Baker University to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic


Baker University is giving their students the opportunity to get a free Covid-19 vaccination shot on April 29.

Story by Caitlyn Baker, Staff Writer

Baker University has partnered with Douglas County to offer students and Baldwin City community members a chance to get the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for free. This Thursday, Apr. 29, a vaccination clinic will be held in Collins Gym from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. for those who sign up in advance.

Even though several students have already received their vaccine, Dean of Students Cassy Bailey explains the important process in bringing a vaccination clinic to campus.

“This has been a want and a dream for us at Baker to offer this option to our students. We didn’t know if we were going to have that option. We paired up with Douglas County and they were generous enough and agreed that we could have one here.”

One of the biggest factors that inspired the clinic was removing barriers for those located in Baldwin City.

“When asking students why they were choosing not to get it, a lot of students said to me ‘I’m busy, I don’t have hours to give’ or ‘I don’t have transportation,” Bailey said. “One of the hopes we had when arranging this was to make it as accessible as we could and to reduce some barriers. Everyone should have access to it and being in a small community should not be the barrier.”

Athletic Trainer and Dance Coach Lynsey Payne has also been involved in the set up of the vaccination clinic. She is hopeful the clinic will have a positive turnout regarding the number of attendees.

“We feel it’s important in our quest to return to normal to help students gain access to the vaccine,” Payne said. “It’s right on campus, so we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for students to walk over and get their vaccine.”

Associate Vice President of Capital Planning, Facilities and Emergency Management Scott George has had a key role in setting up the vaccine clinic and explains what individuals should expect when arriving at the clinic.

“Wait times prior to receiving the vaccine should be minimal if you have an appointment.  After you receive the vaccine, you do have to wait 15 to 30 minutes depending on if you have had reactions to vaccines before,” George said.

Bailey, Payne and George respect everyone’s decision to refrain from receiving the vaccine, but they mention how the Baker community’s willingness to get the vaccine will result in a quicker return to normal.

“I do encourage everyone to sign up and get the vaccine. The convenience of it being on campus is hard to beat,” George said. “I miss interacting with everyone on campus, so I’m willing to do whatever I can to help get back the best college experience for our students.”

Sophomore Public Health student Neill Bates will be volunteering at the clinic and looks forward to how it will positively impact the Baldwin City community.

“The vaccination clinic is something that I’m very excited about because it’s nice knowing Baker is doing their part making sure students can be healthy and safe while away from their homes,” Bates said. “Also, me volunteering seemed like a fun way to help a lot of people which is always a good thing.”

The second Pfizer dose will be offered on Monday, May 17 during finals week. Some students have expressed concerns about receiving the second shot given its stronger effects on the body for some individuals.

Students who would like to receive their first vaccine but are worried about the second dose around finals can coordinate with local health departments in the student’s home city about the second dose.

“There are students who are understandably concerned about how it will impact their body, what side effects they will get whether they be long term or immediate,” Bailey said. “The first dose is so essential, the second dose, we offer it. If that’s not a good time for you, then I can help you contact your health department to organize the second dose.”

Payne addresses some of the concerns by reflecting on some of the freedoms granted with receiving the vaccination.

“The vaccine is going to be our strongest weapon against COVID,” Payne said. “Another positive, once you are fully vaccinated, which means two weeks after your second dose in a 2-dose series, such as Pfizer, you would not have to quarantine if you were in contact with a COVID positive case.”

Students considering getting the vaccine on Thursday can learn more through Douglas County’s public health website here, or learn more about each specific vaccine here.