GV opens COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus


GVL/Katherine Vasile, 04/14/21, Vaccine clinic at GVSU and Vaccine Mandates, 1 Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401

Rachel Matuszewski

Word of the COVID-19 vaccine availability is spreading and eligible citizens are making their way to vaccine clinics across the state. Grand Valley State University will finally be among one of the places for students and faculty to get vaccinated. 

Previously, when Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer expanded the vaccine eligibility to those who were 16+, the Virus Action Team advised students to get their vaccines at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Since then, Grand Valley State University offered its first vaccine clinic on campus on Friday, April 17.

The Pfizer vaccine will be offered to students in the fieldhouse on campus. While the State of Michigan previously allocated Grand Valley State University with 1,700 Johnson and Johnson vaccinations, upon the news released by the CDC and FDA about the risk of blood clots with low levels of blood platelets, the Virus Action Team assured students that Metro Health has switched and will be offering students the Pfizer vaccine. 

The switch from the Johnson & Johnson to the Pfizer vaccine was completed thanks to the Metro Health, GVSU, and Ottawa County Department of Public Health, who shared the new information with students about the change in vaccine. 

“GVSU had proactively developed plans to host vaccine clinics so that we would be prepared when we were able to secure (a) vaccine,” Vice Provost for Health Jean Nagelkerk and Senior Director of Health Tina Barnikow said. “This advanced planning has allowed us to implement this clinic quickly.”

For students interested in receiving the vaccine, they can make an appointment through the email from Metro Health prompting them to schedule an appointment. Students with appointments can park in Lot C and enter through the main entrance by the circle drive. They will be required to fill out some forms before proceeding to the registration center downstairs.

After receiving a vaccination from one of the 20 medical personnel working at the clinic, students will move to the observation area for a short period of time before they can exit the clinic. 

GVSU faculty and staff were also extended an invitation to receive their vaccine on campus. 

“A goal of the VAT was to provide easy access for students to receive a COVID-19 vaccination,” Nagelkerk and Barnikow said. “We work closely with the health departments from both Ottawa and Kent County, as well as the health systems in our area to provide opportunities for our campus community to schedule an appointment for a vaccine.”

Students, faculty, or staff who received their first vaccine on April 16 will receive their second dose on campus May 7. For students who did not schedule their COVID-19 vaccine at the GVSU clinic, they can call Metro Health’s vaccine line to make an appointment. 

“The COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Fieldhouse is a great opportunity for the GV community to obtain a vaccination at a convenient location.” Nagelkerk and Barnikow said. “It is one more public health measure that GV is able to offer to the campus community in collaboration with our county health department and health system partners that will help us on our path forward.”