Tuscaloosa Memorial Day vaccine clinic

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Crowds returned for the first time in more than a year to Tuscaloosa’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony.

“It’s a great honor and a thrill to be out in the open air with so many veterans to be able to celebrate Memorial Day, which to me is the founding of our nation,” Col. (Ret.) Duane Lamb said.

Organizers canceled last year’s service due to coronavirus concerns.

You could still see a few people wearing masks this year.

The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, which traditionally has a presence at this ceremony, played a bigger role this year.

It brought its Dual-Use Vehicle to the event to help vaccinate veterans and others for COVID-19.

“We’re trying to make it more convenient for our veterans, as well as our caregivers now, and retirees to be able to give them vaccine. We’re trying to go out into the community to get them,” John Merkle, Director of the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, added.

The Save Live Act allows VA hospitals to vaccinate the spouses and caregivers of veterans for coronavirus due to the close contact they could have with them.

Monday’s Memorial Day Service was able to happen due to a drop in positive COVID cases because of several months of vaccinations.

“It’s just nice to see everybody in support of the veterans and have this service. COVID has changed things, but hopefully with everybody getting vaccines, and we’re offering vaccines, we’ll be able to do more of this,” Merkle continued.

The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center has a walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic for veterans and their caregivers from 8 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

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