Health And Wellness Center Provides COVID-19 Vaccine To Staff And Students

Liberty faculty, staff and students gathered in the Alumni Ballroom on March 26 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Under the direction of Dr. Keith Anderson, Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness, the department organized vaccination distribution on campus, moving through the phases of the rollout.

“A portion of this Friday, we’ll be able to give the first dose to those who missed out on the last opportunity — so half of the day will be second doses, and then the latter half of the day will be for first doses,” Anderson said.  “We were able to identify our 1a employees, essential workers, and aid them in getting vaccinated, and then our 65+ community members, getting them vaccinated.” 

According to the Virginia Department of Health website, Virginia is in phase 1c, which expands access to all essential workers, as well as those over 65 and those over 16 with health conditions, which were included in phase 1b. 

Also in the Alumni Ballroom were several students from the School of Nursing, who participated in the clinic. Dean of the School of Nursing Shanna Akers said there were around 20 students and six faculty and staff supporting the event. The students are mostly upper-level.

“Our seniors are actually doing injections, the juniors are doing education relating to the injections, and the sophomores are observing people post-injection for any signs of a reaction,” Akers said. 

Akers emphasized that taking opportunities to invest in the community is a core value of the School of Nursing. 

“We do that through education. We do that through health clinics. We engage with churches to support various communities.” Akers said. “This is one way that we can model that kind of community support that all nurses should be engaged in.”

Gracie Saye, a senior nursing student said the vaccinations are part of a class, community health, which pushes nursing students into the community to get experience and to help. 

“Community health covers nursing, making a difference in their immediate circle,” Saye said. “A good way for nursing to get into the community and to outreach to other people is to administer this vaccine.”

According to Anderson, the clinic needs the ballroom to ensure accessibility and spacing in order to maintain physical distancing standards. He said that the previous dose was given at the Vines Center. 

Throughout this process, Liberty cooperated with Central Virginia Family Physicians, or CVFP who supplied the vaccine and monitored the event. 

There will be more opportunities, both for members of Liberty’s community to receive the vaccine and for the nursing students to give it. Anderson said that the next clinic will be taking place on April 19 to follow up with those who received their first dose on March 26. 

Anderson reminded students to be patient in the process of receiving the vaccine.  

“I think it’s important to let our students and our campus community know that vaccines are going to be available, and to be patient and perhaps not drive to other communities in search of a vaccine, but be patient for the next one that we’ll have here, either on campus or right up the road in the city,” Anderson said.

Christine Walker is a News Reporter.

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