Belmont receives 1,000 more COVID-19 vaccine doses

Updated: Sep 21

Belmont has received another 1,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be distributed this week, with vaccines available Thursday and Friday between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Beaman Student Life Center.

“We will be expanding the number of days and times at which vaccination clinics will be offered, hopefully to accommodate a strong response by our campus community to get vaccinated,” President Bob Fisher wrote.

This news comes after the school vaccinated 500 people on April 1. As Belmont continues to ramp up on-campus vaccination rollout, all faculty, staff and students who are 18 and older are eligible to get the vaccine. Students can make their vaccine appointment through the Health Portal in their myBelmont account.

The efficacy rate of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 72%, with 85% efficacy against severe disease, according to Yale Medicine. This is lower than the efficacy rates of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but can still help prevent the virus, especially more serious cases.

“If the scientists tell us this is the best way to go forward then I trust the scientists,” said freshman Natalie Schilling.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been beneficial for college students as it is only one dose. Initial trials showed that immunity is typically reached between 15 and 29 days after getting the vaccine. This means many students will be returning home for summer fully vaccinated.

Freshman Matt Hillhouse signed up to get his vaccine Thursday. Hillhouse doesn’t have any hesitation about the vaccine and trusts the work the government has done to get the vaccines approved.

In his opinion, getting people vaccinated is the quickest way to end the pandemic and hopefully return things to normal in the fall.

“I think it’s a very beneficial move on Belmont’s part,” he said of the vaccine clinics.

Hillhouse said the single-shot vaccine will give students the ability to get vaccinated before going home, making the travel process safer and setting up Belmont for a return to normal in the fall.

The vaccine does come with some risk of side effects, including chills, fever, muscle aches, and tiredness, according to the FDA. Many who receive the vaccine experience few or no side effects.

Schilling felt under the weather from the vaccine but took it slow over the weekend and said all the side effects were manageable.

Students and faculty who meet eligibility criteria will be able to get their shot on campus. After getting the shot, Health Services has people sit in a designated area for at least 15 minutes to make sure there is no initial reaction to the vaccine.

This week’s vaccine clinic will continue through Friday. Should the school receive additional doses, students will be contacted through their Belmont email.

This article was written by Sarah Maninger.

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