Vaccine clinic at Washington College distributes first dose of Moderna vaccine to community members

By Erica Quinones

News Editor

Washington College hosted their COVID-19 vaccine clinic in the John S. Toll Science Center on April 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The vaccine clinic was a partnership with ACME Markets Mid-Atlantic Division and the Kent County Health Department. The clinic distributed the Moderna vaccine. 

According to Director of Health Services Lisa Marx, WC originally applied to the state of Maryland in January to receive the vaccine through state resources. However, they have not been extended the offer as of yet, because resources are targeting mass vaccine sites. 

When WC did receive the opportunity to distribute vaccines through its partnerships, they were going to distribute the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine, because the clinic would occur near the end of the semester.

After the vaccine was momentarily paused on April 13 due to the reporting of rare blood clots, ACME Pharmacy assisted the College in procuring the Moderna two-dose vaccine.

Because the Moderna vaccine requires two doses delivered 28 days apart, participants who received their first dose on campus will not be eligible for their second dose until May 18. As this date comes after finals week, Marx said any non-graduating students who wish to remain on campus for their second dose may do so.

Students will not be charged for housing or meals for those additional days on campus. 

Information regarding how to apply for late departure will be shared with students who received their first dose at a later date.

According to an April 15 email from the WC Response Team, all WC students, students who deposited and intend to enroll at WC in August 2021, and active WC employees were eligible to register for the vaccine clinic. 

Marx said they later expanded eligibility to include admitted students, the families of faculty and staff, alumni, and local community members “who may not have the same means or transportation to get to the other clinics around the area,” to reach all parts of the WC community. 

When the clinic opened on Tuesday morning, the participant line was “out the door,” according to Quarantine & Isolation Coordinator Chris Sutton, as walk-in and pre-scheduled participants queued around the sidewalk outside Toll. 

Participants were excited to receive their vaccines. Senior Miles Cochran said the opportunity was “great, really, really, good. It’s awesome.”

Director of Strength and Conditioning Nick Triano said the school offering a clinic was “pretty impressive.”

“It’s good to be on the forefront of pushing the vaccine and helping the community,” Triano said.

Sam Sleva, a Chestertown resident, said the College’s vaccine clinic made getting vaccinated convenient for him. As a single father with multiple jobs, the opportunity to get vaccinated on his lunch break “made it super easy.” 

Inside the Atrium, the brothers of Kappa Sigma volunteered, maintaining the 15-minute timers for patients as they watched for adverse reactions to the vaccine, directing traffic, and handing out lollipops to vaccinated participants, according to junior and Service & Public Relations Chair of Kappa Sigma Michael Nichols.

“There’s this big feeling that’s like, I want to help out in a bunch of different ways. And whenever we see an opportunity, we just kind of jump in and take it up, try to do the best that we can to kind of help someone out,” Nichols said.

Students who receive their COVID-19 vaccine are asked to send copies of their vaccine card to health_services@washcoll.edu.

Featured Photo caption: Washington College’s Health Center staff stand outside the John S. Toll Science Center where the vaccine clinic was held. From left to right, College Nurse Lori Bunts, Administrative Assistant Vickie Anderson, Director of Health Services Lisa Marx, Medical Office Assistant Jessica Strong, Dr. SheKayla Hooks, and Quarantine & Isolation Coordinator Chris Sutton stand together. Photo courtesy of Kelley Wallace.

Below, Senior Matthew Swanton shows off his bandage after receiving his first shot of the Moderna vaccine at Washington College’s clinic. Photo by Erica Quinones.

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