In collaboration with state and local authorities, Marymount University offered Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to all Marymount students, staff and faculty this Wednesday in the upper gym of the Lee Center, and opened eligibility to members of the general public as well.
The clinic, which was the result of a partnership with both Safeway and the Army National Guard, allowed a total of 1,174 individuals to get vaccinated – exceeding the initial goal of Marymount administrators.
“This is the first time we’ve established a mass vaccination site here on Marymount’s campus, and it’s been a determined effort as we aim to get as many shots in arms as possible over the course of a single day,” said Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University. “We are planning a full return to face-to-face learning for the upcoming Fall 2021 semester, and hosting this clinic and boosting the vaccination rate across our University and beyond is a great step towards helping us accomplish that plan.”
“We’ve really emphasized the importance of getting fully vaccinated as soon as possible, especially before the summer arrives and our campus community disperses,” explained Dr. William Bisset, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Marymount University. “As we see this large turnout, we are all reminded of Marymount’s core principle of service to others and how each one of us is making a positive difference.”
The opportunity to administer the one-day clinic arose as a result of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s recent recommendations that encourage younger people to get vaccinated, as well as the expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines in the Commonwealth to include everyone 16 years and older.
“It feels great and I feel happy – hopefully, this is the light at the end of the tunnel for this whole pandemic,” reflected Marymount University sophomore and Track & Field athlete Dylan Vallade, who received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday morning in the Lee Center.
“I wanted to receive the COVID-19 vaccine because I travel a lot, and when I travel back home I want to be safe,” added senior tennis player Ana Schneider Jerez, who hails from Málaga, Spain. “And also around school, I hope everyone can get it and we can once again have social lives – you know, just be back together.”
As Pfizer’s vaccine requires two doses for maximum protection, community members will receive their second shot at Marymount’s next clinic on Wednesday, May 12. For those unable to attend this clinic, there are options at regional Safeway locations.
Marymount’s vaccination campaign is just one component in its plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and preserve the health and safety of the University community. Other key measures during the pandemic have included a face covering requirement, surveillance testing, no-cost testing on campus through a partnership with Arlington County, contact tracing and implemented social distancing protocols.