Students administer thousands of vaccines to residents throughout Connecticut

April 13, 2021

Student administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a female patient

Hundreds of Quinnipiac students have worked diligently throughout the Spring to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to people throughout Connecticut.

The 380 students — representing our Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing — have been volunteering with Fair Haven Community Health Care in New Haven; Hartford Healthcare; Middlesex Hospital; the Quinnipiack Valley Health District; Trinity Health of New England; Waterbury Hospital; and Yale New Haven Health.

"This is an opportunity for our students to be part of history in a positive way," said Dr. Traci Marquis-Eydman, assistant dean for faculty engagement and associate professor of medical sciences in the School of Medicine. "It enables our students to be on the front lines as an active part of the solution. It also creates a connection with our community partners and immerses our students within the community, enabling them to see the joy of the vaccination process and to get a glimpse into the challenges that many communities face in getting those vaccines."

Marquis-Eydman, who coordinated the vaccine initiative for the schools of medicine and health sciences, said it has been uplifting for her personally to know the university is playing a part during these difficult times.

In addition to administering the vaccines, students are registering patients and observing the patients immediately after. Faculty have supervised students' efforts throughout the initiative.

"This is a win-win for the School of Nursing for clinical placements, for our clinical partners, who have received assistance in staffing their vaccine clinics, and for the students, who are learning valuable skills that will enhance their future practice," said Debra Fisher, assistant dean of student services in the School of Nursing. "Our students are on the front-lines, actively participating in this important initiative."

To protect our students, the university worked closely with the state to help students working on the front lines to receive their COVID-19 vaccines along with other health care workers.

In total, 192 nursing students, 121 medical students and 67 graduate physician assistant students are working together to administer the vaccine.

The interdisciplinary efforts began in January, and have been expanding as the state receives additional vaccines.

"The work is not done," Marquis-Eydman said. "While we recognize much has been accomplished, we intend to continue when the next class comes in in the fall. We plan to get additional volunteers to keep this mission going."

She urges everyone to get a vaccine.

"We owe it to each other to be vaccinated," she said. "We owe it to our families, ourselves, and our neighbors to take care of each other. It will take us one important step closer to 'normal.'"

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