Two-thousand injections of the one-shot, Johnson & Johnson vaccine were administered to recipients who were lucky enough to schedule internet appointments over the weekend. A school official said the doses were an unexpected surprise but he hopes it will continue.
“As they started to look at ‘how do we roll out more vaccinations,’ they said, ‘Rowan, here’s 2,000 does. Do you want to try this with the university population and the city of Glassboro since you’re so intermingled to see how this goes?’ The Department of Health asked us and we took up the challenge.”
Cardona said part of the challenge was to show that the university could do it in an effective way. Rowan has a school of medicine in Camden and a school of Osteopathic medicine in Stratford. Over 25,000 doses have been administered to emergency responders, teachers and other designated groups at the Stratford campus. The school also has an affiliation with the Rowan College of South Jersey community college, which hosts a state regional mega vaccination center.
“The Department of Health has been working with vaccine providers across the state to provide access to vaccines for persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness and those living in shelters, including domestic violence shelters,” Donna Leusner, director of communications for the Department of Health told NJ Advance Media in a statement Thursday. “The Rowan site [Thursday] was a closed vaccination site specifically to provide vaccines for these vulnerable populations. We will continue working to provide additional vaccines to reach these groups.”
The shots Thursday were the first administered on Rowan’s main campus in Glassboro.
“We have been a special population vaccine center,” Cardona said. “Whenever there is a new special population we tend to get the first go at it to see how things go. We were the first ones with police officers and emergency responders. We were the first with school teachers, we worked with all of Camden County schools.”
Cardona said other universities and colleges are keeping an eye on how Rowan performs. He said they all want to be “part of the solution.”
More than 80 volunteers from Rowan Medicine administered the vaccines at the clinic. They were assisted by 90 non-clinical volunteers from across the university who helped greet and check-in patients.
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Bill Duhart may be reached at email@example.com.