Students to be vaccinated in ‘mass-vaccination’ effort

Meadville Medical Center to vaccinate Allegheny College students

On April 5, Allegheny College Health Agency’s Dr. Gabrielle Morrow announced that Meadville Medical Center is moving to vaccinate all Allegheny College students in the coming weeks.

“I am thrilled to announce that (MMC) has agreed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to all Allegheny students as part of their mass vaccination efforts starting April 19,” Morrow said in an email to the campus community. 

This information comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned of “impending doom” ahead of a suspected fourth wave of COVID-19 to hit the United States, during a press release on March 29. 

“We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope,” Walensky said. “But right now, I’m scared.”

While COVID-19 transmission has been relatively low for Allegheny College, the United States and other surrounding colleges and universities continue to struggle with increases in cases after several states lift precautionary measures. 

“Just please hold on a little while longer,” Walensky pleaded in the press release. “We are not powerless, we can change this trajectory of the pandemic.”

Morrow said that access to vaccines for college students is a “precious opportunity” following her last email on March 31 which claimed that there are “still vulnerable people who have not yet been able to obtain the vaccine in Pennsylvania.” 

Despite concerns regarding how quickly the vaccine was created, the college attests to its effectiveness and encourages students to get vaccinated before leaving campus this semester. 

“The Allegheny College administration encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible, as do the CDC and ACHA,” the email stated. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.”

Unlike other COVID-19 prevention measures seen this semester, the vaccines will be offered to all students regardless of citizenship status or state of residence. This means that international students will also be included in the mass vaccination effort championed by the MMC, which has been recognized as a “preferred vaccine provider.”

According to the college’s travel and quarantine plans, fully vaccinated persons are not required to quarantine upon return to campus from travelling as long as they are asymptomatic with no symptoms of COVID-19 and had travelled within three months of receiving the last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals interested in returning back to campus from travelling who have received both doses of the vaccine must submit their vaccination card to ACHA.  

Ahead of April 19, all students are able to sign up to receive the vaccine on the MMC’s website if they are in a qualifying category. Students are encouraged to sign up soon because the second vaccine dose must be administered after three weeks of the first dose and move out is scheduled for May 21. Students must be punctual and bring a photo ID to the MMC clinic at the Park Avenue Plaza for their vaccination appointment. 

“Sign up (as soon as possible) for your first dose, to ensure that you get your second dose three weeks later before the semester ends,” Morrow said. “It is very hard to get your second vaccine dose at an alternative vaccination site.”

 The center anticipates to obtain more Pfizer vaccines ahead of April 19 to increase its capacity to vaccinate community members, Morrow added. 

The MMC needs additional volunteers to help with the vaccination drive. Any student interested in assisting with the MMC’s vaccination efforts should complete the form in Morrow’s email.