Miami University hosted its first COVID-19 vaccine clinic for staff, including student employees, on Wednesday, April 7. The initial 1,000 Moderna doses were administered by TriHealth and provided by the state of Ohio at no cost to the recipients.
Although the vaccine is not required by the university, it is highly encouraged, according to Miami’s official website.
In addition to TriHealth employees, several nursing students helped run the clinic as part of a community-based health class, including sophomore Kaelin Frazee from Miami’s Hamilton campus.
Miami also received 3,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that will be administered to students at vaccination clinics scheduled for April 10, 11, 15 and 16. Eligible students, faculty and staff can also schedule appointments at a non-Miami location through gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Each nursing student at the staff clinic worked an eight hour shift, directing the clinic and administering vaccines. Frazee said they prepared for the clinic in addition to their traditional curriculum.
“It’s been a lot of work on the back end,” Frazee said. “Normally in a semester, we don’t prepare for COVID, so we’ve had to study three vaccines. It’s been a lot of work and a lot of training.”
According to an update on Miami’s official website, the clinic’s registration opened for high-risk employees the week of March 22. These employees work all over campus including Campus Services, physical facilities, the library, recreation center, Armstrong Student Center, Student Counseling Service and the psychology clinic. Residence hall directors and resident assistants (RAs) were also able to register.
On March 29, all employees became eligible to schedule an appointment.
Cynthia Pool, a food service assistant at Garden Dining Hall, was vaccinated at the clinic. Although she always planned on getting vaccinated, she decided to register through Miami.
“I figured I’d just do it at Miami, you know?” Pool said. “What’s the sense in going someplace else if you have to wait in line?”
The proximity and convenience of Miami’s clinic incentivized many to sign up, including sophomore RA Josh Hubbard.
“I knew I would get it eventually, but the fact that it was available right here in Millett, that definitely impacted my decision to get it right now,” Hubbard said.
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However, some are worried about the possible side-effects of the vaccine, which include tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, nausea and vomiting, fever and pain at the injection site, according to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) webpage on the Moderna vaccine.
Although Pool said she was worried about getting sick and missing work, she decided to get vaccinated for her health and safety.
“I’m not that nervous about it, [and] I wanted to get it because it’s the right thing to do,” Pool said.
Hubbard said that being vaccinated helps ease worries from living and working on-campus.
“I’m just glad that I was able to get the vaccine, so now with my work and stuff I can stay well and help the students of the campus,” Hubbard said.
With faculty and students getting vaccinated in the coming months, Hubbard said he is looking forward to next semester.
“Getting the vaccine is the only way we’re going to get back to some kind of normalcy,” Hubbard said, “and it’s going to be a very great next semester once we’re done with this and we finish off all these vaccines and we can have a normal semester.”