Milwaukee VA begins vaccinating health care workers

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Health care workers at the Milwaukee VA received the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Five workers received the first dose. The hospital hopes to eventually vaccinate as many as 200 workers a week.

“I’m feeling great about being here to get this vaccine today,” said Katherine Matz, a clinical nurse specialist at the VA.

Matz was the first person to get the vaccine at the VA, after being among the first to volunteer.

“I’m hoping that this can be a game changer, for me, my family, my community, my workplace and all of us,” said Matz.

Matz works with COVID patients, and is hoping this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic.

“I have a lot of hope that it will be effective to keep me safe from COVID and therefore I can continue to work, I can see the case numbers drop in this community,  I can finally put this chapter behind me,” said Matz.

“We’re doing our part,” said Joanna Owens, who works in housekeeping at the hospital.

Owens has been working around COVID patients since the first case was discovered at the hospital last spring.

She hopes to be an example for veterans at the hospital.

“As me being also a veteran, I wanted to make and push other veterans when it becomes available to them to definitely go ahead and get that shot,” said Owens.

“It’s just exciting for everyone to be a part of stomping out COVID-19 in our community,” said Darcie Greuel, a registered nurse at the VA.

The hospital is starting with workers in high-risk areas, and taking volunteers.

“Totally voluntary, anyone who wishes to get the vaccine will get it,” said Greuel.

It’s a day of hope for a group of people trying to help our veterans through this pandemic.

“I really think that will make a big difference, knowing there is a vaccine out there,” said Owens.

“It’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Matz.

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