UNCG has officially started operating a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus. Although UNCG vaccinated some students in the month of March, the opening of the clinic will allow for more students to get vaccinated on a weekly basis through the end of the semester.
Last week, the clinic operated on a modified schedule for the Good Friday holiday, however, normal days and hours of operation will resume this week starting April 5. The clinic is being hosted in the Cone Ballroom of the EUC. As of right now, it is only open to employees and students who attend or work at Guilford County colleges and universities.
For many UNCG students, this will be their first opportunity to get vaccinated. Due to the grouping system implemented by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, most college-aged students have been unable to qualify to get the vaccine up until now.
Beginning March 31, individuals living in congregate housing became eligible to receive the vaccine as a part of Group 4. Residence halls fall under this category, thus all residential students are now able to be vaccinated.
On April 7, all students will be eligible to receive the vaccine, as Governor Cooper announced on March 25 that any adult that wants to be vaccinated will be eligible on that date.
Many students living on campus have been seizing the opportunity to attend the clinic and get their shot. Sophomore Jack Stevens expressed that he was nervous prior to receiving the vaccine due to potential side effects.
“I was a little nervous just because some of my friends had gotten it before me and they said that their arms were hurting a little bit, and I’m not one to really shy away from shots, but I always am a little nervous before I get one because I never know how my body will react to it.”
Still, Stevens chose to get his shot and expressed that his experience at the clinic was pleasant. “Once I finally sat down and got my shot, the lady was super nice and considerate.”
Many students on campus have been seizing the opportunity to get their shot. “I loved the clinic. There were a ton of super friendly volunteers.” said Austin Horne, a senior at UNCG who was able to get his shot on March 11 as a student staff member.
“It was really refreshing for me to just see a whole room of people…who are in the reality of the situation, and are working to help actively, that was really powerful for me to see.”
Becoming fully vaccinated is an essential step on the path to returning to normalcy. According to Google News aggregate data, the total percentage of people fully vaccinated in North Carolina is at 17%. Putting us on par with the percentage of people fully vaccinated within the entire nation.
The CDC says full vaccination does not take place until two weeks after the second shot for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and two weeks after one shot for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The CDC has released new guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated, including being able to visit other fully vaccinated people, and being able to travel domestically without needing to get tested or quarantine.
Senior Kayla Timpson, who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on March 13, said, “It’s still the same, I’m still going to follow social distancing guidelines, wear my mask, but I do feel a little bit more protected with the vaccine just in case anything happens.”
Timpson wants to stay consistent in her approach to safety. “I feel more comfortable interacting with my family and whatnot…but I still plan on following the guidelines that were established.”
The opening of this clinic serves as an important next step in moving towards rebuilding the fully in-person campus experience. The school has already started to move towards that goal through the announcement of small in-person commencement ceremonies for both the class of 2020 and the upcoming class of 2021 taking place May 7-8.
Many classes will be transitioning back to meeting in person in the fall along with campus activities and events that will return to being held on campus. Students have expressed excitement at getting back to normal campus life after spending a year trying to navigate college online.
When asked if he is looking forward to going back in person, Stevens said, “I am so looking forward to it. I’m tired of Zoom University.”