Temple University continued to administer first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to students, faculty, staff and residents for the third week at White Hall on Wednesday and Thursday.
The university planned to vaccinate nearly 1,200 people this week, wrote Mark Denys, director of Student Health Services, in an email to The Temple News.
“We have seen great response and turnout,” Denys wrote on April 14.
The university began administering the Pfizer vaccine at the invitation-only clinic on March 31, The Temple News reported. The clinic is open for six weeks, with the first three weeks used for first doses and the final three weeks for second doses. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses at least 21 days apart, The Temple News reported.
Temple will not expand its vaccination clinic past the scheduled six weeks, Denys wrote.
“We do not have any guarantee of additional vaccines so at this time we do not have any additional dates scheduled,” Denys wrote.
Temple will begin to administer second doses on April 21 for the clinic’s fourth week operating.
The university administered 550 COVID-19 vaccines during the first week of the clinic and 1,100 during the second week, Denys wrote.
Students, faculty and staff interested in receiving the vaccine filled out the university’s vaccine interest form before being contacted by the university to make an appointment. Philadelphia residents signed up through the city’s vaccine interest form.
Grace Munley, an undecided freshman, said the registration process for the vaccine clinic at Temple was “easy.”
“I signed up, got an email, walked in, and now I’m vaccinated,” Munley said after she got his first dose on Wednesday.
The vaccination process went smoothly, even though Munley was nervous about needles, she said.
“It was a really smooth experience,” Munley said. “I think it was really quick and efficient. I also liked how they monitored you after just to make sure you were okay and if you got the help you need, which I thought was wonderful.”
At the clinic, students, staff and residents walked into White Hall and completed a screening process before entering an adjacent room to receive a vaccine, The Temple News reported. After receiving the vaccine, guests waited in the residence hall for 15 minutes to monitor their reactions.
Philadelphia is currently in Phase 1C of its vaccine distribution plan, which includes sanitation workers, maintenance and janitorial staff, higher education staff and other essential workers, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Residents 65 years and older, those with high-risk medical conditions and health care workers are eligible under previous phases of the plan.
Changes to the local vaccine rollout occured when Philadelphia stopped administering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 13 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause in distribution due to six vaccine recipients experiencing blood clotting issues, The Temple News reported.
Nearly seven million Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered in the U.S. No vaccine complications were documented in Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
Philadelphia will expand vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 years and older on April 19, The Temple News reported.
Maisie Leidich, an undeclared freshman who received their first dose Wednesday, was grateful to Temple for providing a vaccination process to their students.
“It is really hard to get the vaccine now,” Leidich said. “I know that my friends from other schools are struggling to get it, so I think it’s cool that I can sign up and get it in three days.”
Philadelphia has fully vaccinated more than 432,000 people and partially vaccinated more than 638,000 people as of April 13, The Temple News reported.
As of April 14, 8,903 residents are partially vaccinated and 6,442 residents are fully vaccinated in the 19121 ZIP code, while 6,351 residents are partially vaccinated and 4,717 residents are fully vaccinated in the 19122 ZIP code, The Temple News reported.
Dolly Scott-Payne, coordinator of the Academic Resource Center who got her first dose at White Hall, was proud of the university for embracing the safety of its community.
“To give [the vaccine] to community members is a big plus on Temple’s behalf,” Scott-Payne said. “Very proud.”
The CDC advises fully vaccinated people to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing unless they are with others who are fully vaccinated, The Temple News reported.
Andrew Litts, a music studies adjunct instructor, said he looks forward to teaching in person again in the fall after receiving a vaccine on Wednesday. Litts views the vaccination as a means to return to in-person classrooms.
Temple plans to hold some in-person classes in limited classrooms in the fall and will continue to offer online classes for students who need or prefer them, The Temple News reported.
“We are all doing the best we can, the sooner we get vaccinated the better,” Litts said. “It’s been a rough year, teaching on Zoom is no fun, as I’m sure being a student on Zoom is no fun.”