Students get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Shelby Clark, Digital Editor


A student is going to hug her grandparents for the first time in over a year. 

Riley Hays, a sophomore public relations and advertising major, received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the university’s vaccination clinic Wednesday morning. 

Hays’ grandparents have been vaccinated. Hays said she plans to hug her grandparents after her vaccination process is complete. 

The university’s vaccination clinic was well organized, clear and easy, she said. 

“The student nurses who were giving the vaccinations were super nice, and overall it was a really great experience,” Hays said. “I am so lucky and blessed that USI has these resources here.” 

The university’s vaccination clinic opened 8 a.m. Wednesday and will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday at the Screaming Eagles Arena. 

Shawna Haywood, nursing instructor, holds a vial of concentrated Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19. The contents of this small vial can be diluted to vaccinate six people. (Photo by: Josh Meredith)

Students, faculty and staff from all four colleges came together to make the three-day vaccination clinic possible, said Ann White, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. 

Nursing students from the College of Nursing and Health Professions are administering the vaccine at the university’s vaccination clinic. 

“This is truly an unprecedented opportunity for them to take some of the skill sets they have learned to the public health, to the population health, to the community,” White said. “To be a part of this effort for the safety of all.” 

The “DNA” of the university is to support one another within the university community, said President Ronald Rochon. 

“I am humbled and I’m honored to be part of this community and watching people take care of one another,” said Rochon. 

With all the devastation COVID-19 has brought, Rochon said he has seen the people of the university community work to support each other. 

“Whatever you can do to encourage people to get vaccinated within your circles, I am asking you,” Rochon said. “Let’s all be ambassadors for the community.” 

The university’s vaccination clinic is the most convenient way for students to be vaccinated, said Hannah Simmons, sophomore civil engineering major. 

“It’s so much more convenient to do it here because you want to get vaccinated before you return home to your family,” Simmons said. 

Simmons’ grandmother is currently in the hospital with COVID-19 and is doing well now after a blood transfusion, she said. Simmons got vaccinated Wednesday, she said it was for the safety of herself and her grandparents. 

The vaccine was painless, said Clayton Davis, a sophomore mechanical engineering major. 

Davis said he got his first dose of Pfizer vaccine on campus Wednesday to ensure his safety and the safety of his family members. 

“We tried to keep our families separate during COVID,” Davis said. “Hopefully we can all get vaccinated and get together soon.” 

1,200 people are registered to receive their first dose of the vaccine during the three day university clinic as of 9 a.m. Wednesday. The university ordered 5,850 vaccines. 

The Indiana government sent an email Wednesday morning to the entire university community with a registration link, said Kindra Strupp, vice president for marketing communications. 

Family members of the university community can now register to be vaccinated at the university clinic, said Strupp. 

Unused vaccines will be used in the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on campus. The university vaccination clinic will also be working with Deaconess to ensure all the vaccines are used.