Students getting accinated

Chelsea Collins, left, director of student health at Fairmont State, administers the Pfizer COVID vaccine to a student April 1.

FAIRMONT — Fairmont State is sticking to COVID precautions and now they’re sticking the arms of their students.

Thursday, the Falcon Center Gym was buzzing with students and faculty after the university sent out an alert saying they were holding a free vaccine drive for the first 600 students who show up.

“It was a quick turn around after we got the info from the state,” said Matt Swain, Fairmont State’s chief of police. “It feels amazing we can do our part to eliminate this virus.”

Fairmont State received 600 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the state to administer to the student body. After receiving their initial doses on Thursday, students will have to return April 22 to get their booster.

Swain, along with Fairmont State Director of Student Health Chelsea Collins, made a push to get the vaccines in the arms of students so those vaccinated could receive their booster shot before leaving for the summer break.

“The struggle is that our semester ends on April 25,” said Swain. “So it was a tight push to get as many vaccines done as we could.”

The 600 shots were given on a first-come first-served basis due to the quick turn around the university had to work with.

“In the first two hours, we vaccinated 280 students,” said Collins. “It took me six weeks to vaccinate 550 faculty members and we’ve already done 280 students.”

Fairmont State has fully vaccinated its faculty, but this was the first opportunity the university has held to allow students to get the vaccine.

Swain and Collins had one day to put the event together, and Collins said she thought successfully administering 600 vaccinations to students would be a long shot.

“We were just hoping for the best,” she said. “But this is far better than I could’ve ever imagined.”

Swain and Collins had one day to put the event together, and Collins said she thought successfully administering 600 vaccinations to students would be a long shot.

“I think we can reach the 600 today, I feel confident in that,” said Swain. “Fairmont State will continue to do what we can to get vaccines and vaccinate our campus community.”

But the university’s efforts don’t stop here, Swain said they’re committed to continue the vaccination effort.

“As many as we can get [vaccinated] today we will,” said Swain. “We’ll continue to brainstorm and try to come up with ways to vaccinate more next semester.”

With the numbers of new COVID cases dropping along with new COVID deaths, it’s still too early to let the guard down on the coronavirus.

“We know that when 60-70% of the general population is vaccinated, this pandemic will be over,” said Collins. “This has been the best thing that could possibly happen, where we can contribute to the end of this pandemic.”

Fairmont State did not release information on the total number of vaccines given on Thursday before deadline.

Reach David Kirk at 304-367-2522 or by email at dkirk@timeswv.com.

Trending Video

Recommended for you