Now that the state of Kansas opened vaccine eligibility to everyone ages 16 and up, Kansas State’s vaccine clinic appointment setup looks a little different.
When vaccines first started coming to K-State for on-campus clinics, the state was still under its structured phase approach to vaccine distribution. That meant eligibility was limited to ensure vaccines were available for populations most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infection or more likely to contract the virus, like senior citizens and essential workers.
To accommodate those requirements and determine who among the K-State population fell into what phase, Lafene Health Center set up a survey system. That won’t be necessary anymore, director of nursing Abby King said.
It won’t just be a free-for-all, however, King says. Appointments will still be required.
“We have to be mindful of social distancing, we don’t want large crowds and all sorts of things, so scheduling is a great way for us to make sure we have enough vaccine for those that come, and that it’s organized,” she said.
Now, students, faculty and staff can book appointments for an on-campus clinic through the Lafene patient portal like they would for any other medical service, such as a flu shot or physical therapy. Eligibility won’t necessarily ensure an immediate appointment because availability will depend on how many doses the university receives from the Riley County Health Department each week.
Alice Massimi, the county public information officer, said the calculus for determining how many doses Lafene and other medical institutions in the community receive depends on the health department’s plans for each week.
“We’re very hopeful that we’ll continue to get a supply every week. Whether or not that’s a very large amount or not, we’re still going to distribute it,” King said.
For the next few weeks at least, allocations to Lafene are expected to be limited.
WHY GET THE VACCINE?
When senior in mass communications Dacey Hagedorn was offered an on-campus vaccine appointment in February, he happily signed up, despite feeling a little nervous about it. One of the main reasons he decided to get the vaccine, he said, was because he had a pretty serious COVID-19 infection in the fall.
“I wouldn’t wish my symptoms on my worst enemy. I wanted to protect myself from ever going through that hell again,” he said. “Along with that, COVID is a big numbers game. If I can be one more vaccination among 300 million, I’ll do it. It’s the right thing to do in order to fully open up.”
If other students have the opportunity to get the vaccine, Hagedorn said he’d urge them to take it.
“I would recommend students [get] the shot because COVID-19 can make anyone very sick,” he said. “I’m a healthy 22-year-old and was still curb-stomped by the disease.”
“It’s such a great opportunity to protect yourself and others,” King said.
OTHER VACCINE OPPORTUNITIES
Beyond campus clinics, students and faculty can receive a vaccine at any participating location by appointment now that there are no eligibility requirements. That includes pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, county health department vaccine appointments and a few pop-up opportunities around the county.
For more information about finding a vaccine in the area, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s vaccine search dashboard.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING TO AND KNOW ABOUT THE ON-CAMPUS VACCINE CLINIC:
The K-State vaccine clinic will be located at the Peters Recreation Complex during the day on Friday. People coming for the clinic should come through the north entrance. Parking will be set aside on the west side of the building.
Face coverings are required and you should not attend the clinic if you are currently isolating or quarantining. King recommends you come at least 15 minutes early.
Bring your driver’s license or campus identification card. Some additional paperwork is required — a vaccine consent form and a treatment agreement form available online. If you are getting a second dose, you should bring your vaccine information card with you.
When you come to the clinic be prepared to wait about 15 minutes after the fact for observation.
Hagedorn said the clinic he attended ran like “a breeze,” but he did experience some side effects — soreness at the injection site and dizziness and nausea — which is to be expected as the body mounts an immune response to the mRNA delivered in the vaccine.