Students and faculty in the Walla Walla University School of Nursing received the first of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. The vaccination clinic was held at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Washington, and included nursing students and faculty from the local community college.
WWU nursing students and faculty on the university’s Portland campus will be vaccinated in Portland, Oregon, in coordination with Adventist Health Portland and other clinical sites in the area.
“As our faculty and students participate in front-line care as part of their clinical learning, they are at an increased risk for exposure and COVID infection," explains Kari Firestone, WWU professor of nursing, associate dean of the School of Nursing and WWU COVID-19 response director. "Vaccinating our nursing students helps protect those they care for, those they interact with on campus, and of course themselves. They are the future of nursing.”
Nursing faculty from WWU and Walla Walla Community College coordinated with Providence St. Mary nursing staff to provide the clinic. “This helped to decrease the care burden of the staff at Providence, allowing them to continue to provide the patient care and normal daily health services,” says Firestone.
Providence St. Mary supplied the vaccines after working with the pharmacist who is overseeing the vaccine distribution plan in the Walla Walla area. A Providence St. Mary nurse educator coordinated the clinic. Firestone says this joint effort is an illustration of the positive partnership between clinical providers and both nursing schools in the Walla Walla Valley.
The second dose of the vaccine will be administered to nursing students and faculty in Walla Walla on Feb. 3.
The Washington State Department of Health has distributed a vaccine distribution chart that outlines a timeline for various groups in Washington state to receive the vaccine. You can also find more detailed information and answers to many questions about the vaccine on the Washington State Department of Health vaccine webpages. Please keep in mind that these timelines are estimates and could change.