Dayton VA personnel receive ‘liquid gold’ COVID vaccines

Shots administered for the first time Wednesday

The Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center has received an allotment of COVID-19 vaccines and has started to administer those doses to employees and residents.

More than 100 health care workers at the Dayton VA were vaccinated Wednesday, the VA said. As well, two dozen veterans living at the Community Living Center on the VA campus were also vaccinated.

“I heard someone say this is liquid gold, and it really is,” said Mark Murdock, director of the Dayton VA and a retired Medical Service Corp officer. “We really need to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as we can.”

The Dayton VA received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week. It is one of 113 VA medical centers across the country to receive the first limited supply of the vaccine.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was 94% effective in clinical trials in preventing COVID-19 disease, the VA said. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart.

“The side effects appear similar to those of other vaccines and are short-lived,” the VA said in a statement.

“I have no worries, and I do encourage everyone to get vaccinated,” a VA registered nurse, Penny Campbell, said in a video shared by the Dayton VA.

“I’ve worked on the front line since this started, and I just want to do whatever I can to make sure that the community is protected, my family is protected, my patients are protected — and that I’m protected,” said Rhonda Risner, also a VA registered nurse.

“I’m very happy,” said Community Living Center resident Larry Wilson. “I’m very proud to be the first vet to get this shot.”

The 365-bed Dayton VA Medical Center is among the region’s largest hospitals.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base officials have said their base will not be among the initial military bases to receive the vaccine. Earlier this week, a base spokeswoman said it was unclear when the base Medical Center would receive it.

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