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TWU distributes Moderna vaccine to eligible students on Denton campus

Texas Woman’s University received a limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 2 and began campus distribution Jan 5. through administration by Student Health Services (SHS).

The vaccine is being given to faculty, staff and students who are included in the highest priority group, Phase 1A, as determined by the Texas Department of State Health Services..  The school has been closely following the state’s priority protocols, Monica Mendez-Grant, the vice president of student life, said. Those identified as Phase 1A have been contacted directly and made appointments with the SHS to receive the vaccine.

Due to factors such as stringent refrigeration requirements, the vaccine can only be administered at the Denton campus, Amy Evans,  director of communications, said in a press release. She said despite the restrictions, the school will still strive to make the vaccine available to as much of the TWU community as possible. 

“Eligible members of our Dallas and Houston campuses are invited to come to the Denton campus to receive the vaccine,” Evans said. “For those of you in Houston, understanding that this may not be an option for you, we share your frustration regarding our limitations, and we are working to find additional alternatives for you.” 

In the meantime, faculty, staff and students in Houston can visit local HEB pharmacies that have been allocated the vaccine. 

Nursing major Zaynah Delucca was the first recipient of the Moderna shot administered by TWU and said that she felt comfortable getting the vaccine because she trusts the university. 

“The university always does everything they can for students, and I felt it was the best place for me—even if I had to drive an hour to get here,” Delucca said. 

She said that getting the vaccine brought her peace of mind, as she wants to keep her family and patients safe and at ease and reduce the risks of inadvertently transmitting the virus. 

Director of operations for SHS, Tanisha Freeman, who completed the application to be a vaccine provider on behalf of the university, said she feels honored being able to administer the vaccine for the TWU community.

“Being able to keep our student health care professionals working safely on the frontline while continuing their education requirements to become fully credentialed health care workers is so important to the national response to the COVID crisis,” Freeman said. “We need all hands on deck to get everyone safe and healthy.”

Freeman said it is currently unknown when the university will receive additional allocations but will continue helping as many faculty, staff and students as the SHS can while supplies last. 

“Doing what we can to keep the community of our three campuses safe and healthy is who we are as our students, faculty and staff experience TWU educationally, professionally and as long-term health care consumers,” Freeman said. 

Those within the TWU community who wish to be considered for the vaccine can complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Self-Identification form  that will be reviewed by clinicians in the SHS and used to identify who may be eligible for the Moderna shot. In the meantime, the university encourages community members to inform themselves about the vaccine through reliable resources and to stay conscious of their health. Additional questions about the vaccine concerning the university may be answered here.  

Gakenia Njenga can be reached via email at gnjenga@twu.edu.

Featured image: On Jan. 5, 2021, TWU nursing student Zaynah Delucca received the first COVID-19 vaccine administered by Texas Woman’s University in its Student Health Services clinic on the Denton campus. Photo by Michael Modecki, courtesy of Texas Woman’s University.

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