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CACC students, employees to benefit at clinics

Students, employees, and the families of employees at Coastal Alabama Community College will have the opportunity to be vaccinated for the coronavirus through pop-up clinics across multiple Coastal Alabama campuses and locations starting on August 23. The vaccines will be administered through a partnership between the Alabama Department of Health and Walgreens Pharmacy.

The vaccination event comes at a time when the delta variant of the coronavirus is running rampant throughout the state — especially among younger patients — and new cases of COVID-19 in general are spiking at an average of more than 3,600 a day. This is the highest daily average since January, before most Alabamians were given access to the various vaccines currently available.

Medical personnel at the initial pop-up clinics will be administering the first dose of Pfizer vaccine, with the second to follow after a minimum of three weeks.

“We know there are a large population of students who learn much more affectively in a classroom environment,” said Dr. Jean Graham, Dean of Nursing and Allied Health at Coastal Alabama Community College. “And with the new variant affecting our younger populations it is helpful that we can at least offer the vaccine so they have that option.”

Current data indicates that those who have been vaccinated are less apt to contract COVID-19, and if they do, the symptoms are less severe. Other than in the cases of those who have an immuno-compromised system, she said.

When the Fall term begins on August 23rd, the college will offer traditional, in-person classes and various formats of online courses. Students and faculty reporting on-campus will be required to wear masks.

“We’re trying to do our part in keeping everyone healthy,” Graham said.

The upcoming pop-up clinic vaccinations are only available to students, college employees and employee family members. Eligible individuals can schedule an appointment at an upcoming pop-up clinic through Walgreens. The online registration, as well as the specific times and locations of all the on-campus vaccination clinics can be accessed by going to www.coastalalabama.edu/vaccine.

The date and campus locations of the upcoming clinics are:

  • Brewton Campus: August 25
  • Atmore Campus: August 30
  • Bay Minette Campus: September 1
  • Alabama Aviation Center at Brookley Field: September 2
  • Gilbertown Campus: September 8
  • Fairhope Campus: September 9
  • Gulf Shores Campus: September 13
  • Thomasville Campus: September 15

Through a partnership with Infirmary Health in March, nearly 1,000 Pfizer vaccines were administered during a drive-through clinic on Coastal Alabama Community College’s Bay Minette Campus. Those vaccinated came back three weeks later in April to receive their second dose.

The college isn’t merely a location for vaccinations. Since January, Coastal Alabama Community College’s nursing students have administered thousands of doses of vaccines at healthcare facilities as far north as Thomasville and east to Pensacola.

Coastal Alabama President, Dr. Craig Pouncey, said he is proud of all the efforts its Allied Health students have made, and feels the college has a responsibility to serve the communities where each campus is located. Most of the college’s campuses are centrally located within each community and have access to large parking lots and other logistical benefits to facilitate vaccination clinics.

“It’s an easy way for us to continue to increase the number of people within our counties who are properly vaccinated,” Pouncey said. “If we can do that, it will hopefully insulate us from any further possible outbreak of the coronavirus.”