Veterans receive COVID-19 vaccine at Loma Linda VA after clinic receives unexpected doses

LOMA LINDA, Calif. (KABC) -- A line of veterans stood outside the Loma Linda VA clinic on Saturday as part of an effort to get 1,000 of them their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Some had appointments, while others like Robert Allen were able to walk up and register on site.

"I did have COVID back in July and it was very bad. So I am worried about the new (variants) so I'm very thankful that the VA is providing us this opportunity," the Riverside resident said.

Veterans 65 years and older, essential workers and those with high-risk underlying conditions are qualified for the vaccine in San Bernardino County.

"I'm very excited, first step to getting my life back, getting back to normal so I'm very excited to get vaccinated," said Thea Alli.

An army of volunteers and nurses helped to usher the veterans in and out as quickly as possible.

"We made the decision actually late Wednesday evening to run this clinic today based on a bonus of vaccines that we received that we were not expecting, so we're very excited," said Deesha Brown with the clinic.

Ed Saunders said he's been waiting for his chance to get the vaccine, saying science influenced his decision.

"I just found out about it a couple of days ago. I was told hey you can get your vaccine man.. I'll tell you what, I couldn't have gotten here faster."

Veterans who got their shot Saturday say they hope the vaccine will provide a measure of protection to get out again.

"I might take a little more risk, but not a whole lot," Saunders added.

"Well, I'll be able to go around a few more people than I usually do. I'll be able to hang out with my grandkids a little more," said Victorville resident Bill Quantrill.

Saunders, Quantrill and the rest of the veterans who showed up were automatically signed up for their second dose in 28 days.
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