ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Starting Tuesday, people 16 and older can sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Two local colleges are teaming up to get the first round of doses out to more than 500 UAlbany students.
But time’s ticking. With summer break on the horizon, there’s a limited amount of time to get the vaccine out to the on-campus student body.
“In two weeks we cannot do another point of dispensing (POD) because of the days our colleges go on summer break,” said Russell Sage Director of Student Wellness Tawana Davis.
Davis has helped coordinate the vaccination effort with Russell Sage and Maria Colleges in a pop-up POD at the campus on Tuesday. The colleges will use their nursing students to administer the Pfizer vaccine at the closed clinic. To do more clinics than ones already scheduled, Davis said students will need a specific vaccine.
“To get the vaccine they do need a one dose because if we went with Pfizer or Moderna so late in April they would not be able to receive a second dose with us,” Davis said.
Both Pfizer and Moderna require two shots. Davis said the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be more effective at getting the most students vaccinated.
“It’s essential for all students to do it so we can have a cleaner healthier campus,” said 21-year-old UAlbany student Ahmed Hassan.
Hassan will receive the vaccine at Tuesday’s clinic. While the clinic reached capacity within 10 minutes, Hassan said there’s another challenge health official’s face: doubt.
“Really, with our community, they’re saying, ‘I really just want to get vaccinated. I just want to make it safer for everybody,’” said Davis.
People 20 to 29 years old have eclipsed all other age groups with COVID infections in Albany County. Help may be on the horizon for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot with 1,600 vaccines to be divvied up between local colleges by the county.