Rocky Roque left the Bone Student Center April 15 happy to have received his second, and final, coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination dose. The graduate student was motivated to get vaccinated because he has family at home who are especially at risk of the highly infectious disease.
“It’s been a one-year journey of uncertainty, living on edge, and being at risk the entire time,” Roque said. “It feels very liberating, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Illinois State had fully vaccinated 4,261 faculty, staff, and students at on-campus clinics as of April 23, according to Emergency Management Deputy Director Teresa A. Chapman. The University began hosting clinics for frontline workers and vulnerable populations in January. The clinics are now open to all Illinois State students, faculty, and staff and the general public now that the state has expanded access to vaccinations to anyone who is at least 16 years old.
“Planning for and administering vaccines on campus has been a long, complicated, and frequently changing process with many campus and community partners at the table to make it successful,” Chapman said. “I’m incredibly proud of the many dedicated faculty, staff and students who worked on this project to make it successful. We hope everyone will get vaccinated if they can!”
Initially, Student Health Services and Mennonite College of Nursing staff and students administered the vaccines on campus. Now, the Illinois National Guard and McLean County Health Department are running the clinics with support provided by Illinois State’s Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality; Emergency Management; and Facilities Management staff.
Illinois State has surveyed faculty, staff, and students to help determine how many individuals have received the vaccine or plan to get vaccinated at an on-campus clinic or an off-campus site in advance of the fall 2021 semester. The University is strongly encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated.
Junior Laney Miller said she participated in the April 15 clinic to not only protect herself but to help protect others.
“I feel very relieved to have gotten my second dose of the vaccine. I am satisfied with my decision and the decision my friends and family have made to get vaccinated. We are done with COVID and want to alleviate it as fast as possible.”
The University will host the last “first-dose” clinic on campus on May 13 until further notice due to widespread vaccine availability in the community. Second doses for this clinic will be administered by the McLean County Health Department at the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington on June 3. Previously scheduled second-dose clinics will continue at the Bone Student Center as scheduled, with the last taking place on Thursday, May 27.