’I have miles ahead of me to go’: 100-year-old veteran is looking forward to COVID-19 vaccine

100-year-old Veteran tries to get COVID-19 vaccine

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - More than 900,000 veterans across the country have gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through the Veterans Affairs.

But many seniors are still waiting.

One of those people is 100-year-old Pauline Webb, who lives in Gaston County.

“I have no idea what you’re supposed to feel like at 100, but I wish everyone at 100 felt this well,” Webb told WBTV.

She does not seem like she has been alive as long as she has.

“It’s unbelievable,” WEbb said.

That is until she tells you of her time in World War II.

“I went to the western Pacific to Tinian Island,” Webb said. “It’s near Guam and the Marianas. The atom bomb was flown from Tinian.”

Webb worked as a nurse and continued to after the war ended.

“The Red Cross recruited me to go to the Polio Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota,” she said.

Now she’s living through another pandemic.

Webb said she was looking forward to getting her first dose of the vaccine over a week ago at the VA in Charlotte.

“My son had taken the day off to take me there and we got home and looked at the letter and he said, ‘I should have checked before we left to make sure it was ok,’” she said.

She said the VA ran out of vaccine supply, but she is rescheduled for this Saturday.

“I was relieved because I want to get it and be safe,” Webb said.

She’s one of many seniors waiting for the vaccine who are relying on phone calls and handwritten reminders.

“I just can’t wait for it all to be over and we can all go where we want and do what we want,” Webb said.

She remains ready to roll up her sleeve.

“I have miles ahead of me to go, at least another five years I hope,” Webb said.

Webb said that like many others her age she does not use a computer to keep track of communications with the VA.

She is thankful to have family close by to help her navigate it.

In a statement, a spokesperson told WBTV:

“The Salisbury VA Health Care System administers both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine depending on the location. The quantity of the vaccines we receive can vary from week-to-week. This makes a tough balancing act for our schedulers, who do their best to match the number of Veteran appointments scheduled with the amount of vaccine we will receive.

In the case where we have to cancel any appointments based on supply at a particular location , we offer Veterans the opportunity to go to another one of our sites of care or be next in line for our next shipment. We encourage Veterans to call their primary care teams or the Call Center at (800) 706-9126 to inquire about the vaccine and their eligibility.”

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