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Queensborough Community College students help 10K New Yorkers get vaccinated against COVID-19

Dave Meketansky is a first semester Queensborough nursing student assigned to the vaccination site. Photo courtesy of QCC

Students at a Bayside college have helped in the process to administer nearly 10,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, just a month after the school opened as a vaccination center.

Since April 21, patients have gotten vaccinated at Queensborough College’s Robert F. Kennedy Hall. The site is operated by the New York City Department of Health and the Hospital for Special Surgery. According to the school, dozens of nursing and emergency medical technician students work one eight-hour shift per week, assisting a team of physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners.

“We help with the workflow, check in patients, direct some traffic and observe people for side effects after they have their vaccination,” said Veronica Javellana, a first-year nursing student from Sydney, Australia. 

Back in Australia, Javellana worked as a certified midwife but switched to nursing once she moved to the States.

“My specialist qualification was not transferable here, so I decided to do nursing at Queensborough to get all the foundation knowledge I need to pursue my bachelor’s in nursing,” she said. 

Staff and volunteers at QCC’s vaccination site administered more than 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on opening day last month. According to state data, approximately 1,219,489 people in Queens received a least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine and 978,770 people in the borough are fully vaccinated.

“It’s a great experience for our students to work with Hospital of Special Surgery staff, who administer the vaccinations and manage the site. We’re serving the community and we love it,” said supervising nurse professor Nancy Mobyed.

First-semester Queensborough nursing student Dave Meketansky also worked for eight years as an EMT with the Glen Oaks Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which covers neighborhoods in northeast Queens.

“As a volunteer we’re keeping people safe. We had 568 people here in just four hours one day last week,” Maketansky said. 

The volunteer added that the patients who come to the site reflect the community’s diversity and helps to foster a sense of trust between those getting and administering the vaccine.

“That goes long way in getting people vaccinated,” he said.

Vaccinations are available Wednesday through Sunday at 221-05 56th Ave. For more information, please visit www.qcc.cuny.edu/vaccine/index.html.

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