KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When the Kansas City VA had leftover doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday night, it put out a message asking veterans to come get vaccinated.
Alan Talkington immediately responded. He drove to KCVA’s Honor Annex and received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine around 9:45 p.m.
“I was actively trying to get a vaccine as soon as I was eligible for it,” Talkington, a Marine Corps veteran, said.
The KCVA has administered 15,485 COVID-19 vaccines as of Wednesday afternoon.
Most of the vaccinations are given through appointments. The KCVA is using an outreach program where they contact eligible veterans when it’s their turn to make an appointment and get vaccinated.
“We actively work through our patient population by contacting them each week,” KCVA medical director David Isaacks said.
Issaacks said if there are extra doses available, the KCVA will welcome walk-ins. This usually happens when there are appointment cancellations or staff can extract extra doses from viles.
“Once you draw a vaccine into a syringe, it has a shelf life of about 6 hours,” Isaacks said. “We want to make sure we’re not wasting any doses and really getting these doses into shots of the arms of veterans as well as our health care employees and caregivers of veterans.”
This week, the KCVA received 3,000 vaccines doses so they set up two clinics with 1,500 doses on Monday and Tuesday. Because of the bad weather, they had 200 unclaimed doses at 6 p.m.
“That (was) a substantial amount of vaccine that (hadn’t) been used,” Issacks said. “The more important thing is that we don’t let doses go unused or sit idle."
Nicholas Norman was appreciative. He received his first vaccine Tuesday night, too.
“I am excited for everyone to get it or have the option to get it,” Norman said.
The KCVA receives its vaccine every Thursday and usually hold clinics on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Isaacks said veterans who are enrolled in the VA should watch the KCVA’s social media pages on Tuesday for opportunities to walk-into the clinics and receive extra vaccines.