Vaccines for All: College Holds Second Vaccine Clinic

A Swarthmore student recieves their vaccine. Taken on the campus of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa on Tuesday, April ,20, 2021. (Photo by Martin Tomlinson ’23)

On April 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Swarthmore held its second COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Tarble Pavilion, an athletic facility on campus. This vaccine clinic follows the first-ever COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Swarthmore on April 9, during which medical personnel affiliated with Rite Aid, a pharmacy chain in partnership with the college, distributed 250 Moderna doses to students and faculty who qualified for the vaccine under Pennsylvania’s Phase 1B. 

Though the extremely limited number of doses for the first clinic meant that only a fraction of the current on-campus population was able to be vaccinated, the college obtained 1,500 Moderna doses for the second April clinic. Every on-campus faculty and staff member and every on-campus student who wanted a vaccine could receive one, as well as some off-campus students.

“[The] mega clinic wasn’t so bad because I went when there wasn’t a line … and the shot took no time at all,” wrote Eva Baron ’22 in a text to The Phoenix. “It was a bit awk[ward] sitting there for fifteen minutes after the fact, but other than that, it didn’t feel so weird. It felt nice to be vaccinated [and] was also nice to see everyone come and get vaccinated too, esp. the people that you could tell were from off-campus [such as professors] … because [it] goes to show that we’re making quite a dent in immunity in the Swat community.”

Elizabeth Mickelson ’22 also received her first vaccination at the clinic and appreciated Swarthmore offering this option to the community. 

“There were lots of people. It seemed well organized and efficient. I feel very grateful to have gotten the vaccine so easily and conveniently; it would have been more stressful to have to worry about fitting in traveling somewhere into my schedule and trying to figure out how to get there, so I feel very lucky. It hit me after I left that things are actually getting better, and it felt wonderful,” she wrote in a text to The Phoenix.

Every person in Pennsylvania above sixteen became eligible for vaccines on April 13, about a week earlier than the originally-intended date of April 20. In preparation, Swarthmore created a vaccine prioritization plan that divided its community members into five groups, with group one being employees of the college whose work requires them to be on campus and group two being on-campus residential students. In an email to students from Vice President for Student Affairs Jim Terhune on April 6, he wrote that during the April 20 vaccine clinic, the college would be able to vaccinate everyone in groups one and two, as well as many in groups three and four (enrolled students studying remotely in PA and faculty and staff members working remotely, respectively). 

Everyone who was vaccinated at the first clinic will receive the second dose of the Moderna vaccine on May 7. Everyone who received a vaccine on April 20 will receive their second vaccine on May 18, two days before the end of the semester for non-seniors.

Photo: Elizabeth Drake, climate action manager with the office of sustainability, stands next to Rite Aid Screening questionnaire while volunteering as a member of the COVID Care Team.
Photo: Vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine wait to be administered to campus community members.
Photo: Swarthmore campus community members wait the required 15 min after receiving their vaccine.

Photos courtesy of Martin Tomlinson for The Phoenix.

Anatole Shukla

Anatole Shukla '22 is an Editor Emeritus of The Phoenix. He is from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and studied economics, linguistics, and Russian language while at Swarthmore.

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