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VA clinic in Colorado Springs begins vaccinating veterans

Philip Benning was the first person at Colorado Springs' VA clinic to receive the COVID-19...
Philip Benning was the first person at Colorado Springs' VA clinic to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.(KKTV)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 3:26 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Colorado Springs’ VA clinic is now administering vaccines to veterans 75 and older.

When Philip Benning took his seat inside the clinic Saturday morning, he became the first patient at the PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom Department of Veterans Affairs clinic to receive the life-saving vaccine.

The momentous occasion took just seconds.

“I think it was a pleasant experience. I’m looking forward to the second one,” Benning chuckled.

Benning told 11 News he has been isolating “pretty religiously” during the pandemic and was looking forward to the normality the vaccine would be giving back.

“I get to pick my own grapes at the grocery store now.”

Colorado is currently in phase 1B of the vaccine distribution, which prioritizes those 70+. For now, the Lindstrom clinic is vaccinating seniors 75 and up to ensure they have enough vaccines to give both doses.

“The biggest unknown right now is when we will have a larger supply of vaccinations. That’s our biggest challenge. As soon as that comes in -- we are not sitting on our vaccines. As soon as our vaccines come in and we are assured we can provide both the first and second dose, we are getting those out to our veterans,” said Michael Kilmer, the director of the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

According to the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, all vaccine administrations will be conducted through scheduled appointments. No walk-ins will be allowed.

“Veterans interested in receiving the vaccine do not need to do anything. VA ECHCS will make direct contact with veterans based on their vaccine priority group and will schedule appointments accordingly. Veterans are asked to answer their phones and listen completely to the automated message for instructions,” a news release from the health care system said.

For now, the robocalls are going out to those 75+. Veterans under 75 will be alerted when it’s their group’s turn.

“If you’re 75 years and older and have not been contacted by the VA and are a veteran enrolled with the VA, please call us and let us know and we can schedule you for your appointment,” Kilmer said.

Anyone eligible now for a vaccine who has not received an automated call is advised to contact the clinic.

The vaccinations will happen at the clinic, located at 3141 Centennial Boulevard in Colorado Springs. Patients will schedule their second dose right after getting their first one.

More on the VA’s vaccination plan can be found here.

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