• Sydnie Balcer

Community impact of vaccinations at SWOSU

By Sydnie Balcer

For The Southwestern

Throughout locations at Cheyenne, Clinton, Taloga, and Weatherford, SWOSU has helped to vaccinate about 10,000 people.

Inclement weather earlier in the month only had a small impact on the vaccination process.

On Feb. 12, 942 people were vaccinated, and 1,044 people were vaccinated on Feb. 19.

Storage of the vaccinations was not impacted by power outages because they have backup power.

“There was minor impact on it,” SWOSU Rural Health Development Coordinator Randy Curry said. “We were mainly concerned about patients’ safety.”

SWOSU is distributing vaccinations to those in phase two of the vaccination process, which, according to Oklahoma News 9, “includes first responders, healthcare workers providing direct care to COVID-19 patients, adults ages 65 and older, teachers and educational staff, staff and residents in congregate locations such as prisons and homeless shelters, and public health staff who support front line efforts.”

On Friday, Feb. 26, SWOSU will be vaccinating about 148 teachers from Weatherford and Hydro at 3 p.m.

Curry plans to have private vaccination sessions for SWOSU students and faculty once the phases are open, but they have to wait until Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt opens it up.

“We should be able to maintain the pace we’re going at,” Curry said.

SWOSU has given roughly 1,000 vaccines every Friday since the spring 2021 semester began, and Curry expects SWOSU will continue aiding in distribution for the upcoming months.

The SWOSU campus vaccine distribution location is distributing the Pfizer vaccine, and the Cheyenne, Clinton, and Taloga locations are distributing the Moderna vaccine.

Curry said the Weatherford location may eventually distribute the Moderna vaccine as well, but they have not received any of those vaccines yet.

“We appreciate the students and faculty across campus (who) have made this possible.”

Those interested in volunteering for the vaccine distribution effort can contact Curry via phone at 580-774-3760 or via email at randy.curry@swosu.edu.

The process will require volunteers to sign up with the Medical Reserve Corps and undergo health department HIPAA training.

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