Family left out of vaccine process at Tut Fann Veterans Home gets answers


HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- News 19 took action to get answers for a family who says their loved one missed out getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

While many Veterans living in state homes throughout Alabama have received their first dose the COVID-19 vaccine, one family says their loved one living at Floyd E. Tut Fann was left out of the vaccination process.

Sherri Staples’s father was set to get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on December 31 with dozens of other veterans living at the Floyd E. Tut Fann State Veterans Home. When he didn’t get the vaccine, she reached out to the facility to ask why. When Staples couldn’t find an answer, she turned to News 19 for help.

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs told News 19 if a veteran tested positive for COVID-19, is in quarantine or has an allergy, they would not have received the vaccine.

“He doesn’t fall under any of those negative guidelines as to why he shouldn’t have received the vaccine. He was not COVID positive, he was not in quarantine, he did not refuse the vaccine,” says Sherri Staples.

Staples says she contacted employees at Tut Fann several times with no answers. But after News 19’s story aired, she received a call back from the facility.

“It honestly saddens me that I had to go to these lengths and reach out to WHNT in order to get results, and I do thank you all for that very much… Otherwise I still would not have received any type of communication or answer because it is impossible to reach someone on the phone over there,” says Staples.

Staples says she has since talked with Tut Fann’s administrator who took responsibility for the mix up. “And stated that she just put his name in the wrong pile and that’s why he didn’t receive the vaccine,” said Staples. “But he will be the first patient on January 21st at their clinic from 9 to 4 pm she said she will have him in the room and ready at 8:45 to receive the vaccine.”

Staples says, at this point, she hopes Tut Fann’s administration will keep its word and her father will get the COVID-19 vaccine. “This needs to absolutely positively happen,” says Staples.

Staples says she has only been able to visit her father once since the beginning of the pandemic and is holding on to hope that vaccinations mean she can visit again soon.

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