The vaccination clinic will begin inoculating students on Wednesday, April 7.
SOPHIE CIOKAJLO | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, April 7, marks the first day that Butler students can receive the COVID-19 vaccine on campus. The first dose of the vaccine will be provided until April 9 and the second dosage will be administered May 4-6. All vaccinations will occur in the Efroymson Family Gym in Hinkle Fieldhouse.
On March 29, Butler announced that it would be opening a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus. Students will be able to get both doses of the Pfizer vaccine before the end of the semester and remaining doses will be offered to faculty and staff. The only students not permitted to register for a vaccination are those who are currently symptomatic or in quarantine.
Brent Rockwood, vice president, chief of staff, said Butler has worked closely with the Indiana State Department of Health and the Marion County Health Department to design the clinic.
“Our teams got together very quickly…to put a plan together to make this available to students,” Rockwood said. “That was the state’s directive: to vaccinate as many students as we can before the end of the semester.”
Rockwood said students will be able to remain on campus after their last final exam and stay for an additional 24 hours after they receive the second dose of the vaccine. He also said there are enough doses for 3,000 individuals to receive the vaccine at the Butler clinic.
Robert Soltis, the dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Angela Ockerman, the assistant dean for student affairs for COPHS, led the process to plan the clinic. Not only have COPHS faculty helped with planning the vaccine clinic, but the clinic will be staffed almost entirely with pharmacy student volunteers.
Margo Whitehead, a P1 pharmacy major, said that students have the opportunity to provide vaccines as well as perform the administrative work necessary to keep the clinic running, such as student check-in and ensuring social distancing protocols.
Pharmacy students are only allowed to volunteer to administer vaccines if they have taken a specific immunization course, which provides them with licensing.
“They’re trained under programs just like all pharmacists and medical professionals,” Rockwood said. “I want to make it clear that these are not trainees, they are certified immunizers and they’ve been involved with other vaccine sites.”
Jaclyn Collier, a P2 pharmacy major, said she is planning on volunteering for the second round of doses and that most of her peers have also planned on working in the clinic.
“It’s really cool to see the importance of your degree,” Collier said. “No one saw [COVID-19] coming, but the pharmacist’s role in giving vaccinations is becoming more important.”
The vaccine clinic is an opportunity for pharmacy students to put lessons from their immunization courses into practice, while serving their school community.
Both Collier and Whitehead said that they are excited to be able to contribute to the Butler student community in such a positive way.
“I know that the skills that I and my fellow student pharmacists are using right now will be incredibly valuable when we become practicing pharmacists,” Whitehead said.