GREENSBORO, N.C. — College students across North Carolina will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on March 31 as part of Group 4. Two Triad universities are preparing to vaccinate students at their on-campus clinics.
NC A&T vaccine clinic
North Carolina A&T State University already has a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus, but it wasn’t created for students – it was for the surrounding community. That will change on Wednesday when students on and off campus will be able to get vaccinated at NCAT's clinic.
“We have a very good track record and standing of how to manage these clinics,” NCAT spokesperson Todd Simmons said.
UNCG vaccine clinic
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro opened its vaccine clinic in March to vaccinate students as well. They’ll give out the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“They’re going to be leaving us for the summer and since it’s a one-and-done [shot], we can get them vaccinated and send them off for the summer feeling good that they’ve had that opportunity,” UNCG spokesperson Julia Jackson-Newson said.
The impact on the community
Getting college students vaccinated impacts the greater Guilford County community – there are about 50,000 UNCG students on campus in a given year and another 15,000 at NC A&T.
“A great many of our students, facility and staff have family in the surrounding area, so they not only become protected against COVID-19, but they go out as great brand ambassadors in the community to say, this process is safe,” Simmons said.
Will NC A&T or UNCG require students to get vaccinated?
NC A&T and UNCG are still considering whether to require the vaccine. Colleges like Wake Forest are still seeing COVID-19 outbreaks.
“We have not made a decision on that yet,” Simmons said. “We’re watching closely to see what best practices turn out to be.”
“We’re focusing instead on awareness and trying to help people understand how important this is,” Jackson-Newson said. “Over the summer, we’ll do some work on how many students and staff have been vaccinated.”
Both NC A&T and UNCG plan to offer a normal college experience for students in the fall.
“We will be back face-to-face, have students in resident halls. We hope, to full capacity. We are working on student programming,” Jackson-Newson said.