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NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
Contact: John J. Glisch, Associate Vice President, Communications
Office:    321-433-7017 
Cell:         321-794-0324
Email:     glischj@easternflorida.edu

On-Site COVID Vaccinations Target EFSC Students

April 29, 2021 - One-hundred-forty Eastern Florida State College students were vaccinated on campus Thursday against COVID-19, saying they wanted to protect themselves and others from the deadly virus.

The vaccinations were performed in the Melbourne Campus gym by the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County with EFSC nursing students helping provide inoculations.

 
 
EFSC students get vaccinated
 
EFSC student Camila Chaves gets the first dose of the Moderna vaccine from James Gardner, a student in the college's licensed practical nursing program.

Among the 140 students getting vaccinated was Camila Chaves who called the free, walk-in process convenient and thanked the college for setting up the site.

“I just wanted to try and reduce the amount of Covid and be safe. I have family out of the country so in the future if I want to travel, I will be able to do that safely. I have been going to school the last two years and I live right across the street so this is wonderful,” said Chaves.

Another student, Zachary Armstrong, voiced similar motivations.

“I wanted to get the vaccine to protect my dad who is high risk and got his shot this week as well. I saw last night it was being offered and just thought I would come in and get it done,” he said.

EFSC nursing program students, who have been assisting with vaccinations since February at Jess Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, said they were proud to be participating.

“It has actually been very exciting for me, I really like meeting new people and answering their questions, educating them on what is going on. It’s nice to see the students coming in. Most people seem really excited to get it done,” said Jennifer Asch.

For nursing student Cory Jordan, the work had special meaning.

“This is very personal to me, I lost my grandfather to Covid before all of the vaccines were available and I hope this helps more people get vaccinated and bring this pandemic to an end,” she said.

 
 
EFSC nursing student Ginasia Lewisa vaccinates a student
 
EFSC's Ginasia Lewisa is one of several dozen nursing program students who assisted the staff from the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County.

The students received the Moderna vaccine in the first dose of a two-dose treatment. They can receive their second dose Thursday, May 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Melbourne Campus gym.

The Health Department may also offer the vaccine on other EFSC campuses and is expected to make the decision soon. Students who were not able to take part in the on-site vaccinations Thursday can visit the county's 211 Brevard information site for details on other COVID vaccine options.

The campus vaccinations are part of a growing effort by health officials to inoculate as many people as possible in Florida where the vaccination rate is lagging despite an ample supply of the vaccine.

So far, just 39 percent of the population in Brevard County has gotten at least one dose of a vaccine and 38.5 percent statewide.

Meanwhile, Brevard continues to see about 100 new COVID cases a day with many of the positive cases being people in their teens, 20s and 30s, age groups with low vaccination rates, officials say.

That’s worrisome because younger people tend to gather in large groups, giving the virus a chance to easily spread and mutate, according to health experts.

That’s why EFSC’s effort is so important.

“The students who were vaccinated today are invaluable ambassadors to their peers who may be more willing to listen to them than health officials on the need to get vaccinated,” said John Glisch, EFSC’s Associate Vice President of Communications.

“By getting inoculated, the students are protecting themselves and others and playing a big role in getting our community and nation back to normal. They have done a real public service by coming in and rolling up their sleeves.”