Lexi Schnaser—Staff Writer
Dordt University collaborated with Sioux Center Health and the Iowa Governor’s Office on Wednesday, April 7 to host an on-campus COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Dordt students. The clinic, stationed in the DeWitt Gymnasium, vaccinated a reported 218 students plus additional staff. With this number, 23 percent of student living on campus have reported being vaccinated.
The set-up of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic mirrored the flu vaccination clinic held by the university in the fall. Those who were interested in receiving the vaccine registered for a time and filled out consent forms beforehand.
At the clinic, Dordt offered the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which was provided by the Governor’s Office. The university did not have a choice in which vaccine they offered, but the J & J vaccine is ideal for the circumstances. The single dosage is convenient for college students and does not require storage at the extremely cold temperatures like other vaccines such as the Pfizer and Moderna.
Dordt left the decision to be vaccinated up to students, encouraging them to consult with their parents and health professionals when considering receiving the vaccine.
“My parents had hesitations but going to the panel with the Dordt profs and getting more info about the vaccine and why we shouldn’t be worried really helped,” junior Hannah Vanderhooft said.
“I was really glad that Dordt was offering the clinic because it’s really important to offer vaccines to college students. And I’m really glad they’re having nursing students do this to get practice.”
A unique aspect of Dordt’s clinic was the administrators of the vaccine. When Dordt received word that they would be given vaccines, they contacted Sioux Center Health to help set up the clinic. Sioux Center Health then suggested having nursing students help as well.
The sophomore and junior nursing students were asked to help administer the vaccines and senior nursing students helped supervise and tend to students after vaccination.
“It was good to see people come in, and I think some people feel more comfortable after getting the vaccine,” sophomore Bianca VanGinkel, one of the nursing students who helped administer the vaccines, said.
“It was free so anyone who wanted it could get it, and there was also no pressure for people who didn’t feel comfortable getting it.”
The nursing students took an online course before the clinic to help them understand different aspects of the vaccine, how to administer the it, potential side effects, and patient education.
“It was my first time, and I was nervous, but I felt equipped to do it,” VanGinkel said. “I knew I had all the knowledge I just had to take the step to actually do it.”
Gareth Johnston, a junior, also received his vaccination on from the clinic.
“I was very excited to hear I could get the vaccine, especially being a Canadian student where there’s a slower rollout right now,” Johnston said.
He was not nervous about being vaccinated by a nursing student.
“When I walked in and first saw the students, I was like ‘Oh, cool. Dordt’s getting involved’” Johnston said.
“I was pretty happy to get it before the end of the semester and was thankful Dordt would go out of their way to do this for students.”
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available at Hy-Vee for all Iowa residents sixteen years of age or older.