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Medical students from across West Virginia are signing up to help administer COVID-19 vaccines as the statewide vaccination campaign kicks into high gear.
State officials and higher education leadership created the West Virginia Vaccine Administration, Collaboration, and Support (WV VACS) Team to help local health departments get vaccines into arms.
“We are thrilled to provide this opportunity to students pursuing careers in healthcare,” said Sarah Tucker, chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission, in a statement. “This unique experience is allowing them to play a critical role in West Virginia’s already remarkable vaccination campaign.
Over 1,000 professional students pursuing healthcare careers from dozens of colleges and universities have volunteered for the program and will be deployed in the coming weeks. They will assist with vaccination clinics throughout the spring, summer and fall.
Students complete online training about the vaccine and how to administer it before working under local health partners. They can receive college credit or community service hours for their time.
“Participating in the vaccine distribution has allowed us more vaccine training during a time when some of our regular clinical rotations weren’t available because of COVID,” said Claire Miller, a nursing student at Marshall University, in a press release. “This has been good for me professionally and provided me the opportunity to help my community at the same time.”