N.C. A&T Launches Vaccine Clinic

Courtesy+of+Ameer+Robertson

Courtesy of Ameer Robertson

Ameer Robertson, Contributor

The vaccine clinic held on North Carolina A&T’s campus is a partnership with the Student Health Center, Cone Health, and Guilford County Department of Health & Human Services.

One of the clinic’s leaders, Dr. Robert P. Doolittle, and medical director of The Student Health Center, since May 2020. He has been practicing medicine in the Greensboro community since 1980 where he had worked at UNCG for 15 years and retired. He came out of retirement to be a medical director at NCAT. 

The university has been approved to begin distributing the Moderna vaccine and is being distributed at Alumni-Foundation Event Center. The Moderna vaccine requires two separate doses that must be four weeks apart. 

Every week the vaccine distributors inform the clinic of their shipment and the number of doses of the vaccine the NCAT clinic will be giving out the following week. On Thursdays, the clinic would be given details on their shipment about the following weeks first dose. The second dose will start to be updated every Tuesday starting on March 16. 

Due to the severe weather, the vaccination clinic was closed on Feb. 18. On the 22nd, the clinic reopened and gave out 700 doses for the day, and a few days later the clinic opened on the 25th and gave out 300 vaccination shots that day.

”When considering who to give the extra doses of the vaccine to we have a list of people that we think are vulnerable, like child care workers on campus, or the police department or the workers in the cafeteria, the housekeepers that have to clean up Hailey {the designated dorm to hold students that have tested positive on campus}” Dr. Doolittle said.  “But we rarely have extra doses.”.

Last week the vaccination clinic was geared towards health care workers missed from the previous clinic and anyone over the age of 65. This week, the vaccine is meant for K-12 teachers and anyone from the previous groups that have missed their first vaccination.

The process at the vaccination clinic is precise and it tends to flow very well. Registration for the clinic is required to prevent long wait times. When registered patients arrive at the clinic they will be temperature checked and asked to sign forms stating potential allergic reactions. 

With the Moderna vaccine, some common reactions have been fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. 

Following the required paperwork, patients are transitioned to the vaccine administration area and given their dosage. Then they go to observation where they wait for between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on their previous response to having reactions to previous vaccination shots, to assure no allergic reactions occur.

There are quite a few students on campus that have their own opinions on whether or not to take the virus. Heather Norris, a sophomore civil engineering student, is pro-vaccine because she has always taken vaccines when they come out.

”I do not want to get COVID-19, and I am more afraid of getting COVID than getting the vaccine, I have been vaccinated so many times, and the government approved this, so I am not afraid of it,” said Norris.

Duane Smith, a senior electrical engineering student, is anti-vaccine because he does not believe that this vaccine has pure intentions.

“Honestly, I think the vaccine is a hoax, the fact that the virus came out in China, it was made in a lab, came across the world, and months later there were reports on the news of a huge water party of hundreds of thousands of people in China where the virus started,” said Smith. “After doing my own research I believe that it is a conspiracy to put chips in people, and I do not want a chip inside of me…but if I am required to get one by law or a job then I will take the vaccine.”

Many Americans are hesitant to receive the vaccine, and for years Black Americans have dealt with medical racism which has led to this hesitancy.

In an article by The Associated Press, they stated that the vaccine was said to have been man-made in a lab, but multiple sources have proven that to be false, concluding that COVID-19 is a mutation from a virus already found in bats.

Dr. Doolittle stated that the Moderna vaccine has been well studied across multiple populations, and he has taken both doses himself. He recommends people taking the vaccine because there will be a higher chance of the virus mutating and being worse than the current COVID-19 conditions.

The vaccination clinic will continue to give out vaccination shots for the remainder of the Spring 2021 semester. 

If there are any more questions regarding the vaccination clinic and how to register, please call the Campus Information at 336-334-7500 or the Student Health Center at 336-334-7880.