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

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

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

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.

— Sarah Uwazany ’21

As the first coronavirus vaccination clinics were underway in December, senior students began 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 were also 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) issued guidance pertaining to the administration of the vaccine, and students were trained on pre-screening and post-screening protocols, as well as taking an injection refresher course.

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, 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.”

In addition to volunteering at outside clinics, nursing students along with Student Health Center staff and Griffin Health staff administered nearly 1,000 vaccinations at the first of two Covid-19 vaccination clinics for the University and Fairfield Prep community. The clinic was in partnership with Griffin Hospital. 

Kayla Beckman ’22 was among the Egan School nursing student volunteers who helped with injections. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience to help at a clinic like this at such an important moment in our world. Seeing everyone come together to coordinate this with Griffin Health — and working with Fairfield to make this happen — is huge and shows Fairfield's dedication to vaccinate their students and do what’s best for the community.”

Griffin Health has been partnering with the State of Connecticut to efficiently administer Covid-19 vaccines according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"The vaccination clinic for Fairfield University students and staff is part of a larger effort to provide lifesaving Covid-19 vaccination to individuals across Connecticut with particular focus on our state’s most vulnerable populations,” said Pat Charmel, president and CEO of Griffin Health. “Our commitment to improve health and well-being in the communities we serve is what fuels Griffin Health’s aggressive vaccination effort that consists of numerous community-based clinics, mobile vaccination teams, and mass vaccination sites intended to make vaccination highly accessible by bringing it into the neighborhoods where people live. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Fairfield University to protect its students and the family and friends they will return home to when the semester ends in a few short weeks."

Charmel added, "Many Fairfield University alumni are members of the Griffin Health family of caregivers, so being able to help meet the University’s vaccination needs is very meaningful."

Contributing to the vaccination effort is also significant for Beckman who shared, “It’s definitely been a challenging year getting used to this 'new normal,' but I’m feeling hopeful with this vaccination clinic. I’ve been involved in helping with the weekly Covid-19 testing, so to now help with the vaccinations — it has really come full circle. Being here to give back to the community has been wonderful.”

Tags:  Egan School


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