Southeast Health’s mass COVID-19 vaccine clinic provides opportunity for college students

Volunteers include nursing and medical students from ACOM, Wallace Community College and Troy.
Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 5:32 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - It is day three of the mass Coronavirus vaccine clinic at Southeast Health. They have administered almost 3,000 COVID-19 vaccines this week. The hospital attributes the success to not only the staff, but the volunteers as well, many of which are college students.

“The fact that not only are we living in a pandemic, we are helping reduce the severity of a pandemic,” Henna Awan, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) student, said.

From learning about how to administer a vaccine in the classroom, to now volunteering at one of the mass vaccine clinics in the state of Alabama, these students are on the frontline of history as they are helping administer 1,000 vaccines a day. Volunteers include nursing and medical students from ACOM, Wallace Community College and Troy.

“You have so many people so excited to be a part of something so historic and it’s just exciting to be a part of it,” Awan said. “I’m honored that they chose me to volunteer.”

Being a part of an operation that many students may never get to.

“It warms my heart,” Sherri Dilbeck, Wallace Community College Student, said. “Just to know that I’m helping tons of people as they come through the line and not only me but my friends as well that I’ve made friends within the program.”

Traditionally, not all students get to administer vaccines other than the occasional flu shot. However, this clinic changes that.

“Me being able to vaccinate them and having the opportunity to even have vaccination available has been awesome,” Brittne Walker, Wallace Community College student, said.

Providing hands on experience rather than just reading a textbook.

“This program right here lets us be in the field and lets us show that we are passionate about patient care and we’re encouraging and motivating everyone to come and get vaccinated so they can be a part of the herd immunity that we are trying to get,” Awan said.

Keeping the motivation because for some, this virus hits too close to home.

“Seeing so many people so close to my own family have the virus and go through the symptoms of it and just knowing that what kind of pain they are in even months later, just being able to help somebody else not have to go through that, it’s a big deal for me,” Dilbeck said.

The students are administering shots, while waiting for their turn.

“Seeing how the community is reacting to the vaccine is actually just changing on my heart to make me want to get vaccinated more and more,” Walker said. “So, I’m really enjoying it and I appreciate it.”

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