Protecting veterans: Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home receives COVID-19 vaccine

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Stacey Tinsley/Bossier Press-Tribune Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home resident Edgar Lacobee receives a COVID-19 vaccination Saturday.

Stacey Tinsley | Bossier Press-Tribune

Northwest Louisiana Veterans Home residents received COVID-19 vaccinations Saturday. Representatives from CVS delivered and administered the vaccine. 

“CVS completed its first COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Home, overall administering Moderna vaccinations to 51 residents and 27 staff members,” said Brandee Patrick, Director of Communications for the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

“CVS could not administer the vaccine to those residents or staff who were currently positive. Many of these employees came in today from their own homes to receive their vaccinations. CVS’ second vaccination clinic—where those vaccinated today will receive the required second dosage of the vaccination—will happen at least 28 days from today (required under the Moderna vaccine protocol), and will also provide another opportunity for those residents and staff not yet vaccinated to receive their first dose of the vaccine. A third vaccination clinic will take place roughly a month after that for the administration of a final round of second dosages. CVS has not yet scheduled the exact dates for the second and third clinics at our Bossier home.” 

There are 98 residents and 132 employees caring for residents at NWLA Veterans Home.

“There is no cost for our residents or staff associated with this initial vaccine administration. We understand that CVS may bill insurers for the administration cost only associated with these clinics,” Patrick added.

Currently, there are 14 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 being cared for at NWLA Veterans Home.

Over the entire pandemic, 58 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. As far as employees, to date a total of 35 employees tested positive over the entire pandemic, of whom 30 have recovered and five are completing their required isolation period recovering away from the facility.  

“The decision to receive a vaccine is the personal choice of each resident and staff member. Governor Edwards and Secretary Strickland strongly encourage and recommend that each person who lives and works at our homes receive it,” said Patrick. 

“We understand that there are some concerns about the vaccine developed during this unprecedented pandemic. We are hopeful that as the vaccine is distributed throughout Louisiana, we will see high participation in our homes.”