Health Services Offers Pop-up Vaccine Clinic

by Katie Heneghan, Zoe DeFazio, & Caroline McCarthy, Web Editor, Staff Writer & Asst. Features Editor

One Manhattan announced an on-campus pop-up clinic provided by Village Apothecary for 500 first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. The clinic was open to administer vaccinations to staff, students and Bronx “neighbors” as stated in an email sent to the Manhattan College community on April 19th. 250 people made their way into Smith Auditorium to receive their first dose of the vaccine on Thursday, April 22nd.

Those interested in receiving the injection on campus were required to fill out an online registration form and choose an appointment time prior to arrival. However, due to the excess doses One Manhattan welcomed walk-ins on the day of the event. Even with extra encouragement for vaccination, the remaining half of the available doses were unfortunately discarded for lack of use.

Tamara Britt, Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, gained access to the doses of the vaccine, and quickly organized the pop-up clinic within one week of notification. 

“Last week, we were approached by the state to administer doses of the vaccine. It required us to register as an official agency – but we were already registered, but what we realized was that, in order to administer the vaccine effectively, you have to have a lot of resources in place,” said Britt. 

Manhattan College previously commented to the Quad that vaccines will not be mandatory for Fall 2021, but students and staff share speculations on how campus will function fully in-person without a fully vaccinated population.

“Hopefully that decision will be made relatively soon. If it were to be mandatory, you want to give everyone time to be able to do it,” said Jacqueline Martin, Coordinator of Campus Ministry and Social Action and organizer of the clinic. “Today we are hoping that as many people as possible do get it. We haven’t made any decisions about mandating, but we’re definitely still chatting about it and trying to figure out the best course of action for our campus,” said Martin. 

The college hopes to vaccinate as many students as possible before the start of the 2021 Fall semester to create herd immunity and return to a sense of normalcy on campus. 

When entering Smith Hall, Village Apothecary staff take down patients personal information including identification and insurance details. Afterwards patients were asked questions regarding health habits and potential allergies that can possibly affect one’s ability to receive the vaccine. 

Kelly shared her concerns with the workers upon entry and was aware of the risks regarding her vaccination. 

“I have epilepsy so there’s always fear that any shot, especially one that is getting so much discourse on the news, would trigger it,” said Kelly. “But I know that if we want to get through this pandemic, I can do my part of getting the vaccine.” 

Once a patient is cleared for COVID exposure and potential allergies, they are brought to the vaccine provider to receive their dosage. Students report that the entire process took between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on waiting time. Due to the uncertainty of how one’s body can handle a shot patients are then asked to sit down and wait for approximately fifteen minutes to identify any issues regarding the vaccination.

“There’s a waiting section. They all have to wait 15 minutes after getting vaccinated. If someone knows they are prone to allergies and reactions, they will wait for 30 minutes. There is nursing staff to keep an eye on everything as well,” said Martin. 

Those who received the vaccine at the Manhattan site will have the option to return to campus four weeks after the initial dose for their second shot, though most students will have moved off campus for the summer vacation. 

Freshman Jules Kelly found the on-campus site to be a convenient option for students who could not return home for vaccination. However, because the second dose will be administered during the summer, she plans to receive her second dose closer to home. 

“It’s been super helpful for someone like me who’s from another state,” said Kelly. “Instead of having to go into the city or go home to get it, I felt much more comfortable getting it here.”

MC students in particular were exhilarated to be one step closer to end the interesting experience regarding the pandemic. 

Kaileigh Hook-Wilson, computer science major couldn’t contain her excitement about her upcoming appointment.

“I’m excited to get the vaccine because I’m ready to get back to normal. A lot of my family members and friends are vaccinated and I’m just really excited to be less cautious and finally live life,” said Hook-Wilson.

The two dose vaccination is 94.1% effective. This statistic can greatly impact MC to combat the staggering positive cases that have been going on this semester. As the fall semester approaches it is exemplary that current students and staff get vaccinated in order to set a precedent to incoming students.