By Jac St. Jean
Springfield College continued its commitment to providing its community with the opportunity to get vaccinated, as per the vaccine mandate the institution holds, yet again this past Monday.
On Jan. 24, the College’s first COVID-19 booster clinic was held in the PE Annex Testing Center from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. partnering with the Behavioral Health Network (BHN)/Equity Vaccine Clinic, a regional behavioral health service provider.
Recently, BHN has been rolling out community vaccine clinics in the City of Springfield and surrounding areas. Jessica, a nurse for BHN, helped administer COVID vaccines — and the flu shot — to members of the College community.
“We came with all the vaccines,” Jessica stated. “It’s up to the person, and whatever stage they’re at, but we were prepared to give first (doses), second, and boosters so we had Moderna, Pfizer and J&J (vaccines).”
Jessica and three other nurses administered vaccines to over 100 Springfield College students and employees throughout the four-hour clinic.
Despite their small staff, the patients moved quickly through the first line to fill out a medical form with BHN, and then entered a second line to receive the vaccine from a nurse.
After receiving the shot, the students, employees and faculty members were provided chairs to sit in for a brief observation period.
BHN is continuing to provide vaccine clinics to the Springfield area, hosting them currently in elementary and middle schools, and planning to host another one down the road at American International College.
“Being in a college setting, it’s so many people,” Jessica expressed.
“You’re around so many different people. There are people who go home and stay on campus, so with everybody being vaccinated and being in the same classroom together, it minimizes the spread and the sickness so everyone can just stay healthy, go to school, and learn.”
Criminal Justice major AJ Menezes received his booster shot at the clinic, and expressed how effortless the process was to get a vaccine on campus.
“It was pretty easy,” Menezes said. “(Springfield College) sent out an email to us with a link to register, and it was really simple. You just clicked that you were getting a vaccine, you put down your medical information – it was pretty straightforward. I got the registration info done in two minutes.”
The clinic was held at a critical time in this semester, as the campus is currently seeing a spike in positive cases within the community. As of Jan. 25, the COVID-19 Testing Dashboard reports 334 positive tests in the past 30 days, and over 11% of those were reported this past week. Menezes believes that the clinic will bring hope for a more “normal” semester down the road.
“Hopefully, if the booster proves to be effective, and a large majority of the campus is vaccinated and boosted, then I don’t see a reason for [the college] to have such a tight grip on the community,” Menezes stated.
For more information on vaccine clinics hosted by BHN, head to http://www.bhninc.org. All information and updates regarding COVID-19 at Springfield College can be found at http://www.springfield.edu/covid.
Photo from Springfield Student