Photo by: Josh Meredith
Registered students will receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday at the university’s vaccine clinic.
Nursing students and faculty from the College of Nursing and Health Professions will be administering the first round of the Pfizer vaccine from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday in Screaming Eagles Arena.
The Indiana State Department of Health emailed students and staff a unique registration link Monday.
The email misidentified the university as Indiana State University, but the registration link is correct. Students can now register to be vaccinated on campus and faculty and staff can register for the vaccine waitlist.
The first dose of the Pfizer vaccine is arriving on campus Tuesday, said David Bower, chair of the COVID-19 task force and team leader of the COVID-19 vaccination implementation team.
The vaccine will be stored at negative 70 degrees Celsius in a refrigeration unit from the Pott College of Science, Engineering and Education. The vaccine will be moved to refrigerators in the Arena as needed. The Pfizer vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator for 5 days, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Indiana State Department of Health told the university on March 24 that they would send as many free Pfizer vaccines as the university requests. The university ordered 5850 vaccines and immediately began planning the vaccine clinic, Bower said.
It is possible to use all 5850 first dose vaccines in the three-day clinic, Bower said.
Bower said the COVID-19 task force would consider extending the hours of the clinic and requesting more vaccines if a greater number of students, faculty and staff register.
“We want to give everyone who has not been vaccinated their shots,” Bower said.
The university will not require students or faculty to be vaccinated, Bower said. He said getting vaccinated is the best thing students and staff can do to ensure the university is as fully opened as possible in the fall.
“The reason we have had such a low rate of COVID positive cases among the students and employees is because students and employees have been so careful following social distancing,” Bower said. “We’ve had tremendous cooperation, and we’re very grateful to the students and faculty and staff for cooperating.”
Bower said he wants students to focus on the common good of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. He said it is urgent that students and staff be vaccinated for the health of themselves, their families and the university community.
Senior nursing students assigned to practicum experience as well as students in mental health and pediatric rotations will be administering the vaccine under university nursing faculty, said Julie St. Clair, clinical assistant professor of nursing.
As a member of the COVID-19 vaccination implementation team, St. Clair is responsible for the clinical staffing of the vaccination clinic.
12 nursing students will be administering the vaccine in six-hour shifts. It’s a historic opportunity for nursing students to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, St. Clair said.
“It’s something that they will always remember,” St. Clair said.
She said the university community should feel confident that the students are well prepared to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
St. Clair takes a group of students on Thursdays to administer the vaccine at the Deaconess Downtown COVID clinic in addition to vaccination training received during university-organized clinicals with health care providers.
St. Clair said the university’s vaccine clinic will be similar to the Deaconess vaccine clinic because the students, faculty and medical professionals are familiar with the Deaconess clinic system.
Students will enter the vaccine clinic at the main entrance doors of the Screaming Eagles Arena, check-in and receive a record card of their vaccination.
Then students will go to the second floor to a vaccination station. After the student is vaccinated, they will be moved to a designated waiting area for 15 minutes. If the student has a known allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine, they will wait for 30 minutes.
Medical personnel will respond to any allergic reactions in the waiting period.
The second round of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered by students April 28-30 at the university’s vaccine clinic.
The Indiana mask mandate ends Tuesday, but the university mask policy and social distancing policies are in place until further notice.