The state of Texas granted Tarleton State University 200 doses of the Moderna Vaccine this March. As more vaccinations become available to the public, more people are signing up to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
The Moderna vaccine is just one of the vaccines that are available to the public today. This vaccine is an mRNA vaccine which is a new approach that has recently come to light. This particular mRNA vaccine creates a protein within the body and teaches the cells in your body to create a response to help fight diseases.
With older and different vaccines, a weakened or inactive germ was located inside of the shot to help your body recognize and fight the disease before you even come into contact, with the Moderna vaccine, this is not the case. The mRNA triggers a reaction within the cells to build immunity over a period of time. This vaccine in particular will not give the recipient COVID-19, nor will it affect their DNA as the mRNA does not enter the nucleus at any point.
The Moderna vaccine was partially funded by country music singer Dolly Parton. Parton donated money to Vanderbilt University to help fund COVID-19 related research and has now taken to influencing others to get their doses by publicly receiving her second dose. She announced that she was getting her second dose of the vaccine by posting on her twitter that she was getting a taste of her own medicine.
With Tarleton being given their own Moderna doses to administer, on April 15 and 16, a vaccination clinic was held for Tarleton students, staff and faculty over the age of 16. The clinic was located in the Wellness Center of Traditions North on the Tarleton State University Stephenville campus.
To sign up, students and employees had to provide their name, university identification number, email and phone number. After this information was provided, a Tarleton representative contacted the students and employees to create their own appointment.
This event allowed everyone who registered the ability to get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine. The next vaccine event to receive the second dose will be in May. As of now Tarleton does not require students or employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Tarleton has administered 379 first doses and 190 second doses of COVID-19 vaccines including Moderna. As per the Centers for Disease Control, two shots are required for the Moderna vaccine. After the first one has been administered, it is recommended to get the next dose after 28 days.
Tarleton has also offered doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is similar in structure to the Moderna vaccine as it is also a mRNA vaccine. One of the main differences between the two vaccines are the waiting periods between the first and second doses. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine the second dose is recommended 21 days after the first, instead of 28.
Tarleton nurses and health services staff administered the vaccinations throughout the times they have been available. Previously, they have been able to vaccinate family members and other students as well. There have been approximately sixty Tarleton student nurses that have been involved with giving the vaccines, either as part of a clinical class or as volunteers. The Tarleton student nurses have been gaining much needed real life experience as they go through nursing school during a pandemic. It has given them the opportunity to adapt and overcome during times of uncertainty.
“They are exceptional students who are willing to assist in every way they can. We could not have done COVID-19 vaccine clinics without them” Director of Student Health Services, Bridgette Bednarz said.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is unlike any other. Once the vial is thawed and punctured, it must be administered within six hours. Each vial contains enough vaccine for 10 individuals. We can not puncture a vial and administer one or two injections. The Department of State Health services does not [let] any vaccine [be] wasted,” Bednarz said.
Tarleton has held six total events so far for Tarleton’s students, faculty and staff and there will be more to come.
So far in Texas, according to Our World in Data on Google, as of April 27, across the nation, 230 million doses have already been given out and 104 million people have been fully vaccinated. This puts the country at 28.7% of people who have had their doses being fully vaccinated. For more information go to: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations
To learn more about the Moderna vaccine you can visit: https://www.modernatx.com/
To learn more about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine you can visit: https://www.pfizer.com/
To view the tweets made by Dolly Parton you can follow her on Twitter @DollyParton
For more information, call 254- 968-9069 for questions regarding Tarleton’s COVID-19 vaccination program.