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UNT vaccine clinic administers more than 2,20a0 COVID-19 vaccines, exceeds daily targets

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The UNT Student Health and Wellness Center (UNT SHWC) has administered over 2,200 COVID-19 vaccinations of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson as of Thursday said Kerry Stanhope, the Meadows Center for Health Assistant Director.

Stanhope provided the North Texas Daily with information regarding the university’s vaccinations. The current total of vaccinations administered is 2,227 as of Thursday. There were 1,750 partial vaccinations and 477 full vaccinations.

The COVID-19 vaccine offered varies from day to day. From March 24 to 26 and 29 to 30, 1,225 doses of the Pfizer vaccines were distributed. On March 31 and April 1, 525 doses of Moderna were distributed. On April 7 and 8, 477 total doses of Johnson & Johnson were administered.

Vaccines are available to students, faculty and staff for free. The UNT SHWC asks students to bring a photo ID and insurance care.

“When I got the email saying that it was open to all students, I filled out the interest form and heard back from them a couple hours later,” Victoria Pina-Smith, College of Visual Arts and Design junior, said. “We scheduled a time for the vaccine for a week later and it was super easy.” 

Pina-Smith said the entire process took about 45 minutes and was considerate of the time needed while she worked at her on-campus job.  

“It was super organized for how many people were there,” Pina-Smith said. “The woman at the front told everyone to fill out the QR code to check-in and fill out the needed information before getting their vaccination.”  

After getting the vaccine, students were designated to a mandatory ‘recovery’ room to schedule their next appointment. Pina-Smith said that in the room, students were given 15 minutes to rest, drink liquids and to move their arms to lessen the chance of having side effects post-vaccination.  

Students are encouraged to sign up for their vaccination through the portal and to check the patient portal regularly. If not checked, students will receive a call from a UNT SHWC staff member to ensure that they know their appointment date and time. If needed to cancel their appointment, they can also do this in the portal.  

“Health Center staff prepares enough doses of vaccine for the number of scheduled patients each day of the vaccine clinic,” Stanhope said on behalf of UNT SHWC Outreach. “When patients cancel or fail to shop up for their appointment, or if we can get extra doses of vaccine from a vial, we need to give that vaccine to someone before a certain amount of time lapses.” 

Stanhope said remaining vaccines, prior to the time expiration, are offered to different departments such as Housing and Residence Life or as walk-in appointments for students and employees.  

“We try hard not to waste any doses,” Stanhope said. “But we have had to waste some if the viable time lapses or if there is some issue during the reconstituting or drawing process. So far, despite having to dispose of some doses, we have exceeded our daily vaccination targets.” 

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UNT SHWC is only able to administer vaccines to any UNT student, UNT Denton campus employee or UNT System employee. Former employees (including retirees), former students (including graduates), family members of current students or employees and community members are not eligible to receive the on-campus vaccination but are encouraged to register through county health departments, pharmacies and other approved vaccine sites.  

“We are excited to do our part to vaccinate the UNT community and help our campus return to in-person classes and activities in the future,” Stanhope said. “We want to remind everyone to continue with infection control activities such as social distancing, wearing masks and washing your hands, before and after vaccination.” 

The site’s approval process started back in early fall 2020 and was approved in January 2021. Following a 10-step approval process with the state, UNT staff had to cover all, but not limited to, grounds regarding holding the vaccines.

These details consisted of possessing the fridges and freezers available to keep the vaccine at required temperature levels for frozen and thawed states, temperature monitoring equipment that would be utilized 24 hours a day, types of temperature probes for primary monitoring and backup monitoring, along with knowing the procedures for how the university would respond to an issue with a fridge or freezer not keeping the vaccines within appropriate temperature ranges.

In addition to following the remainder of the 10-step process, the UNT SHWC needed to verify staff had completed training on the proper vaccine handling.

After approval, UNT SHWC staff began requesting weekly vaccine allotments per state vaccine program guidelines.

During the stage of requesting vaccines, the UNT SHWC began scheduling individuals for vaccination appointments following priority guidelines from the state through a vaccine portal on Feb. 8.

In accordance with the updated guidelines, UNT SHWC had updated its vaccine portal to follow state regulations on March 19. According to an administrative announcement from UNT that was sent out on March 24, the portal will remain open indefinitely with no limits on registrants, and additional vaccination clinics will be scheduled as the university continues to receive allocations from the state.

To find more information about COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, check out the UNT Student Health and Wellness Center website 

Featured Image: Signage directing students to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment stands in front of the Student Health and Wellness Center. Image by John Anderson

Article Originally Published by Natalie Ochoa on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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