University students aid in COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Local News

WINONA, Min. (WLAX/WEUX) – Some university students are assisting in administering the COVID-19 vaccine. First News at Nine’s David LaClair shares one Winona State University student’s thoughts on being part of the vaccination process.

Going on the front lines is a new experience for Winona State University nursing student Abby Ziebell.

Ziebell said, “My role has mostly been monitoring people after they get the vaccine, but also to do a clinic where I administered vaccines. I know how excited I was to get my vaccine, and I just like to share that with people.”

Ziebell, a senior, received her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month and has worked in a few public vaccine clinics so far earning clinical hours for her degree.

“I feel like this gave me a lot of exposure with a bunch of different types of patients, and an opportunity to give a lot of education on something that is brand-new,” said Ziebell.

She is one of a small number of students already vaccinated, which is a requirement for those who administer the vaccine.

WSU Associate Professor of Nursing, Cyndy Jones said, “I believe 16 to 24 students on our campus have been vaccinated, so now they can go ahead and help with the vaccination efforts in Winona County, as well as our Rochester campus. We have students and faculty there that have also received the vaccine. They are poised and ready to help when Olmsted County needs assistance with their vaccine rollout.”

Between Winona and Rochester, WSU looks to have at least 160 of their students vaccinated to assist in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Jones said, “We are on the docket for more of our nursing students to get vaccinated. Some of our students will have devoted over 400 hours into this vaccine effort just this one semester.”

“A lot of the people have been super excited and relieved that they’re finally getting the vaccine. I feel like this is a step moving back towards life as we know it before the pandemic,” said Ziebell.

In the end, Ziebell hopes to apply her experience as she aspires to go into pediatric nursing after graduation.

In Winona, David LaClair, First News at Nine.

WSU is also currently exploring plans to partner with local health agencies in potentially administering vaccines on-campus in the health and wellness clinic at their main campus in Winona.

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