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SUNY Plattsburgh holds vaccination clinics for all students

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Tuesday marked the first day for New Yorkers 16 and older to be eligible to get the COVID vaccine and SUNY Plattsburgh wasted no time offering doses to all students.

School officials say an estimated 470 students SUNY Plattsburgh were vaccinated Tuesday. They say the university was one of the first colleges in the state to offer the vaccine to students and that it was all made possible because of partnerships in the community. “We want them to be healthy, first and foremost,” said Dr. Kathleen Camelo, the university’s director of Health and counseling.

Students lined up in the Memorial Hall gym for the clinic that began at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. “The fear of getting the virus, that scares me a lot,” said Yesh Ugavekr, a first-year student.

Camelo says they worked with local health partners at the hospital and health departments to secure nearly 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine. The hospital helped dispense 100 doses in the morning and the Clinton County Health Department spent the afternoon using its 360 doses. “They make up a big portion of our population when they are here. They have a big impact on the numbers in our area. Getting them vaccinated is another great step to moving forward,” said the department’s Molly Flynn.

The process was smooth for students. They could sign up beforehand or in person, wait their turn, and if they had any questions before the shot, they had crews ready to answer. Students had time to reflect during their 15-minute observation window. “Thank God! I didn’t have to travel at all the way from here, as an international student. I don’t know Plattsburgh very much, so thank God for SUNY Plattsburgh giving me this vaccine. It really means a lot,” Ugavekr said.

The clinic is offering a shot to all students no matter their home ZIP code. “Really, residents of the county where they go to school,” Camelo said.

Moderna is a two-shot vaccine, so the students will need one more dose in three weeks. That will bring them to the week before finals, leaving the students fully vaccinated before they head home for summer break. “We’re helping to protect the community that they are in right now and we’re helping to protect the community they’ll be going back to,” Flynn said.

The Essex County Health Department also gave the school 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine. Those are going to be used at Thursday’s clinic.

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