• 55°

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — In partnership with the Rowan County Health Department, Livingstone College delivered 500 first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday in an effort to broaden access for marginalized communities.

Interim Health Director Alyssa Harris said Saturday’s event was another example of a community-led initiative to continue broadening access to the vaccine. Staff for Rowan County Emergency Management Services assisted along with the local Chi Eta Phi chapter, a national nursing sorority. Chapter President Zena Thompson said past partnerships have included health screenings via Novant Health at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA facility.

Anthony Davis, who coordinated Saturday’s “In Your Spot — Get Your Shot” event, said the clinic was open to all members of the community, but the goal was to reach marginalized communities, including the Black and Hispanic/Latinx community as well as those who are unable to receive the vaccine via drive-thru clinics. Davis said he was happy to see a prominent share of the Hispanic/Latinx community visit the campus for the first time to receive the vaccination.

Davis said Livingstone College shared with its students facts about the vaccination. To people who may be hesitant to take the vaccine, Davis said “the numbers don’t lie.”

Of the 12,387 deaths from COVID-19 reported by state health officials, 25% of those were Black North Carolinians, though they only comprise 22% of the state’s population. Additionally, though Hispanic/Latinx North Carolinians comprise 9% of the state’s population, they make up 20% of all positive cases since March 2020.

“It’s about access and availability,” Davis said. “It’s about trust and transparency. Vaccine education is very important, and we know there are vulnerable people in vulnerable places.”

Davis said he was proud the event was led by a number of students who knew “this is the only tool we have to expedite a return to normalcy.”

Malik Hosendove, a sophomore studying history at Livingstone, said the opportunity to receive the vaccine was one that was long-awaited.

“It shows we are moving one step forward,” Hosendove said.

Hosendove said he previously battled COVID-19, and emphasized any resulting side effects from the vaccine are far easier to deal with than those associated with the virus. When he tested positive for COVID-19, he experienced a bloody cough and the inability to eat for weeks, he said. He likened it to having the flu “but suffocating at the same time.”

Though he and his friends were once hesitant, Hosendove’s friends are following his lead and plan to receive vaccines as well.

Jim Lynch, a Concord resident, was another person who received the first dose Saturday. Lynch said he traveled to Livingstone for the vaccination event because it was the fastest he could get in anywhere locally.

The health department initially planned to administer 800 doses of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. But last week, North Carolina followed the CDC’s decision to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination to further evaluate six rare cases of blood clots in women between the ages of 18 and 48. There was one death reported, and more than 6.8 million doses of Johnson and Johnson have been administered so far. Davis said the school was able to pivot within hours after the news to provide 500 doses of the Pfizer vaccination.

Harris said the pause to further evaluate the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccination should make people feel safer as it “shows the system is working as designed.”

Livingstone’s clinic was held in the New Trent Gymnasium and operated much like Novant Health’s regular vaccination clinic at the JF Hurley YMCA. Upon check-in, patients were gifted a bag containing water, crackers and cookies made by Livingstone College culinary students.

State health officials report that 46% of adults have received the first dose of the vaccine, while 33% of adults have been fully vaccinated. In Rowan County, 23% of the population has received the vaccine while 17% have now received both doses.

Livingstone College plans to host a second-dose clinic on May 8.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

Comments

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras

Education

Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week

Education

Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant

Education

Shoutouts

News

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

Education

COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight

Local

Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’