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Vaccination administering events are currently being planned and expected to begin as early as late April for all interested GHC students.
“Georgia Highlands College is working to provide multiple opportunities for vaccination events for students and employees,” said President Donald Green. “Several are currently being planned.”
Students received an email on Tuesday, April 13 asking them to complete a form indicating their level of interest in receiving a vaccine and preferred location sites by April 16.
Results from the response forms will help decisions-makers determine when and where the vaccines will be offered.
GHC is partnering with West-End Pharmacy, based in Cartersville, to provide vaccines and administration. The Cartersville campus is currently the only campus that has a confirmed event.
Brenton Bigger, a student from the Cartersville campus said, “Personally, I think that they should be available to all campuses if the students want it.”
Juliet Kozee, assistant professor of English, said, “Cartersville is a central location to all of our sites… and one of the largest sites, so it makes sense that it was chosen.”
Kozee said, “It would be ideal if the vaccine administration event could be brought to all campuses and sites, but ideal is not always possible.”
In late February, GHC held a vaccine administration event for its faculty. Some students were not pleased that faculty were given an opportunity to be vaccinated before students.
Cartersville student worker, LaChaz Phillips, said, “To be honest, I don’t think that it’s fair that the faculty could get it and the students couldn’t.”
Some larger USG institutions were able to offer vaccines to faculty, staff and students at the same time because they had Health Services located on their campuses.
“I do realize that it may seem unfair that faculty and staff were offered the vaccines first, but I also understand that the decisions on who gets in line first must be very difficult to make with supply being so limited in the early stages of the vaccine rollout,” said Brandy Roger, assistant professor of biology.
“I think it makes sense that the vaccines were offered to faculty and staff before students, simply from the standpoint that there are more individuals who fall into older age brackets, and therefore into higher-risk categories than most students,” said Rogers.
The possible side effects and newness of the vaccine has some students apprehensive about the vaccine.
Noah Nichols, Cartersville student, is more concerned about the possible long-term side effects of the vaccine than the short-term problems of the virus itself. Nichols relates this to a coworker of his who received an experimental polio vaccine in the 1960s and suffered side-effects.
Nichols said, “[You] don’t want to force a vaccine that may have long term effects that we don’t know on anybody, but also if you’re going to be dealing with masses of people, might as well be safe.”
“If it’s provided but still a choice, why not?” said Nichols.
Bigger said, ”I don’t think I’ll be getting vaccinated until later on just due to the fact that the vaccine is still so new. I think once you have the vaccine, masks should no longer be a requirement since the vaccine has such a high rate of success so far.”
“I would like to thank everyone for getting vaccinated,” Kozee said, “You’re not only protecting yourself, but you’re also protecting the most vulnerable members of our society… It’s been wonderful to see our GHC community come together for the greater good and it makes me proud to be part of this institution.”