SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Senior Rachel Ochoa is one of one hundred Augustana University students signed up and in line to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
“Since I’m out of state, I jumped right on it because I know it’s important to keep our community safe,” Ochoa said.
She’s excited for it to give her the chance to reunite with her loved ones.
“I have grandparents who are older that I like to visit, so being able to visit them after a year and a half is very exciting for me,” Ochoa said.
The university is partnering with Lewis Drug to give out doses of the Pfizer vaccine. COVID Response Coordinator Suzie O’Mera Hernes says that they were originally supposed to get Johnson & Johnson.
“Because of their recent announcement that they are suggesting a pause from the CDC on Johnson & Johnson, we quickly pivoted to be able to offer the Pfizer,” O’Mera Hernes said.
“It wouldn’t be the pandemic if something didn’t shift suddenly and have to pivot to something new,” Nursing Student Michaeyla Udlock said.
The shots are being given out by students, like Michaeyla Udlock, who are involved in the university’s nursing program.
“You’re not just injecting into a rubber pad, it’s a real person, and you’re getting to actually interact with people. Any time I get to do that, I consider it a big benefit,” Udlock said.
“I get to see how our nursing program is doing, and I have full confidence in them in giving it,” Ochoa said.
Ochoa says that she also sees some light at the end of this long tunnel that is the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just being able to go out and not have to worry about me giving it to someone or contracting it and getting really sick, that just, in general, gives me hope,” Ochoa said.
The University will host a second clinic in the coming weeks so students may get their second shot. Vaccinations continue through today: They begin at 10 a.m. and go till 12 p.m.