Students vaccinated by NYU report positive, trouble-free experience

Although appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the university remain scarce, students who did manage to secure an appointment say the vaccination process was straightforward.

Signs+directing+students+towards+an+NYU+vaccine+clinic+decorate+the+front+of+Bobst+Library.+NYU+students+picked+for+the+vaccine+lottery+gladly+collect+their+doses.++%28Staff+Photo+by+Alexandra+Chan%29

Alexandra Chan

Signs directing students towards an NYU vaccine clinic decorate the front of Bobst Library. NYU students picked for the vaccine lottery gladly collect their doses. (Staff Photo by Alexandra Chan)

By Rachel Fadem, Staff Writer

NYU has received approximately 1,200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each week for the past three weeks, according to University Spokesperson John Beckman and Executive Lead of the COVID-19 Prevention and Response Team, Dr. Carlo Ciotoli. By the end of this week, about 3,600 students will have received their first dose of the vaccine through NYU.

“Getting vaccinated is going to be vital to beating COVID-19,” Beckman wrote in an email to WSN. “We urge everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

After filling out an online form, students are randomly selected by the university to be vaccinated. Although vaccinations were previously given at the Student Health Center at 726 Broadway, the vaccination center was recently moved to a larger space inside Bobst Library.

Global Liberal Studies sophomore Laura Beard was able to schedule an appointment for the day after she was selected. Excited to get vaccinated, she showed up 15 minutes early for her appointment. Tisch first-year Mireya Velasquez’s appointment was the first one of the day. All of the staff she encountered asked her if she was excited to receive the vaccine. Velasquez had trouble finding available appointments through the city and state, but felt relieved when she was chosen to be vaccinated at NYU.

“I feel like they did give me all of the resources and they constantly were asking, ‘If you have any questions just let us know’,” Velasquez said. “Even if I didn’t have questions, they still gave me a ton of information. They were very thorough with everything.”

Beckman and Ciotoli believe the process is running smoothly and students have not encountered problems such as long lines. 

Beard reported that the vaccination process was quick and straightforward, noting that the staff was helpful with each step. 

“It was so so easy and very anticlimactic,” Beard said. “We’re vaccinating against the thing that’s completely changed our lives and our whole past year. It took two seconds. If you think about the amount of labor that went into that one dose I got in my arm, that’s incredible.” 

CAS first-year Paige Welikson got her vaccinations at the Student Health Center, and believes it is likely the most accessible way for students to get vaccinated. 

“I think it is a really good system because it’s just so much more streamlined,” Welikson said. “I think that it’s probably much more accessible for students, because it’s right on campus, and they already have a lot of your health information.”

Welikson hopes the university will continue to expand their vaccination program to ensure that all students can get vaccinated before the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester.

“I hope that they’re able to expand vaccinations through NYU,” she said. “I think that sometimes scheduling it or getting an appointment in the first place could be kind of a barrier for some people, and I think that just doing it through the school is going to make it easier for everyone.”

The university urges those who have not yet been selected for a vaccination at NYU to schedule an appointment at other vaccination sites, such as state or city sites or local pharmacies. Furthermore, if students are chosen to receive a vaccine through NYU, they are not necessarily guaranteed an appointment.

Tisch first-year Jerett Benjamin was selected twice to receive his vaccination through NYU, but when he tried to sign up there were no appointments available. He ended up getting a vaccine at the city-run Javits Center. While he was frustrated that NYU got his hopes up, he appreciates that the university is taking steps to ensure all students are able to be vaccinated.

“They already made it such a small group of people being randomly selected,” Benjamin said. “I feel like I wasn’t wrong to be under the impression that I was gonna get the vaccine with NYU and I wouldn’t have to keep searching.”

Beckman said the university hopes that students receive their second dose and continue to make responsible decisions to keep themselves and their communities safe.

“The availability of vaccinations is likely going to prove to be our most important tool to combat COVID,” Beckman wrote. “But it’s not our only one. It is important that all members of the NYU community continue to keep up the habits they’ve so conscientiously observed this past year: wearing a mask, physical distancing, avoiding large crowds, [and] avoiding dining indoors.”

Email Rachel Fadem at [email protected]