This past Tuesday, Saint Mary’s Students participated in a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine clinic put on by SMC Health and Wellness Center.
By Evan Rodrigues
On April 7th, the Saint Mary’s College Health and Wellness Center sent out a schoolwide email encouraging students to get COVID-19 Vaccinations. Stating in part, “As you may be aware, Contra Costa County opened up vaccine eligibility to anyone over the age of 16 on March 30. We strongly recommend that you get your COVID vaccine.” reads the email from the Health Center. The message continues, “At this time we are not able to offer COVID vaccines at the H&WC, but will update you if that changes.” At this point, the Health and Wellness Center shared resources aimed at helping students make appointments at other vaccination sites.
The Health and Wellness Center, as promised, sent an update on April 16th. Stating in part, “We have some exciting news!” reported the H&WC, “The Health and Wellness Center will be providing a COVID Vaccine Clinic on Tuesday, April 20. We will be giving the Pfizer vaccine free of charge.” For students living on campus and in surrounding areas, this was great news. The ease of access and familiar location is appealing to busy students.
These weren’t the only attractive aspects of the event. “We will have a raffle, photo booth and much more fun planned!” Said the H&WC. The Health Center wanted to emphasize the celebratory aspect of the clinic, describing it as “a celebration of an important and hopeful milestone in the pandemic.”
On the day of the clinic, students were asked to complete the LiveSafe Health Screening, wear masks, and practice social distancing. Upon arriving at the Filippi Academic Hall check-in area, students were greeted with smiling faces. They were given vaccination cards with their next appointment date and handed packets with information on the Pfizer vaccine. After checking in, there was just a short wait in line before getting the Vaccine dose. The Process was very fast, with the longest part being the 15 minute wait time that comes after getting the shot. While waiting, students were given raffle tickets and told they could turn them in after their wait time was up. Aside from the check-in area, all of the vaccination stations were under tents outside in the corridor between Augustine Hall and the Filippi academic Hall.
There were popsicles, stickers, a photobooth and conversation from a distance, making the experience lighthearted in spite of the larger situation. The day ended with an email being sent out announcing “We have extended the COVID Vaccine Clinic to 4pm TODAY and have 5 vaccines left!” The next clinic day is on May 11th for those that need their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Victoria Vidales '21,