Fort Meade VA receives first round of Moderna vaccines

FORT MEADE, S.D. — The Fort Meade VA Medical Center received its first set of Moderna COVID vaccinations on Monday and has already begun distribution.

Adriana Lalicker, a VA nurse, was the first to receive the vaccination, and is glad to have done so. With COVID cases on the rise, health care workers are looking forward to additional options that would keep their patients and families safe, and hope the vaccine will be a turning point.

“It’s not a pleasant virus to suffer from,” said Lalicker, a Community Living Center nurse. “The number of veterans that we care for in the Community Living Center who have multiple core morbidities, being able to get the vaccine to protect my veterans, to protect myself, to protect my family, is just the best feeling.”

The Fort Meade VA has had relatively low COVID cases, and like civilian hospitals, will begin by distributing the vaccine to healthcare workers and high risk patients.

The hospital is still working out a plan to decide when vaccines will be available to each group, and will be making calls to those who are eligible. This should provide veterans with somewhat lower wait times, but there is still the possibility that young healthy veterans may not see the vaccine until spring next year.

In the meantime, the VA has required social distancing and mask wear inside the hospital, and will do so for the foreseeable future.

Despite COVID precautions, the vaccine will not be required, but Lalicker says while getting the vaccine is a personal choice, people should take into consideration what the virus has done to others.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News