by Kassidy Hart-With the COVID-19 vaccine now available to the majority of the population, more and more students are choosing to participate in the vaccination decision.
“I got my first dose the second week of February and the second dose the first week of March through the Siouxland District Health’s Clinic at the Tyson Center,” senior Trey Kluender said.
As a substitute teacher, Kluender was one of the first students to have the option of getting the vaccine through Iowa’s vaccine distribution plan.
“I wanted to get the vaccine so I could be around others without having to worry about getting sick,” Kluender said.
Though Kluender is grateful to have been able to receive the vaccine, he says that a disadvantage was the several side effects he experienced.
“After the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, I had a headache, sore arm and was tired. After the second dose, I had a headache, sore arm, aches and was pretty tired. The symptoms started about six or seven hours after I received the doses and lasted maybe ten hours,” Kluender said.
Another student, junior Bryce Griffin, who has received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, says that he has not yet experienced side effects and does not expect to with this second one.
“I have been told as long as you hydrate well that day you will not have severe side effects,” Griffin said.
Griffin received his first dose of the vaccination at the Siouxland Expo Center. Because of personal experiences with family members who have already received the vaccine, he was trustworthy of the type of vaccine he was receiving.
“My mother works with doctors at one of the highest quality hospitals in the nation and they said Pfizer was their highest recommendation,” Griffin said.
Both Kluender and Griffin would encourage their peers to get the vaccine, seeing it as a step of returning back to normal. To make it even more accessible to students and faculty, Morningside College is hosting their own on-campus vaccine clinics to administer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to students who wish to get it. The first clinic was on Mar. 31.
“The clinics on campus have been a joint collaboration with Siouxland District Health. Morningside Nursing students have been helping with administering doses, but staff from Residence Life, Student Life and Judi Neswick, our campus nurse, have been doing the bulk of the work day of,” Chris Spicer, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said. “Last week, 170 doses were administered.”
A second vaccination clinic was scheduled for April 13 but was cancelled due to the CDC recommending a pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. In the clinic cancelation email sent out by Spicer to the campus, he stated that Drilling Pharmacy has appointments for the Pfizer vaccine regularly available at the Morningside Public Library.
Morningside first offered the vaccine to high-risk employees, then rolled it out campus wide. Because they offer the flu shot each year, they have found that the COVID-19 vaccine clinic has closely mimicked that same experience for students. An on-campus clinic has offered ultimate ease of access for the community looking to obtain the vaccine.
“Those who found going to the Tyson Event Center intimidating or too time-consuming have been able to receive a vaccine quickly and easily,” Spicer said.