On March 29, Ohio extended eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults. But many Miami University students have gone to several different places hoping to get a vaccine of their own before the eligibility was extended.
Some students have traveled an hour or more outside of Oxford to get a vaccine where there was more availability or leftover doses.
Nico Jaworski, a sophomore anthropology major, found out about vaccine availability from a Facebook group called Jab Me Oxford. Jaworski, who drove to receive a dose at the Kettering Health District in Dayton, heard about the group from a friend.
“Every day, multiple times a day, people put out like, ‘Hey, go get vaccinated here,’ and [the Kettering Health District] was the first one I saw that had availability, so I just signed up right away,” Jaworski said.
Chloe Wheeler, a sophomore psychology major, went to a CVS in Piqua, Ohio, almost an hour and a half away from Oxford. Wheeler said she found openings in Piqua through the CVS website.
“I have my car on campus, so I didn’t mind and I was like, ‘You know, I just want to get this over with,’” Wheeler said.
Liz Browning, a sophomore double majoring in creative writing and professional writing, also went to a CVS in Franklin, Ohio. Browning also joined the Jab Me Oxford Facebook group and saw posts suggesting various CVS locations.
“By the time I saw [the posts], and I would look, they wouldn’t be available there, but I just knew to look at CVS because of that,” Browning said.
Wheeler said if she could give advice to people who have concerns about getting the vaccine, she would say that receiving it didn’t hurt.
“It was one of the least painful shots I’ve gotten,” Wheeler said. “Usually when you get a shot, you kind of feel it go into your muscle and this, you didn’t at all, you only felt the needle.”
Browning would advise people to trust the COVID-19 vaccine like they would trust other vaccines.
“I would just ask people to think about how they’ve reacted to medicine or vaccines at all in the past,” Browning said. “It’s not like the COVID vaccine is some huge anomaly or something like that to where it’s the only vaccine to ever give you a side effect.”
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For those who want a vaccine but have yet to get one, Miami received 3,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and clinics will be held in the Shriver Center.
Registration for the clinics was initially exclusive to students living on campus, but the Vaccine Coordinating Committee recently announced open registration for all Miami students. As of April 9, 900 appointments remain.
In addition, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available for college students across Ohio.
Wheeler said it’s important for people to get the vaccine because there are people who cannot get it.
“There are so many people who are immunocompromised, or something is preventing them from being able to get it,” Wheeler said. “I think if we want to get back to any form of normalcy, that we have to do it.”