Recently, the Pfizer vaccine has been doled out to different groups and communities around the world. Now, HSU is joining in and offering the vaccine to employees that are cleared to work on-campus and are considered higher risk.
According to Cris Koczera, interim director of Risk Management and Safety Services at HSU, an estimated 637 doses are going to be picked up and distributed to HSU staff and faculty in the coming week.
“What we get is highly dependant on what’s available through the county,” Koczera said. “We find out pretty much the Thursday before how many we’ll have to pick up the following Monday.”
For Koczera, it is pleasing to see the fruits of her and her colleague’s collective labors regarding getting the vaccine center up and running at HSU.
“It was a lot of coordination with the county because we are functioning as a closed pod unlike a lot of the other sites throughout the county,” Koczera said. “So, our pod is really intended just for HSU staff and faculty at this time and then once we are able to open it up to the wider student population, that will be the plan.”
Among those who are eligible are student employees who work in “auxiliaries” like housing and dining services. Montel Floyd is a senior who is majoring in critical, race, and gender studies with a concentration in ethnic studies. He works for Housing as a resident advisor in the dorms and is appreciative of the fact that he and his fellow RA’s are able to receive the vaccine considering their importance to the university.
“We are the ground workers for residents right now,” Floyd said. “We have the contact with them — daily basis, on our rounds — and if issues arise, we have to have contact with them — sometimes like knocking on doors.”
Even so, Floyd is a bit skeptical of getting the vaccine due to what he has heard about what has happened to some people that have gotten it. Still, he believes that the vaccine will do more good than harm.
“I know it’s important to getting it, I have grandparents that I will be going home to soon,” Floyd said. “And also just got into grad school in Georgia and also going to be working for housing there as well, so I think it’s very important to protect myself with the vaccination.”
Rae Robison is a professor in the department of theatre, film, and dance who is going to get the vaccine on March 10. Doing so is especially important to her because her father recently passed away from COVID-19 complications and her mother tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’m an only child,” Robison said. “He was my person. And right now, I literally just got off the phone with my mother. She’s 77 and they don’t have enough vaccines for her in Arizona.”
Her determination to get the vaccine is fueled by reasons other than the fact that her parents contracted COVID.
“My partner works for St. Joes and we are very aware that if you get it, you can get it again,” Robison said. “The longer my mom and my aunts are not immunized, the more stress I have.”
Robison is humbled by the fact that all of the staff at HSU will get vaccinated.
“Almost all of the staff and faculty and support folks and everyone that works at HSU are older, and in that bracket” Robison said. “I will feel better when the majority of us can get vaccinated.”