Hundreds of veterans vaccinated at drive-thru clinic in Richland

RICHLAND, Wash — Hundreds of veterans were vaccinated Saturday morning at Richland’s Federal Building.

The appointment-only, drive-thru clinic was hosted by the Walla Walla Veteran’s Affairs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Veterans of all ages were eligible to be vaccinated if they were enrolled with the Walla Walla VA.

Kennewick resident Joanne Heyen said she was “excited” about receiving her second Moderna dose.

“I’m pretty happy because I’ve been on quarantine for a year,” Heyen said. “I’ve already talked to my doctor who said two weeks after today I can go out more. On the first Sunday I’m going to church.”

Paul Peterson, another resident, agreed adding that while he is “still cautious” he feels “better.”

“I’m glad the vaccination is over and I thought it went very well,” Peterson said. “I appreciate the fact that the VA set this up.”

The clinic offered both the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“It’s been easy and enjoyable to talk to our veterans,” said Andrew Hansen, a physician’s assistant with the VA. “Many of them we see as patients and some of them come from other towns and cities that we talk to and get to know.”

Hansen said the drive-thru was especially successful due to the lack of long waiting lines.

“We get a lot of people in who just drive up and get out of here. People don’t have to go inside so it increases the convenience and ease of getting the shot,” Hansen said.

The VA is encouraging veterans enrolled with them to sign up and get the vaccine so that they are protected against the coronavirus.

“I realize this whole thing is not over and we need to remain vigilant,” Peterson said. “I think the country’s doing the best it can because this is something we’ve never seen before.”

To schedule an appointment for future clinics, call call 509.525.5200, press ‘2’ and then ‘2” again (or ask for the Call Center). Masks are required while on VA property and officials ask for people to show up 15 minutes early.

If you need additional help or have questions about the vaccine process, you can contact Linda at 509.386.1117.

For more information, click here.