College COVID-19 vaccine clinics start this week

Miami University
Miami University

Vaccination clinics have started at Ohio’s college campuses, in an effort to make it quick and convenient to get immunized before heading out for summer break.

College students are typically younger and at a relatively lower risk for serious complications from the virus. But the virus can still be unpredictable and also students living in close quarters and interacting with the surrounding community can be significant sources of spread.

“Vaccination is one of the most important tools we have to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Steve Large, Miami University’s assistant vice president of health and wellness for Student Life. “We are full of both hope and gratitude to be able to provide these vaccines thanks to the work of Governor Mike DeWine and his office.”

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Most of the vaccines heading to college campuses will be the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is only one dose.

The majority of younger Ohio adults were ineligible until March 29, but now, depending on the specific vaccine maker, people in the state as young as 16 can get a shot. It is not clear how many college students have already sought vaccines but 2% of Ohioans 19 or younger have at least one dose, and 17.5% of Ohioans in their 20s — or about 271,900 people ― have received at least one dose.

“By offering vaccinations on college campuses we believe more students will opt to get the vaccine and they’ll get it with their peers,” DeWine said last week when announcing the program.

DeWine on Monday visited the vaccine clinic at Ohio State University as part of a push to make vaccines eligible to college students across the state. The governor said after the event that efforts to vaccinate college students allows for a significant number of people to get vaccinated in a short time frame.

University of Dayton officials said the school is an enrolled vaccine provider in the state and will release information about providing shots once it is available. A Wright State spokesman said Monday afternoon that the university has nothing to announce yet, but expects to soon.

Central State University will offer coronavirus vaccines to students on-campus during two vaccination clinics next week. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available from noon to 4 p.m. April 8, and April 9, at the Beacom-Lewis/Walker Gymnasiums.

“There is no difference between the vaccines as far as what really matters — keeping you alive, keeping you out of the hospital, keeping you safe,” said Central State University Medical Director Dr. Karen Mathews.

The university is strongly encouraging students to take advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated.

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“Young people are less likely to get sick from the coronavirus but they are significant carriers of the virus,” said Mathews. “By offering one-dose clinics on campus, students who wish to be vaccinated will have an easily accessible option to get the vaccine with their peers.”

Miami will offer vaccination clinics for its students April 10, 11, 15 and 16. Miami University has received 3,500 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the state designated for students. Pfizer is a two-dose vaccine; the second dose will be offered May 1, 2, 6 and 8.

Students who are living on campus will be given the initial opportunity to register for the vaccine, followed by students taking in-person or hybrid classes. If appointments remain available, the clinics will be opened to any Miami University student.

Miami also is holding an employee vaccination clinic on April 7 with an initial 1,000 of one of the two-dose vaccines provided to us from Ohio that are not part of the student allocation. While the vaccine is voluntary and not required, the university has encouraged its students and employees to get vaccinated.

Every Monday in April, area residents can get a COVID-19 vaccination at Wilberforce University. Wilberforce is partnering with the Greene County Health Department to conduct these vaccination clinics from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 12, April 19 and April 26 at the Gaston Lewis Arena gymnasium, 1055 N. Bickett Road in Wilberforce. To register, visit gcph.info/.

Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard, the university’s 22nd president, said this was the first time that Wilberforce has been an Ohio Department of Health vaccination site and there will be 500 doses available at each of the Monday vaccination clinics.

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“Wilberforce University is pleased to partner with the Greene County Department of Public Health to provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine to the local community,” Pinkard said “This partnership reaffirms our historic commitment of service to our community, especially given the prevailing narrative regarding the lack of access to the COVID-19 vaccine for rural communities of color. With this partnership, we are also modeling the kind of civic responsibility and social engagement that we instill in and expect of Wilberforce University students.”

Wittenberg University will host a COVID-19 vaccination on-campus vaccination clinic Thursday and expects to get more than 1,100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Second doses will be administered on April 29.

Staff Writers Micah Karr, Riley Newton, and Ed Richter contributed to this report.

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