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Some residents and staff at veterans homes refuse vaccine

U.S. Air Force Veteran Robert Aucoin, 78, gets his temperature checked prior to receiving his COVID-19 vaccine at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Mass., on Dec. 29, 2020.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen
/
The Republican via AP, Pool
U.S. Air Force Veteran Robert Aucoin, 78, gets his temperature checked prior to receiving his COVID-19 vaccine at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, Mass., on Dec. 29, 2020.

Washington veterans homes are giving COVID-19 vaccines to residents and staff in the Puget Sound region this week, at facilities in Orting and Port Orchard. But David Puente, deputy director of Washington’s Department of Veterans Affairs, said at state veterans homes in other parts of the state, not everyone chose to get the shot. At the state veterans home in Walla Walla, only 38 percent of staff consented to being vaccinated and only 78 percent of residents. But, Puente said, people who are reluctant will be given another opportunity.

 

“What we’re trying to do is make sure that any one of our staff and veterans that aren’t a part of the first round, that we’re able to administer it if they change their mind later on as we move on,” Puente said.

 

The vaccines, being given by Walgreens pharmacies in a partnership with the federal government, are being made available as the veterans homes in Orting and Port Orchard are experiencing outbreaks.  This includes the death of three veterans at the Soldiers Home in Orting and positive COVID-19 tests among residents and staff in Port Orchard.  

 

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Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.