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94-year-old World War II veteran, retired surgeon grateful to receive COVID-19 vaccine

“Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Thank you so much for doing this for me,” he said to the pharmacist administering the vaccine.

NEW ORLEANS — “Am I looking good?” 94-year-old Robert Boese said to the camera as he got out of the car, ready to get his vaccine to protect him from COVID-19.

He’s been looking forward to the day he could finally get the shot.

“I’m feeling so spry, you wouldn’t believe,” Boese said.

On Friday, January 8, he received his first dose of the Moderna vaccine at a pharmacy in Metairie, one of 107 designated pharmacies in Louisiana now vaccinated people over 70-years-old.

“I think it’s the best way to get rid of this stupid coronavirus,” he said.

Boese lives in Mandeville with family, but this pandemic has left him feeling more isolated than he or his family would like.

“They wouldn’t let me go anywhere,” he said.

He’s not used to that.

“We’re not intended to be closed up,” Boese said.

A World War II Veteran, Boese has seen a lot in his lifetime. As a Tulane medical school graduate and Chief Resident under Dr. Alton Ochsner of Ochsner Hospital in the 1950’s, Boese remembers working as a surgeon at Charity Hospital.

“We saw so much,” he recalls his experiences there.

He saved countless lives as a doctor and now believes this vaccine could save his.

“Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Thank you so much for doing this for me,” he said to the pharmacist administering the vaccine.

Boese is also the grandfather of WWL-TV Reporter Erika Ferrando. She hasn’t hugged him in almost a year now, something many relate to. This is hope that could soon change.

“All my grandchildren and children are upset they can’t hug me. I don’t like all that hugging anyway,” Boese laughed.

He looks forward to family gatherings like their annual Christmas Eve party that last year was held over Zoom. Now though, in a world full of chaos and confusion, he sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I am vaccinated!” he exclaimed leaving the pharmacy.

Boese will receive his second dose in four weeks.

More vaccines are arriving in Louisiana next week. The tentative allocation is 28,275 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 27,500 of the Moderna.

More than 7,000 people in Louisiana have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March.

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