STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — University of the Pacific hosted a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic for school staff, students and faculty who are eligible.
It was a pilot program partnership with San Joaquin County Public Health Services. While it was UOP’s first vaccine clinic, they have been immunizing the community for decades.
“I was actually supposed to be back home in San Francisco but I drove all the way back just to get the vaccine,” said student Chris Ng.
When word got out that the university would be holding the clinic for those eligible, Ng didn’t hesitate to sign up.
“We just came up to a parking spot and the shot was quick. I didn’t, honestly, it was so fast I barely felt it, so it was great,” Ng told FOX40.
As a UOP physical therapy student, he’s eligible for the vaccine along with other students, staff and faculty in health care related programs. Faculty who are 65 years and older, medical staff working at the health center and campus police are eligible are as well.
San Joaquin County Public Health services designated the university as a provider.
“We have a wonderful partnership with our community and our students so that everybody takes care of our community together,” said Maria Pallavicini, UOP provost.
The university was supplied with more than 300 doses.
“I fully expect that we will be able to open this up for others, as we move forward,” Pallavicini said.
Pharmacy professors and students planned and coordinated the clinic with the help from other health care program students and faculty.
While some students were vaccinated, others got hands-on training administering vaccines.
“We were all just very excited. We’re health care providers and it’s really important that we can help take care of our communities,” said Dr. Judy Tippett-Whyte. “And this is a perfect step moving forward to help train and make one step further ahead of this pandemic.”
Tippet-White, president of the California Dentist Association, was one of the dentists to volunteer at the clinic after the state announced dentists could be vaccinators.
She says having faculty and hundreds of health care students as trained and certified vaccinators will be vital when the vaccine becomes available to the public.
“That means we get more shots in the arm, the more people that we have that can provide the vaccine, the more we’re going to get vaccinated quickly,” Tippett-Whyte said.
Next week, UOP’s school of dentistry, along with pharmacy and physician assistant students, will host another drive-thru vaccination clinic in San Francisco in partnership with their public health department.