World War II veteran in Bedford becomes first VA patient to receive COVID-19 vaccine in U.S.

BEDFORD, Mass. — Margaret Klessens said she’s feeling great after getting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday. The 96-year-old is a World War II veteran living at the V.A. hospital in Bedford, Mass.

“I didn’t even feel the needle,” Klessens said. “The truth is I’ve had so many needles through the years, I say to myself when I see the needle, whoever’s giving it to me, he’s going to help me.”

Klessens was an operator during the second world war and now she just became the first VA patient to get the shot nationwide.

“I am just so totally proud of her,” said Tom Klessens, Margaret’s son. “She’s precious cargo with that stage of her life and I think she’s in great hands at the VA.”

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Tom Klessens said he’s proud to see his mother on the national stage, setting an example to get the vaccine even at her age.

“I think it is absolutely fabulous,” Tom Klessens said. “I think that’s great news for her, you know she’s a hearty 96-years-old.”

Margaret hopes she’ll inspire others to step up and get the COVID-19 vaccine as well since she knows a lot of people are still hesitant. She admits she was a little nervous at first, but now she’s glad she did it.

“They gave it to them first in England and two of them were very ill, but they survived and they’re fine now the way I understand it,” Margaret Klessens said. “But everybody’s different, we’re all different, it’ll affect different people in different ways, but so far I’m fine; so if you have to take it, take it.”

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