Fairfield Egan Nursing Students and Faculty Join Covid-19 Vaccination Efforts

Fairfield Egan Nursing Students and Faculty Join Covid-19 Vaccination Efforts

Egan students with Norwalk Hospital CNO Leslie Lincoln and President Peter Cordeau.

Egan students with Norwalk Hospital CNO Leslie Lincoln and President Peter Cordeau.

Under the guidance of Fairfield Egan faculty members, 35 senior nursing students will be vaccinating eligible candidates with doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

The first coronavirus vaccinations are underway in the State of Connecticut, and nursing students from Fairfield University’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies are preparing to join a team at Nuvance Health's Norwalk Hospital to help with a vaccine clinic beginning December 22. According to federal and state distribution guidelines, vaccines are currently available in limited supply for healthcare workers and nursing home residents.

Under the guidance of Fairfield Egan faculty members, 35 senior students will be vaccinating eligible candidates with doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, and helping to manage the clinic at Norwalk Hospital. Participating students and faculty members will also be offered the opportunity to receive the vaccine.

“As men and women for others, our Fairfield nursing faculty and students are uniquely poised and eager to participate in the Covid-19 vaccination clinic," said Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies Dean Meredith Kazer PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN. “During these difficult times, we are grateful for the opportunity to do our part toward bringing this pandemic toward its conclusion.”

“Since the first surge in the spring, we have been saying ‘we are in this together.’ Fairfield University nursing students volunteering to vaccinate our healthcare workers is a perfect example of this sentiment,” said Leslie Lincoln, chief nursing officer, Norwalk Hospital. “Having access to Covid-19 vaccines is a monumental milestone that hopefully will bring us closer to the end of this pandemic. We welcome and thank the nursing students and their vital role in vaccinating our healthcare workers.”

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has issued guidance pertaining to the administration of the vaccine, and students are being trained on pre-screening and post-screening protocols, as well as taking an injection refresher course.

"As a future registered nurse, I am honored to be a part of the Norwalk Hospital Covid-19 vaccine clinic. Upon hearing about this opportunity for senior nursing students, I knew I wanted to take part in something that has such a major impact on the future of both healthcare workers and the overall population,” said Fairfield Egan nursing student Sarah Uwazany ’21. “While I prepare to participate in this clinic, I cannot help but reflect that this will be something I will carry with me throughout my career as a nurse." 

Connecticut is currently in Phase 1a of vaccine roll-out. Those eligible to receive the vaccine in this phase, according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), include: healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents, and first responders such as EMTs, police, and firefighters. Details of upcoming phases between January and May have not been finalized, but the DPH anticipates that critical workforce, adults over 65, and high-risk individuals under 65 will be next in line for vaccination. 

More vaccines are expected to be available in early 2021. Nuvance Health and Norwalk Hospital will inform patients when vaccines are available for them. Vaccine appointments are not being scheduled at this time and there is no waiting list. Nuvance Health is also collaborating with public health officials to make sure its communities have access to vaccines when they are available.

"This year holds so much significance and power toward a strong future, and that is exactly what you see with the Covid-19 vaccine arrival. Therefore, I could not be more humbled to be a part of such a momentous and memorable day by giving my time and gaining crucial experience through the vaccine clinic at Norwalk Hospital," said Lauren Jamieson '21. 

Michelle Saglimbene, MSN, RN, a clinical placement coordinator and clinical faculty member at Fairfield University who is leading the University’s part of the initiative, received the vaccine this week. As an ICU nurse who works on a Covid unit, Saglimbene said she is moved to be a part of history, and struck by the magnitude of the moment: “I am grateful for the scientists who developed this vaccine so quickly, and the people who volunteered to do the trials. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.”

Tags:  Top Stories,  Egan School

Last modified: 12-22-20 2:17 PM

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