By Hadassah Umbarger, Staff Writer
Newman University has partnered with the Sedgwick County Health Department to provide a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, which will happen from noon to 5 p.m. today. Students, faculty and staff were sent an email on Monday by Student Life that included details and a link to sign up to receive a vaccine.
Dean of Students Christine Schneikart-Luebbe said that 200 spots were available for today’s clinic and that a second one will be held on April 29, when people who get shots today can get their second doses.
The clinics will be held inside of the Dugan Library building in the area that was previously the bookstore.
“We really want to encourage students to get vaccinated, so that the protection level and the herd immunity on our campus goes up,” said Newman President Kathleen Jagger. “We have pretty good coverage right now with faculty and staff, but we’re still encouraging everybody to get vaccinated. That will help us in terms of planning, not only for the rest of this semester, but for fall, in terms of what precautions would need to still be in place.”
Schneikart-Luebbe said that the clinic on campus came about after a poll was emailed to students March 31 asking whether they would be interested in receiving the vaccine on campus and whether they would rather have the clinic on a Thursday or a Friday.
The poll was up for only 24 hours, but Schneikart-Luebbe said that the department got a good response from students in that time. Of those who responded, 80% said they would like to be vaccinated on campus, and most said a Thursday would be best.
The vaccine being offered on campus is the Pfizer vaccine, Jagger said.
“That’s the vaccine that I got, and most people feel very little impact — maybe a sore arm or mild symptoms — with the first dose,” she said. “But there are more people who have significant reactions to the second dose.”
Because of that, and because of the first and second doses needing to be scheduled three weeks apart from each other, Jagger said that they were paying special attention to when the second clinic would take place in the semester, so that side effects from the vaccine would not interfere with students’ school lives too much.
Junior Daniel Knolla said that he was excited to get the vaccine and received his second dose on Monday. He also said that he would encourage his fellow students to get it as well.
“It’s a very easy, simple process,” he said.
Jagger said that 75-80% of students would need to be vaccinated before the precaution levels on campus could be loosened to what they were pre-COVID.
“We don’t want to become complacent and then have a big upsurge in cases,” Jagger said.
Junior Brenden Schwartz said that he was also excited to receive the vaccine.
“I’m so grateful that Newman is providing a way for students to get it on campus,” he said. “The sooner everyone gets the vaccine, the sooner people no longer have to worry about getting sick.”
Those who missed the deadline to sign up to be vaccinated on campus can sign up to receive the vaccine through Sedgwick County at www.sedgwickcounty.org/covid-19/vaccine/schedule.
PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Unsplash