On-campus vaccines delayed, Southern offers free rides to local clinics


On August 3, Vice President for Student Development Dennis Negrón sent an email to Southern Adventist University students concerning university protocol about what to do in regard to COVID-19 symptoms and vaccinations. The email stated Southern originally planned to have two clinics on August 26 and September 16 on campus. But according to an email sent on August 20 from the University Health Center (UHC), the vaccine clinics have been delayed due to unexpected logistical challenges. The UHC is also offering free transportation for those who plan on going to nearby vaccine sites. 

The UHC provided information about other options for students who wish to be vaccinated sooner. According to the health center, individuals wanting to receive vaccinations can call the Hamilton County Health Department (HCHD) hotline at 423-209-8383 for times and locations. HCHD locations provide free COVID-19 vaccinations with no appointments necessary. Local pharmacies such as Thrifty MedPlus Pharmacy also provide free COVID-19 vaccines, according to their websites. Individuals who have already taken their first dose elsewhere can get their second dose anywhere in Collegedale as long as they have their vaccine card with them, according to an email from the UHC.

According to UHC nurse practitioner Michelle Mix, people wanting the vaccination do not need insurance.

“You don’t need to show an insurance card to get the vaccine,” Mix said. “When we are doing a send off test to our lab in Nashville, PathGroup, they require insurance information. It is still no cost to the person being tested.” 

Mix said the local pharmacy that will work with the UHC to host a vaccine clinic on campus is River City Pharmacy, and it will provide Moderna. Exact dates are still to be determined, according to UHC healthcare workers, but stay tuned.

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