By James Coughlin
The Wellness Center in the center of Worcester State University on Chandler Street has been the scene of a COVID 19 vaccination site for Worcester and
Central Massachusetts residents since February 16.
In a telephone interview with Rhiana Sherwood, a spokeswoman for St. Vincent’s Hospital, she said that the hospital “is a clinical partner for the site, overseeing the operations for the vaccine distribution.” Sherwood said it is collaborative effort involving St. Vincent’s Hospital, Worcester State University, WSU, Commonwealth Health, UMass Medical Hospital and the City of
Worcester. Sherwood said that it is a large-scale site, but emphasized, “it is not an official vaccination site for the state.”
“We are not one of the big sites for the state” – which she said are the official sites for the Commonwealth. Sherwood said that as of late March/early April, the WSU site has seen approximately 15,000 people with an average of 260 people a day.”
Patients need to register in advance, and have an assigned appointment time beforehand. “They have to register at the online website: vaccinefinder.org, and put in their zip code, and then select the WSU location,” Sherwood said.
“It is just like the deli at the supermarket,” she said “ We are there … day to day to make sure it runs smoothly.”
All adults in America are eligible to receive a COVID vaccination AS OF THIS MONDAY, per the federal government.
Sherwood said currently the WSU
site has the advantage of “lots of [FREE] parking.”
In an interview with Linda S Larrivee, Ph D, the Dean of School of Health
Education at Worcester State University she said, “The hours of the site depend on the number of doses available. When we are at full capacity, we have the maximum number of doses. The days are Tuesday through Saturday 9 to 5 (a morning and afternoon session).”
In an interview with Maureen Stokes, spokeswoman for WSU, she emphasized
that people cannot just show up. “They need to register,” she said.
Paula Bylaska-Davies, the Chair of the WSU Department of Nursing said there are approximately 100 undergraduate nursing students and more than 30 graduate nursing students administering the vaccines.
Among the nursing students who have given the shots is Rachel Casey, WSU
nursing student, class of 2021. “People were very appreciative and very happy to
see us,” she said. “They thanked us, over and over for what we are doing and that touched my heart. I told them it’s really our honor to be doing this.”
Those wishing to volunteer at the university can apply at http://
commed.umassmed/vaccine corps. Those desiring to volunteer must pass a CORI review. Call 508-963-1399