The University of Richmond, in partnership with Vaccine Here, an organization that provides COVID-19 vaccinations, distributed vaccines to 70 people at no cost to recipients on Aug. 26 during an on-campus clinic, said Mike Damon, head of the organization.
Holding the clinic was a collaborative effort among UR community members. Multiple UR offices, including the Office for International Education, Transportation Services and Residence Life, coordinated with Director of Emergency Management Brittany Schaal and Damon to bring the clinic to campus.
Vaccine Here began as an organization that administered COVID-19 tests called Test Here, but it evolved as COVID-19 vaccines were created. Currently, the organization works with the Virginia Department of Health to distribute vaccines across different parts of the state, Damon said.
“We really helped the Virginia Department of Health to get an outreach to different areas that they may be having a challenge getting to,” Damon noted.
Schaal identified the ability to for UR community members to choose from a variety of vaccines by partnering with Vaccine Here and the ease of access with the program offered by the organization.
“Vaccine Here is mobile, so they are literally going to bring an RV to campus and park over by the International Center,” Schaal said. “Additionally, patients can choose either the Moderna or Pfizer two-dose vaccine, or they can choose the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“We like to make sure that we get the input of all of the individuals, or as many as we possibly can, because everyone is pulling in so many different directions to ensure if we’re going to take the time to bring something like this to campus, we want to make it worthwhile."
Krittika Onsanit, director of international student and scholar services, said the OIE worked with Schaal to determine some of these logistics, such as the time and date of the clinic, as well as to provide an estimate of the number of students who needed vaccinations.
UR decided to hold the vaccine clinic on-campus because of its convenience for students and staff, Schaal said.
“We worked really closely with the Transportation Office, looking at the shuttles and looking at where the different vaccine locations were in regards to the different shuttle services we offer and found that a lot of individuals that were interested in the vaccine might not have the means or time to access them,” Schaal said.
UR used data gathered from students who had declared their vaccination status to understand who would want the vaccine, who had not had access to the vaccine previously and who would wait to be vaccinated until a vaccine received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Schaal said.
She also noted that it would take some time for UR to realize how the newly vaccinated people would affect the overall vaccinated population on campus because of the guidelines regarding people's ability to declare their status as fully vaccinated based on which vaccine they received.
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The vaccine clinic will return to UR on Sept. 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. near the Carole Weinstein International Center to offer the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Contact writer Abdulghaffah Abiru at firstname.lastname@example.org
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