As the world slowly receives more vaccines to reach herd immunity, SUNY Plattsburgh has contributed to this by offering a vaccination clinic for any students. SUNY Plattsburgh’s Health Center Staff and Director Dr. Katheleen Camelo set up vaccination sites on campus. On April 6, the first day college students were eligible to receive the vaccine, the health center offered students the opportunity to get the first dose of the Moderna vaccine at Memorial Hall.
“We need to beat this virus, and the best way to beat it is to stop it in its tracks and get people vaccinated, so we’re not spreading it and it’s not mutating,” Camelo said.
At the testing site Tuesday, all 470 available slots were filled by SUNY Plattsburgh community members. Camelo said the event was “immensely successful” and she encourages students to get vaccinated.
“It’s a very safe vaccine and it’s very effective,” Camelo said. “We want to get students back to face to face classes. We want them to be healthy. We want them to be able to go home and not spread the virus to their families. We just want things to be back to normal.”
The campus vaccination sites are helpful for students. According to Nick Lawler, a junior at SUNY Plattsburgh, “The vaccination was easily accessible on-campus.”
He explained that he thought it was a good idea to receive the vaccine.
“I was nervous about receiving the vaccine today, but I wanted to take this opportunity,” Lawler said.
Camelo worked with Clinton and Essex County Health Departments and the University of Vermont CVHP to make these vaccines available to students.
“As soon I knew students were eligible I reached out to my partners who immediately offered vaccines to the college students,” Camelo said. “There is a lot of research that’s been done on this and it is a very safe vaccine.”
Camelo has been involved with each step of the process and has been ensuring that students know about the availability of the vaccines.
“We will survey our students to see how many are vaccinated and how many want the vaccine. Then we’ll start doing our own clinic,” she said. “This is just the first wave of vaccines.”
Students who have not signed up have the chance to visit an on-campus vaccination site in the future.
Another vaccine clinic was set up April 8 for students with 200 slots available.
“It’s very convenient having this site on campus, it’s the only reason I got it,” Tom Austin, a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh, said. “I think it’s important for students to be vaccinated because it’s safer for everyone.”