the CDC updated their guidelines.

Chief Nurse of Primary Care Ashley Phillips says, “We found a good mix of the amount of vaccines that we currently have that we can offer our veterans without impacting our ability to do business.”

Phillips says the hospital was far more efficient in administering vaccines than they thought they would be.  By the end of Monday, they expected to have given over 600 staffers the first dose of the vaccine.  She says they wanted to vaccinate their patients as quickly as possible.

“There’s ‘essential staff,’ ‘non-essential essential staff’ and, of course, our veterans which is our top priority,” according to Phillips.

Workers in the hospital compiled a list of all veterans and employees and were able to determine which people should get the vaccine first, based on their exposure to the disease and their co-morbidity factors.  Some low-risk employees haven’t been scheduled to receive the vaccine, yet.


Similar Stories:

Utah phase 2 COVID-19 vaccine plan released, long-term care facilities get doses now

Millions have received the shot, but coronavirus vaccine questions remain

Reports says veterans recovered from COVID-19 outnumber deaths in one care facility

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Provo Police car pictured, they are investigating a crash on state street...
Samantha Herrera

Deadly day for Utah roads, two killed in separate crashes on State Street

A motorcyclist was killed in a Provo crash on State Street this morning while a motorist died in a crash in Pleasant Grove only hours later.
17 hours ago
Colorado river is pictured, its water supplies Utah but it is running out...
Adam Small

Utah leaders ask businesses to contribute to water conservation amid Colorado River shortage

The Colorado River supplies water to Utah, but due to its shortage businesses are being asked to do their part for water conservation.
17 hours ago
pedestrian ogden freeway fatal...
Simone Seikaly

Pedestrian killed on NB I-15 in Ogden, another in critical condition

The Utah Highway Patrol said two people were on the left shoulder of the freeway just prior to 24th Street when they were hit.
17 hours ago
Twitter might get bought by Elon Musk after all. Twitter screen shown on phone...

Musk offers to end legal fight, pay $44B to buy Twitter

The offer comes just two weeks before the Twitter lawsuit seeking to force Musk to go through with the deal goes to trial in Delaware Chancery Court.
17 hours ago
FILE - Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News...
Elizabeth Weiler

Hotel brings honey to the beehive state

Hilton Salt Lake City Center has placed several beehives on their rooftop in sustainability efforts and ecosystem strengthening. 
17 hours ago
red cross van...
Alejandro Lucero

Utah Red Cross urges residents to donate in wake of Hurricane Ian

All Utahns are urged to donate but especially those with type O blood. You can schedule an appointment online, through their app, or over the phone.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Veterans in SLC VA Hospital get COVID-19 vaccine sooner than expected