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Fox Valley Tech nursing students prepared to help administer COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 4:10 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - As COVID-19 vaccine clinics ramp up, so does the need for vaccinators. Fox Valley Technical College has a group of students wanting to help, they’re just waiting for the call.

Vaccine clinics are becoming commonplace in communities across our area. More than 200 people were vaccinated on Thursday at Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital here today with the hope to increase that to 500 moving forward.

“It’s really an all hands on deck type of situation and we’ve seen great response from our staff as well as the community so we’re excited to have everyone on board,” says Jen Van Abel, a supervisor with Ascension.

The community response to help at the clinics is coming from places like Fox Valley Technical College. School officials tell Action 2 News more than 150 of their nursing school students are on a list to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine. They’re simply waiting for the call.

“Especially with knowing that the vaccine is hopefully going to be more available and more age groups now that we will be needed so there will be more and more people to help,” says Barbara Timmons, Chair of the Department of Nursing.

Administering an injection is something students learn in their first semester of school. And while the COVID-19 vaccine is different from injections they’ve studied, they have the basic knowledge that will make them an asset when the time is right.

Timmons adds, “Every site that we would go to has their own special training that our students and faculty would have to go through.”

It’s an opportunity the students are looking forward to, knowing the impact their participation in the vaccination process will have locally.

“Even before I decided to do this, I knew I wanted to help people in ways that they couldn’t help themselves and there’s been people working hard to make these vaccines and now if we have the opportunity to help spread that around for people to have the chance to save themselves and save others it’s just really cool,” says second semester student, Mallory Konopa.

Fox Valley Tech says, right now it’s signed up with ThedaCare and Ascension to help with the vaccination process, but it anticipates more requests will come as more vaccine becomes available.

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