Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home completes first COVID-19 vaccine clinic

SWLA Veterans Home Vaccines

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Nearly three weeks after vaccinations began in the U.S. - the long-awaited vaccine is bringing some positive energy to local veteran homes in the new year.

“This vaccine is one step in the right direction,” said Administrator Matthew Duhon.

It’s hopefully a start.. to welcoming loved ones back at the Jennings Veterans Home in 2021.

“It was wonderful...December 28th...on that day, CVS came in and administered 108 vaccines,” Duhon said.

Duhon says of those 108...82 veterans have received the vaccine so far.

“The veterans are very eager, they were very hopeful and ready to get the vaccine.”

Out of the 116 veterans residing at the facility, Duhon says it’s a milestone that the majority of the population has signed up for the vaccine.

“There’s 10 percent that’s always going to say no. But if we get 90 percent of the veterans vaccinated, that’s a really good start. That’s the goal throughout the state,” Duhon said.

Along with the rest of the country, last Summer the facility saw its largest surge with more than 50 positive COVID cases. Since then, Duhon says 95 percent of those cases have recovered and they’ve worked diligently to keep the virus out of the facility.

“We’ve been fortunate because the positivity rate is so high across the state even in Jeff Davis Parish,” Duhon said. “We’ve been fortunate to keep it out of the facility for the past 7 to 8 weeks.”

Duhon says the vaccines which are being administered by CVS will continue through February to ensure all residents and staff who want the vaccine receive it.

“This vaccine just gives us hope for a better 2021, an end to the pandemic, and hope for the families of the veterans to reunite soon.”

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