Updated: Sep 20, 2022
The lines at Tuesday’s vaccine clinic were far shorter than those at the grand opening of the campus Chick-fil-A last week, despite publicity from the university and a choice of COVID-19 vaccines.
Belmont hosted a walk-up vaccine clinic to boost the student vaccination rate against COVID-19, which sits at 67.9% according to data released Monday. The clinic offered a choice of the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, as well as the seasonal flu shot and other routine shots.
The most popular vaccine at the clinic? The flu shot, not the COVID-19 vaccine. Belmont Health Services gave out 715 flu shots and 95 COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday.
After a last-minute location change due to rain, the event was moved from the lawn to the Maddox Grand Atrium, but it still went on as planned to serve Belmont’s students, faculty and staff.
“We worked hard to make sure this event goes pretty flawlessly,” said Chris Georgoulis of Belmont’s Office of Risk Management, who said a few students were waiting at the doors when they opened at 9 a.m.
Students had various reasons for getting their shot, and many of them already grappled with COVID-19 earlier in the year and hoped to avoid another round.
JD Wise, a freshman living on campus, got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the clinic hoping to avoid another stretch in quarantine after coming back to campus last week.
Belmont requires students who test positive for COVID-19 to seek off-campus accommodations for a minimum of ten days at their own expense — so avoiding another diagnosis can mean the difference between staying on campus and scrambling for temporary housing somewhere else.
Kya Cousino, another freshman living on campus, said she and her roommate both contracted COVID-19 earlier in the semester and quarantined, but it was positive “peer pressure” from her friends that drove Cousino to the vaccine clinic.
Cousino chose to go with Pfizer because it has received FDA approval, she said.
The clinic also served a large turnout of nursing students, like Lindsey Gross. Students in Belmont’s nursing program are required to get flu and COVID-19 vaccines in order to work in hospitals for the on-site clinical phase of their program, she said.
Nursing major Sarah Donavan said she was originally hesitant to get the vaccine because of pressure from her parents.
After receiving her second dose of Pfizer at the clinic, she said the experience was “a lot less scary than I thought it would be.”
Though the clinic was a one-day event, COVID-19 vaccines are available at Belmont’s Health Services by appointment between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Fridays.
PHOTO: The Belmont vaccine clinic occupied the Maddox Grand Atrium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday. Belmont Vision / Margot Pierson
This article was written by Connor Dayani.