Helping the Hive

Shenandoah Encouraging Students Get Vaccinated

Demitri Matenopoulos

Shenandoah University’s vaccine clinic is now making the vaccine available to all students. Shenandoah has been partnering with Valley Health and the Lord Fairfax Health District to serve as a mass-vaccination site for Virginia and to help administer the vaccine and aid in its distribution since the start of January. 

Since then, the clinic has distributed more than 65,000 vaccine shots. On April 8, Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons sent out an email to all students letting them know it is their turn to start receiving the vaccine and encouraging all students to take full advantage of this opportunity.

“If we are going to ‘get back to normal’ in the next few months, we all need to get vaccinated,” said President Fitzsimmons. She added, “If you want a return to normal, if you want to gather freely and put aside the masks and travel and be safe, we need to get to herd immunity, and we need to know that we are there. So please, get the vaccine and then let us know you got it.”

Shenandoah University is starting to take steps back to normalcy with more and more students getting vaccinated each day. The school wants students to remember that being young and/or healthy is not a safeguard against COVID-19. 

“My parents both work in health care and they already got the vaccine, so I’m getting it to protect them,” said freshman basketball player Kayla Maxson, who was getting her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the clinic on April 14.

The school’s goal is to keep Shenandoah open and running smoothly for the remainder of the academic year so that students can continue with their classes, performances, athletic competitions, clinicals, and have an in-person graduation. Senior Trevion Walker, a stage management major, hopes that more students getting vaccinated will allow him to start taking care of his family again like he was doing before the pandemic, which stopped him from being able to work to pay for his schooling at SU.

“I work in theater and my entire industry is dead until people start taking this seriously and go get vaccinated,” said Walker, who was receiving his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the clinic on April 14.

Donnell Jones, a sophomore accounting major at Shenandoah University, got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine as well on Wednesday, April 14 and said he was grateful that the school is offering the vaccine to students free of charge. He explained how much he is looking forward to his campus and social life going back to normal.

“More students getting vaccinated is awesome because we all went through this pandemic together and it’s gonna be nice to see life go back to normal, where I can start hanging out with all my friends without worry again,” said Jones.

Approximately 295 students got shots at the clinic on April 14. With summer right around the corner, a lot of students are taking advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated as they will be going on vacations and going back home to their families at the end of the semester in May.

“I’m planning to go see my aunt in the summer once school is over, so I’m very happy to be fully vaccinated by then,” said sophomore esports major Derrick Waller.

School officials hope to vaccinate a large majority of the population at SU so that they can potentially have all in-person classes and events without masks in the fall.

Categories: Helping the Hive

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