Scheduled Gannon vaccine clinic canceled

Scheduled+Gannon+vaccine+clinic+canceled

Michael Guido, News Editor

Gannon University had to cancel its planned vaccine clinic Tuesday, the latest obstacle in vaccinating members of the community against the COVID-19 virus.

The announcement, sent in an email by Doug Oathout, chief of staff and director of marketing and communications for Gannon, said that future “Dose 1 clinics” that had been planned for March 23 and beyond were being suspended because the vaccine program operated by Gannon partners LECOM and the Erie County Department of Health was moved to the Bayfront Convention Center.

Members of the Gannon community who already received their first doses of the vaccine at either the Feb. 9 or Feb. 16 clinics will still get the second dose on campus either March 9 or March 16.

Oathout said in the email that the situation continues to evolve and that difficulties have arisen due to the supply shortage of the vaccine.

“As soon as we have more information to share we will do so,” Oathout said.

Oathout said further that the university was grateful for the continued composure of the Gannon community.

“We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this uncharted situation to do our best in keeping our campus community safe and healthy,” Oathout said.

Gannon has faced recent hurdles in administering the vaccine due to the fluidity of the vaccine supply and issues with dissemination of the vaccine.

The first clinic, which had been scheduled for Feb. 9 and was set to vaccinate 300 people, had to end prematurely when a shortage of the vaccine occurred and only 190 vaccine doses were able to be procured for the clinic.

Those who had been unable to get the vaccine that day were given top priority in scheduling for the following clinic Feb. 16.

Gannon so far has been able to administer the vaccine to all of its frontline workers, which include campus police officers, COVID-19 testing staff, nurses and some custodians.

In an effort to quickly administer the vaccine, Gannon has partnered with local institutions such as LECOM, Saint Vincent Hospital and UPMC Hamot.

Students were not particularly surprised by the developments.

Derrick Gernatt, a junior accounting and economics major, said that he was not shocked due to the limited amount available and high demand.

“I do not think it can distributed in an efficient manner,” Gernatt said. “If it could be, it already would have but instead there’s shortages even in large urban areas such as Erie.”

Gernatt said that he does not plan to get the vaccine unless it becomes mandatory.

“There are people with pre-existing conditions who COVID-19 is a much greater threat to,” Gernatt said. “As such, the effort to get vaccinated is not worth the minute additional resistance to a constantly mutating virus with a lower risk of killing me than the drive to get vaccinated.”

Devin Williams, a junior pre-med biochemistry and mathematics major, said that due to the need that those in the surrounding Erie community and college students have, he is not surprised by the shortages.

“I do believe with the proper planning and initiative from LECOM that this vaccine could be distributed in a timely manner for those who are at-risk individuals,” Williams said.

As the situation unfolds and future partnership opportunities are assessed, LECOM is recommending that individuals interested in requesting an appointment call 866-532-6619 (1-866-LECOM-19) or email [email protected]

If individuals have any specific questions or comments directed toward Gannon, they can be submitted at https://www.gannon.edu/Questions-or-Comments/.

MICHAEL GUIDO

[email protected]