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Veterans wait in line for hours to get COVID-19 vaccine

The line of cars stretched for what appeared to be more than a mile, leading up to the drive-thru clinic at the VA Medical Center in Decatur.

DECATUR, Ga. — Veterans in metro Atlanta patiently waited for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday.

The line of cars stretched for what appeared to be more than a mile, leading up to the drive-thru clinic at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Decatur.

By Saturday evening, the Atlanta VA Healthcare System posted a message on Facebook saying the drive-thru was a success: “All veterans who wanted a vaccine was served today.”

This clinic served veterans who are over 65-years-old, high-risk, or those who are essential workers.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs said the VA has vaccinated more than one million people as of last week.

They said they were able to vaccinate more than 2,800 veterans during the event - bringing their total to 7,800 doses.

"We continue to assess our vaccination efforts and will make logistical improvements moving forward," they said in a statement. "Our goal is to vaccinate every eligible and enrolled veteran who wants a vaccine, in accordance with CDC guidelines."

At a roundtable last Thursday, Dr. Richard Stone, the Acting Under Secretary for Health at the Veterans Health Administration said that number includes VA workers.

“Over 85 percent of VA employees have had at least their first immunization. It’s an extraordinary testament to the fact that we believe it’s safe and we’re lining up to get it ourselves,” he said during the Blue Star Families roundtable.

In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp said on Saturday the state has given nearly 665,000 seniors their first dose of the vaccine as of Friday evening and has administered over 75 percent of the doses shipped to Georgia.

In total, more than 1,400,000 people in Georgia have been vaccinated.

Stone said if you’re a veteran looking to get a vaccine, he recommends talking with your medical provider at your VA facility.

The Atlanta VA Healthcare System told 11Alive it will update us when they get the numbers of how many veterans were vaccinated Saturday.