Colgate, in collaboration with Community Memorial Hospital, began administering Moderna COVID-19 vaccines on campus today, in a first test of the University’s state-approved point of dispensing at the Hall of Presidents.
Student and staff employees working the clinic received their initial vaccine doses during a training session on Thursday, and now the University is poised to distribute about 150 doses today for eligible Colgate community members, with priority given to those in high-risk categories as defined by the State of New York.
Colgate received vaccination site approval by the state in January, but it was not until this week that doses became available for on-campus distribution. Dispensing the Moderna vaccine on campus is a team effort, with members of the University’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Student Health Services working in concert with local hospital officials and the Madison County Department of Health.
“Colgate has really come together in the past year to confront the threat of this pandemic as a community effort,” said Associate Vice President for Campus Safety, Emergency Management, and Environmental Health and Safety Dan Gough, who leads Colgate’s EOC. “Having the capacity to distribute vaccines on campus is a tremendous honor and a clear sign that we are moving in the right direction.”
While vaccines on campus are currently only for eligible faculty, staff, and students, Colgate officials hope that they can help distribute doses to the wider community at large once supplies become more readily available. It remains unclear when Colgate will receive the next round of doses for another clinic, but community members will be notified via email as the opportunity arises.
At the staff training on Thursday, Maya Souvignier ’23, a neuroscience major from Colorado Springs, Colo., and Anna Camp ’23, a molecular biology major from Darien, Conn., gathered around a table while Student Health Services director and University Physician Dr. Merrill Miller demonstrated how to properly give an injection into her willing patient (an orange).
“Folks may ask if they can do activities after having the vaccine, and the answer is yes,” Miller said. “There are no physical limitations.”
Both Souvignier and Camp are trained emergency medical technicians, who also work with the local Madison Ambulance Corps. Souvignier said the pandemic spurred her to train as an EMT last summer, and now she is ready to put those skills to work on campus.
“I just wanted to be involved somehow,” Souvignier said. “I want to get into healthcare when I graduate, and I’m also thinking about double majoring in anthropology since I am also interested in working in public health.”
Camp said she sees helping out with the vaccination clinic as an opportunity to contribute to the public good during the pandemic while also gaining valuable experience in a vital healthcare initiative.
“I remember getting my vaccine, and I know it can make some people really nervous, so anything I can do to help alleviate that is good. It’s just a very exciting time,” Camp said.