Temple begins final week of vaccine clinic

The clinic will continue administering second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine tomorrow before closing.

Vaccine workers stand outside of James S. White Hall on May 5. | NATALIE KERR / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University began its last week of administering COVID-19 vaccines to students, faculty and staff at its White Hall clinic on Wednesday. 

The clinic had approximately 600 appointments scheduled for today and slightly less than 600 scheduled for Thursday, wrote Mark Denys, director of Student Health Services, in an email to The Temple News.

The university administered first doses of the vaccine to 2,754 students, faculty and staff starting on March 31 during the first three weeks of the clinic and is now administering second doses, which they will continue tomorrow before the clinic closes, The Temple News reported. 

Temple is administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which requires two doses at least 21 days apart, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Philadelphia supplies Temple with 1,100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine each week, and about half are intended for students, faculty and staff and the other half for Philadelphia residents, The Temple News reported.

Students and employees signed up to receive first doses at the White Hall clinic through the university’s vaccine interest form, while Philadelphia residents used the city’s vaccine interest form, The Temple News reported.

Temple is currently only administering second doses of the vaccine, and most recipients made their appointments after receiving their initial dose at the White Hall clinic during its first three weeks of operation. The university is only administering second doses to a few people who were not initially vaccinated at the White Hall clinic because people are recommended to receive both doses of two-dose vaccines at the same place, The Temple News reported.

Erene Saad, a first-year resident at the Kornberg School of Dentistry, felt that the process of signing up and receiving her vaccines at Temple was quick and efficient, and is glad she was able to get both doses, she said. 

“They made it really easy to sign up for the second one,” Saad said. “I’m glad that I eventually got it.”

Saad plans to use some vacation days over the summer to visit her parents in California, and feels safer seeing them now that she is fully vaccinated, she said. She also feels more comfortable seeing and treating dental patients now that she has both doses, Saad added.

Temple University Health System is offering vaccines at its campuses throughout Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks counties for Pennsylvania residents 16 and older, The Temple News reported. 

James Webb, the department coordinator for continuing studies at Temple, said signing up for his first and second doses at White Hall was easy and getting the vaccine was a quick process.

Webb looks forward to safely visiting his 97-year-old grandmother who lives in a nursing home in Virginia, he said. 

“I don’t get to see her that much, but now since I got my vaccination, both of them, I can go see her,” Webb added.  

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the CDC.  

Fully vaccinated people can gather with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks, but should continue to wear masks indoors around unvaccinated people and avoid large indoor gatherings. Fully vaccinated people can also gather outdoors without masks and dine outdoors with people from multiple households, according to the CDC.

Samuel Payne, a senior exercise and sports science major, feels relieved to get his second dose because it is a good precaution to take to make sure he doesn’t get sick, he said. 

“After seeing both my parents go through it and them turning out fine, I figured you know just for precautionary reasons I wanted to you know follow up and get my shots,” Payne said.

Payne plans to see his parents and travel to Jamaica this summer, which was another reason he wanted to get the vaccine, he added.

International travelers, including fully vaccinated people, must receive a negative COVID-19 test before returning to the United States, according to the CDC. Domestic travel does not require proof of a negative test, but all travelers must wear masks on public transportation. 

Philadelphia moved to Phase 2 of it’s vaccine distribution effort on April 16, expanding eligibility to residents 16 years and older, The Temple News reported.

As of May 3, more than 778,000 Philadelphia residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 524,000 are fully vaccinated, The Temple News reported.

Pennsylvania will lift all COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, restaurants and other businesses on May 31, though masks are still required indoors and outdoors until 70 percent of adults statewide are fully vaccinated, The Temple News reported. Philadelphia will not follow the state’s announcement but will ease dining restrictions on May 7, Health Commissioner Tom Farley said in a press conference on April 27. 

Grace Munley, a freshman undeclared major, felt nervous coming to get her second dose of the vaccine because after her first dose, she experienced some lightheadedness, she said. 

The clinic staff gave her Gatorade and a snack after her second dose and sat with her to make sure she did not experience any side effects, she added.

“They were super helpful and made sure I was okay,” Munley said. “I think it’s wonderful that they’re giving the vaccines at Temple, it was super accessible for me to be able to get it, and super easy, and now I’m done.”

Jack Danz contributed reporting.

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