BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — The Battle Creek VA administered their first doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers and veterans on Wednesday afternoon.
They said it's an exciting step towards protecting the most vulnerable.
15 healthcare workers and five veterans received their first dose of the vaccine, and one healthcare worker couldn't hold back his tears as he realized what this meant going forward.
"I’m just glad that we are able to do something like this to not only add another barrier to the PPE that we’ve been wearing on a daily basis. It’s well-needed, and I can’t wait to see everything go back to normal," said a Battle Creek VA Medical Center Nurse Manager John McCash.
McCash received his COVID-19 vaccine just one hour before administering it to their most vulnerable veterans.
"I know they want it. I’m able to now offer them a defensive to the virus that they want and need," said McCash.
U.S. Army Veteran Donald R. Madden was the first veteran to receive it at the center, doing it for his family.
"Well I’m excited because my kids can’t come up here and visit me because of the quarantine," said U.S. Army Veteran and Battle Creek VA Medical Center resident Donald R. Madden.
Madden said he's been facetiming his family, but it's not the same as seeing them in-person.
“What will it be like, you know, this is one step closer to being able to see them in-person again, are you looking forward to that?”
"Does a dog chase cats?," said Madden.
The Battle Creek VA Medical Center received 1,100 doses of Moderna's vaccine. They started off slow this week, but they said by next week they'll be vaccinating around 30 to 60 employees and veterans each day.
"I think that emotion really is the hard work that has gone on over the past ten months, continuing the critical mission of caring for our nation’s heroes. It is so exciting to head into the next step and the next phase. I really see it as a piece of hope as we enter 2021 to fight the pandemic and realize what our new normal is going to be like," said the Battle Creek VA Medical Center's Medical Center Director Michelle Martin.
Martin said she's anticipating to have everyone on the campus vaccinated by the mid to end of January.