Wayne State’s Campus Health Center is providing students, 16 and older, with Pfizer’s two-shot COVID-19 vaccine this Thursday and Friday at the Student Center, according to a Public Health Committee email to students Tuesday. 

Vaccinations are becoming widely available on Michigan college campuses since Monday, April 5 – when all Michiganders ages 16 and above became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

WSU originally announced in an email Saturday that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine would be distributed on campus. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug recommended a pause in J&J vaccinations Tuesday, announcing six rare cases of blood clots in patients who received the J&J vaccine. 

The news prompted WSU to switch from the J&J vaccine to Pfizer for this week’s appointments. WSU followed advice from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said WSU Director of Communications Matt Lockwood in an email to The South End Tuesday.

“I think listening to the CDC is obviously step number one,” Student Senate Director of Government Affairs Sailor Mayes said. “If they're saying that something that's going to be administered into our body is going to have adverse effects, then of course, I'm glad that the CDC is removing it and that the Campus Health Center was on board with that.”

Students must arrive at vaccine appointments having completed the Campus Daily Screener, wearing a face mask and presenting their WSU OneCard and government issued ID, according to the CHC. Arrival 10 to 15 minutes early is required to complete necessary paperwork and patients will be asked to stay in the clinic for 15 to 30 minutes after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Mayes said she is set to receive her COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday at the Student Center. She has also trusted the CHC multiple times prior with COVID-19 testing and general diagnoses.

Mayes has not contracted COVID-19, she said. She is getting vaccinated to continue avoiding COVID-19 and protect those who are not able to get a vaccine at this time, despite her diagnosed phobia of needles.

“It's going to be very difficult for me, and I'm not going to be doing very well during the process of getting the vaccination,” Mayes said. “But I know in the end it's all worth it for other people.”

WSU sophomore elementary education major A’Vree Garbulinski received her Pfizer vaccine at the Student Center on March 31, administered by nursing students working with the CHC, she said. She is scheduled for her second dose on April 21.

“My arm was a little sore (after the vaccine), but it really was not as bad as everyone says,” Garbulinski said. “It was a nursing student that did it and he did a great job. I was completely comfortable and I really hate needles so I was surprised.”

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine at WSU did not take long, Garbulinski said. She filled out a form and the process took about 20 minutes in total.

“There is no need to rush,” according to the Public Health Committee email. “We have enough vaccine(s) for you no matter when you schedule your appointment.”

The cancellation of appointments may result in the waste of very limited resources, according to WSU, as time slots may not be rescheduled. 

“We would have to scramble at the last minute to fill the slots and that has proven difficult based on our experience to date,” Lockwood said.

A waitlist is available if all appointment slots are full, according to the CHC. Students can still sign up to receive their COVID-19 vaccination if more doses are available. The list will help the CHC provide all available vaccine doses to eligible students.   

Students can schedule an appointment online to receive their free shot. For any questions, call 313-577-5041 or 313-577-5105.

Nour Rahal is news editor at The South End. She can be reached at newseditortse@gmail.com.

Photo by Quinn Banks, The South End's multimedia editor. He can be reached at multimediaeditortse@gmail.com.