Gannon continues mission to vaccinate


Faith Wilson, Staff Writer

Gannon University has been working to get students and faculty vaccinated as the spring semester is underway. The first clinic, which was scheduled to vaccinate 300 people on Feb. 9, was halted when a vaccine shortage occurred and only 190 vaccine doses were able to be secured for the clinic.

Those who could not get their vaccines were given priority in scheduling for the second clinic, which occurred from noon to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Of the 300 doses originally planned, 220 were expected to be administered, Doug Oathout, Gannon’s chief of staff and director of Marketing and Communications, said.

Those who were not able to be fit in for the first two clinics will have the opportunity to participate in the planned clinic set to occur on March 2.

So far, Gannon has been able to administer the vaccine to all of its frontline workers including nurses, police officers, COVID-19 testing staff and some of the custodians, approximately 65 in total.

Among the frontline workers, faculty and staff with health conditions, as well as students in clinical settings, in both Erie and Ruskin, have also been vaccinated.

Approximately 400 people have been vaccinated from the Gannon community.

The university has been working in conjunction with community partners Saint Vincent Hospital, UPMC Hamot and LECOM, to develop this plan to distribute the vaccine to Gannon’s frontline workers and those who qualified for the vaccine in Phase 1A.

When the phase began, vaccines were given to the hospitals first; however, the state ordered that they distribute 10% of them to community partners.

LECOM aided Gannon in starting the vaccine clinics now taking place, but the shortage raised questions about further delays.

“There will be a worry for some time – until we have a better understanding of vaccine manufacturing and distribution across the region,” Oathout said. “We will do our best to adjust.”

Grace Bobosky, a junior occupational therapy student who is planning to start her clinicals this spring, said she was one of the students rescheduled from the first clinic on Feb. 9 and received her vaccine during the clinic on Tuesday.

“Gannon notified me as well as the other students of the rescheduled clinic through an email which included the dates for the various steps,” Bobosky said. “Gannon has used a seamless process for making sure that everyone gets vaccinated and scheduled properly.”

Devin Williams, a junior pre-medicine and biology major, was also rescheduled from the clinic on Feb. 9.

Williams said that he was upset when he first received word that his appointment was canceled. However, Williams understood that it was only the first clinic and Gannon was doing its best to vaccinate the students and faculty.

“I am receiving the vaccine because I have seen what COVID-19 has done to my family members,” Williams said. “I don’t want anyone around me to have to experience this illness.”

There are still many students who hope to receive the vaccine this semester.

Among those are the many resident assistants who are on campus.

Lily Zheng, a junior pre-optometry major and resident assistant, has yet to be scheduled but hopes to be soon.

“I think Gannon is doing a good job getting the vaccines out to the students and faculty despite the shortage,” Zheng said. “I think this is a really good initiative on their part.”

Ryan Garich, a senior pre-medicine and biology major and resident assistant, said he is also waiting to be scheduled for his vaccine.

Garich said that he is “glad Gannon is taking the initiative to protect its students by partnering with LECOM and making a difference one student at a time.”

Even though the Gannon community has started the vaccination process, it is still important to continue following the CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.

Members of the Gannon community are encouraged to refer to the CDC for evolving health guidelines and safety recommendations and to visit for the latest information pertaining to Gannon and COVID-19.


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