AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University launched a vaccine clinic this week with plans to administer around 3,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to students.
Due to recommendations not to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Iowa Department of Public Health has allocated Pfizer vaccines for the university to use in the clinic.
“We’re hopeful for our students to be able to have those experiences that they traditionally have at Iowa State,” said Erin Baldwin, ISU director of the Thielen Student Health Center.
In March, ISU President Wendy Wintersteen announced the school’s plan to return to full in-person classes, though the exact protocol for making that happen has not yet been established.
“Hopefully, a step back to normalcy, genuine normalcy, as opposed to slight normalcy as has been the last couple months,” said Ethan Opitz, a student from Manchester. “My number one priority is hopefully going back to traveling, seeing things outside of just Iowa.”
“I had COVID back in September, and since then I just kind of hunkered down,” said Will Gavins, a student from Madison, Wisconsin. “It’s more something that I’m getting for the sake of my parents and my grandparents.”
The school gave out around 1,100 doses last week, but there is no way of tracking how many ISU students have the vaccine, as some have gotten vaccines elsewhere. Also, the Board of Regents has said that vaccine will not be a requirement to attend classes.
“It’s been really encouraging to see how many people are interested in getting vaccinated,” said Baldwin. “We’ve had a lot of folks take an opportunity to get vaccinated on campus and some folks got it other places, really encouraged people to get vaccinated wherever they could so we can get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”