On Friday, April 16, the Coronavirus Planning Team announced that Sacred Heart University’s vaccination site will open for two extra days. Dedicated to vaccinating undergraduate students, the site will offer the Pfizer vaccine in the new atrium in the East Building at West Campus during these days.
“We heard you when you told us through our recent survey that you wanted to be vaccinated on campus,” said the Coronavirus Planning Team.
Appointments can be made through Hartford Healthcare MyChartPLUS.
The dates scheduled for students’ first doses are Thursday, April 22 and Sunday, April 25. Students’ second doses will be scheduled for Thursday, May 13 and Sunday, May 16.
The survey sent out by the Coronavirus Planning Team asking about interest regarding vaccination played a significant factor in getting vaccines for students.
“That allowed us to communicate with the state that there was an interest in getting vaccinated,” said Gary MacNamara, director of public safety.
Sacred Heart has been working all semester to secure vaccines for students.
“I’m ecstatic about it because most colleges don’t have that kind of commitment,” said Dr. John Petillo, President of the university. “And of course, it helps that we have a vaccination site on campus.”
These vaccines allocated for undergraduate students were made possible with the help of Hartford Healthcare, a medical site Sacred Heart has been working with for months.
“Hartford Healthcare has been phenomenal and very generous with us,” said Petillo.
A total of 2,000 appointments were made available on Friday. Split between the two days, the university is giving an opportunity for a big percentage of students to be vaccinated.
“Our goal is to be as normal as possible next semester, which will be affected by the percentage of vaccinated students we have,” said MacNamara.
Students who make appointments will be receiving their second dose before the end of the semester.
“We want to make sure especially those who are going home and leaving the state can get their first and second shot here,” said MacNamara.
Along with vaccinating undergraduate students, Sacred Heart is hoping to create vaccination opportunities for graduate students and employees.
“This is not a one and done deal,” said MacNamara. “We’re going to make sure everybody on campus who wants a vaccine gets a vaccine.”
Many students have already jumped on the opportunity to make appointments.
“I’m happy I got a vaccine appointment,” said junior Abigail Wunderlich. “I feel like it’s easier than getting a vaccine at home.”
Sacred Heart will also provide shuttles to West Campus on the dedicated clinic days.
“I think it’s especially beneficial for students who don’t have their cars on campus,” said Wunderlich.
Some students had already been vaccinated at Sacred Heart’s vaccination site prior to the additional dates.
“Making the appointment was a little tricky, but once I showed up, it was an easy process,” said senior Stephen Vaughan.
These upcoming dates are expected to be just as quick and easy.
“Block out a half hour,” said Petillo. “Then you get your shot and have the waiting period and you’re done and know you’re safe.”
Sacred Heart also introduced a raffle for prizes including iPads, iPhones and AirPods for students who receive their second vaccination and upload their information to the student health portal by the end of May.
While it is not currently required, Sacred Heart is strongly encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to receive a vaccine before the fall semester.
“We want to come back to a normal life and the best way to do that is if we’re over 80% vaccinated,” said Petillo. “Be smart, be wise, and be responsible to the larger community.”