Students get vaccinated against COVID-19 at Stribling Hall on campus

By Staff

Freshman Cordell Spears, seated at right, high fives his friend freshman Abby Odem, at left, just after getting his COVID vaccine at Stribling Hall on Thursday, Sept. 2. Some of Spears’ colleagues were there for their vaccines as well, while some were there just to be supportive, like Odem. National Guard Specialist Barfield is in the background at right just after he gave Spears his shot of the Pfizer vaccine. Photo by Alex Ortiz

By Jaykwon
Editor in Chief

UMHB’s Health Services has partnered up with the Texas National Guard to provide free FDA approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines on campus this semester.

The initiative started when registered nurse and health service coordinator Debbie Rosenberger reached out to the Texas National Guard in order to help make sure all the students who attend UMHB would be fully vaccinated and participating on campus safely, a subject that she is very passionate about.

Freshman Cordell Spears points to the COVID vaccine he is about to receive from National Guard Specialist Barfield in Stribling Hall on Thursday, Sept. 2. Photo by Alex Ortiz

Rosenberger has a message that she wishes to share to everyone on the importance of being vaccinated in addition to working together to protect and ensure one another’s safety.

“We’re doing COVID shots in tandem with the Texas National Guard,” Rosenberger said, “as it’s important that majority of the student body are vaccinated to protect everyone on campus.”

Masters of counseling major Noah Tyner (class of 2023) at far right, gets ready to have his second Pfizer vaccine at Stribling Hall on Thursday, Sept., 2. Helping him sign in, second from right, is National Guardsman, Specialist Khairi Hussein. Also helping to get UMHB students vaccinated that day were Specialists (L-R) Specialists Colton Burden and Jordan Gendron (seated). Photo by Jaykwon Thompson

 “It is important that all people receive the vaccine, especially to protect the immuno-compromised and those who can’t get vaccinated,” Rosenberger said. .

Some people have immune systems that are impaired and they are the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. 

Jason L. Salemi, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida re-stated the importance of trying to protect everyone.

“It should concern us all that hospitalizations — indicators of severe illness – are rising in the pediatric population, when there are a lot of steps we could take to prevent many of these hospitalizations,” Salemi said.

The pediatric population consists of children whose immune systems have not fully developed, so they are at risk of catching the COVID-19 virus if they have not received a vaccination shot. Rosenberger explained why the Pfizer vaccine, was created quickly and distributed all around the world.

Freshmen smiling just after two of them got their COVID vaccine at Stribling Hall on Thursday, Sept. 2 are L-R: Kendall Baker, who got the vaccine; Abby Odem, who was there in support; Emma Stanteen, who was also there in support, and Cordell Spears, who got the vaccine. Photo by Alex Ortiz

“The reason that the Pfizer Vaccine was rolled out so quickly is because the world governments threw all of their money to the research on this field,” Rosenberger said. “No safety steps were skipped,” she added.

 The Pfizer vaccine has been deemed by the WHO (World Health Organization) to be safe, as it passed all the clinical trials and has been FDA approved.

In Bell County, 96-97% of those in the hospital for COVID were not vaccinated,” Rosenberger said. ,

“The Pfizer vaccine has been proven to reduce hospitalizations and COVID encounters,” she said.

This is further supported by the most recent data that the New York Times has provided on the amount of hospitalizations in the United States. That article by Lauren Leatherby highlights how the stats with the least amount of COVID-19 vaccinations have the highest surges in hospitalizations. 

The states with the least amount of vaccinated citizens, such as Texas and Louisiana, have seen a staggering 250,000 new COVID cases per week. This has caused hospitals in those areas to have stretched resources.

This strain on resources has led to nurses and doctors to plead with others to get the vaccine.

“What really protects children are the interventions directed at the rest of society,” Dr. Thomas Tsai, an assistant professor in the health policy department at Harvard University, said.

The next round of vaccinations by the National Guard at UMHB will be Sept. 28 (Tues.) and 29 (Wed.) from 1-6:00 p.m. in Stribling Hall.

Then the next rounds after that will be Oct. 19 (Tues.) and 20 (Wed.) at the same times again in Stribling Hall

Upcoming dates:

Students walk by a sign in front of The Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing EducationCentere on Tuesday, Sept. 7. It advertises the Mobile COVID-19 Clinic coordinated with the National Guard at Stribling Hall, next on Sept. 28 and 29, then Oct. 19 and 20

Monday, September 13 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.    – (1st or 2nd doses available; Pfizer booster available to those that qualify)

Tuesday, September 14 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.    – (1st or 2nd doses available; Pfizer booster available to those that qualify)

Where: Stribling Hall

No appointment is needed.  All you need is a photo ID.  Students who are not yet 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent.

For more information, contact Health Services at 254-295-4696 or

Note: on August 23, the FDA approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Author: The Bells Staff

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