Three short months ago, the headquarters for Boise State’s Vaccination Clinic was merely a storage unit for random art supplies. Now, room 106A inside of the Campus School building is where roughly 100 COVID-19 vaccinations are administered every single day.
Jason Carter, the clinic’s manager, described the clinic as following the “crawl, walk, run” method — the very first injection given was on March 3, and less than three weeks later over 1,000 doses have been given.
“We created this from the ground up — new floors, walls, ordered all this medical equipment,” Carter said. “From the ground up in January, to putting shots in arms by March.”
According to Carter, the clinic does around 500 shots per week Monday through Friday, and it is staffed almost entirely by students on a volunteer basis. He describes their operation as extremely efficient.
“People are in and out — from the time they show up to when they leave, it takes about 25 minutes,” Carter said. “A hundred people a day is not a problem for us. I’ve been to Afghanistan and Iraq as a nurse — this is nothing.”
This clinic is open to everybody and the vaccinations are free. Appointments and waitlists are made online, and do not prioritize any one person over another in the vaccine selection process.
Carter emphasized that this is a very small operation, and a lot of the phone calls and emails they receive can be easily answered by their website. Speaking with The Arbiter on Monday, March 29, he said they had received 48 calls that morning alone.
There is free parking in front of the building’s entrance, as well as designated spots within the Brady Street Garage. People simply have to show an Idaho residence, which may include a school ID card, driver’s license, utility bill, letter from an employer, or other forms of identification.
Halley Stamper, a senior nursing student, works within the clinic as a registered medical assistant administering vaccine doses, said that the clinic has been able to adjust quickly to meet the need for public vaccine distribution.
“They really hit the ground running,” Stamper said. “Especially for it being so new, I feel like it’s very established. We know what’s going on, so it’s not like we’re just running around like chickens with their heads cut off. They did a really good job getting it prepared.”
According to Stamper, the overall experience so far has been extremely positive.
“I was actually nervous to start because I didn’t know if people would be scared to get the vaccine,” Stamper said. “But everyone here is so excited to get it, so it’s been really reassuring — especially when you’re the one poking them in the arm.”
Jordan Bastian, a public health officer, described how the Public Health Office has been the operational support behind the clinical team. For example, they allocated the space for the clinic, refurbished it and set up the medical equipment, as well as handled the appointments and registration system.
Bastian said it’s been an amazing experience to see everyone not only support the university, but also support the community in order to make this clinic possible.
“I just encourage anyone who is eligible and willing to get the vaccine,” Bastian said. “It’s really going to help the efforts with the pandemic, and to get things back to how we want things for our campus — to allow us to stay open and allow us to stay safe.”
According to Bastian, vaccines are effective and are proven to be very good and efficient.
“Even if it doesn’t prevent COVID-19, it will at least lessen the symptoms,” Bastian said. “Regardless of what vaccine you get, getting a vaccine is better than not.”