IWU hosts booster clinic ahead of spring break

Alessia Girardin, News Editor

Photo: Hetal Patel

Illinois Wesleyan held a booster clinic on Tuesday, March 1 from at Shirk Center for all faculty, students and staff to take part in before heading off for Spring Break. Illinois Welseyan Sophomore and Senior Nursing students benefited from this experience in addition to those receiving the vaccine. 

Dr. Vickie Folse, Director and Professor of School of Nursing, said that the final count of students that received that booster vaccine is 90.

 “It was a successful clinic that we had, there was a good number of participants– larger than anticipated,” senior nursing student David Torres said. 

According to the McLean County Health Department (MCHD), the total number of boosters done included 60 doses of Pfizer, 30 doses of Moderna (1 full dose and 29 boosters),  but no doses of Johnson & Johnson. 

“Hopefully these boosters will give students some protection over Spring Break and reduce the number of infections that are brought back to campus afterwards,” Cathy Anderson, Assistant Administrator at MCHD, said. 

Torres helped draw up the vaccines thanks to IWU’s nursing program, which allowed students to be a part of that process. He became involved in this clinic from one of his projects in public health to set up a booster clinic and assist in bringing more people to the vaccine. 

Senior nursing student Bianca Jones also was part of the process and mentioned that the clinic served as a way to give back to the community, which is the main goal of public health. 

“It is a great way not only for us to give back to our community but also give back to our students,” Jones said. In addition, she mentioned that she had the opportunity to see what the public health nursing scope of practices is. 

Because it was on campus, students had easy access to the clinic. 

“I think the clinic is a nice opportunity, especially for college students because it is harder for us to try to find appointments that work with our schedule,” Jones said. 

Both Torres and Jones did not give shots at the clinic, and instead helped in registration, got people in, and made sure everything ran smoothly. 

Two sophomore nursing students Elizabeth Mudiandambo and Taylor O’Day did in fact give their first shot, and they felt like it was a rewarding experience. 

“It was nerve racking,” O’Day said, but less nerve racking than being in a hospital setting. 

“We spend a lot of time in the lab and it was nice that I was in this type of environment rather than a clinical setting because it would have been more nervous in the hospital than here,” O’Day said. 

After all, giving their first booster is an accomplishment. 

“I can say that I gave someone a COVID vaccine and not very many people can say that,” Mudiandambo said. 

This experience has also broadened their learning to a new level. 

“I was administering vaccines and drawing them up, and drawing them was very different from doing the lab and practicing because there is something mentally different about having a real vaccine than just a saline vaccine,” O’Day said.