PORTSMOUTH- In the simplest terms, Shawnee State University students and faculty have not had lead a normal past few semesters. An event started on Thursday that will conclude on Friday afternoon could contribute to a shortened timeline for future normal semesters.
Through the SSU Health Clinic, students above the age of 18 and others were able to receive the one dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Two shifts were held- one between 9 a.m. and 11:45, and the other between 1 p.m. and 4:30- inside Waller Gymnasium.
As of Wednesday evening, Office of Marketing & Communications Director Elizabeth Blevins said approximately 200 appointments had been scheduled for the two-day event and walk-ins would also be accepted.
Among the 102 individuals receiving the shots on April 8, those willing to speak with the Portsmouth Daily Times had varying reasons for taking part in the event.
Trisha Mingus spoke with the Times in the waiting zone where all recipients of the vaccine would sit for 15 minutes before being cleared to leave the premises.
“I was actually in the parking lot at Smith’s (Pharmacy) when I heard about it,” she said, an alumna of the university where her daughter also attends.
After dealing with a severe bout of COVID-19 earlier, there was no hesistancy in her decision to take the vaccine when the opportunity presented itself. She is still dealing with the after effects.
“I think it was a very important thing to do for my family,” she said, her prior encounter with the virus leading to heart damage and neurological issues.
For one fifth-year accounting student, he was just waiting for a vaccine clinic that aligned with his sleep schedule.
“It seemed like all the clinics were in the morning and that’s too early for me,” said Maxwell Peters, receiving his dose slightly after 3 p.m.
And like many college students, he wanted to please the boss.
“I always knew I was going to take the vaccine because my mom would bug me about it if I didn’t,” he said.
In a message to his fellow Bears, SSU President Jeff Bauer hoped events like these will allow the university’s plans for a full return to campus life- in-person classes, on-ground student life events, ticketed athletic competitions, and a full range of academic and co-curricular activities- by Fall 2021 a reality.
While previously celebrating the return of the NAIA National Champion men’s basketball team, the next more normal activity will be Spring Commencement. The event, set for May 1, will be held outside rain-or-shine and limit seating to three guests per graduate.
“Navigating the pandemic has prompted innovation and the adoption of new technologies on campus that will continue to improve the way we meet the needs of our students for many years to come,” reads in-part of Bauer’s message. “Our Fall 2021 semester will reflect some of these lessons learned, particularly in the areas of increased flexibility, online instruction, and student engagement.”
With this being the Johnson and Johnson, these students will not be required to return for a second as those that received either Pfizer or Moderna. In SSU’s first mass vaccination, where over 400 people received their first dose of Pfizer last Thursday, the second dose is scheduled for April 22.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3101 ext. 1931, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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