SOM Students Administer Vaccines and Answer Questions at WMC Pop-Up Vaccine Clinic in Yonkers, New York
Medical students administered vaccines and provided valuable information regarding vaccine research to local residents.
Students in the School of Medicine (SOM) gave a helping hand to a local Westchester community, volunteering at a pop-up mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Indian Assembly of God Church in Yonkers, New York, where the students helped administer vaccines and engaged the community with information about COVID-19 vaccinations. Michaela Scott, SOM Class of 2022; Julia Slyer, SOM Class of 2023; and Rachel Mund, Eseiwi Aifuwa and Parth Patel, all members of the Class of 2025; volunteered to assist with registration, outreach or administering vaccines. The clinic successfully vaccinated more than 30 individuals and educated dozens more about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
“From the time our region was first gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic to the present, our medical students at NYMC have found ways to serve on the front lines. The order of the day is vaccination, and I am glad to see that despite short notice many of our students volunteered to help with vaccination efforts,” said Mill Etienne, M.D. '02, M.P.H., FAAN, FAES, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, SOM associate dean of student affairs and associate professor of neurology and of medicine, who spearheads efforts to deliver COVID-19 vaccines and information to Black and Latinx communities as head of the Health Equity Task Force of the Hudson Valley.
The experience was one of the first opportunities to assist in the local community for first-year medical students, such as Mr. Patel and Mr. Aifuwa, who both assisted with outreach. Mr. Aifuwa recognized that there are still varying thoughts about the vaccines. “Each person had a vastly different story and set of opinions but the most interesting part was definitely befriending the community members,” he said.
Mr. Patel said that he was worried about misinformation regarding vaccines and was glad to have an open dialogue with local residents. “By raising awareness of the life-saving nature of the COVID-19 vaccines, it was a chance to let people make informed decisions to give them the knowledge to get through this pandemic. Even if one life can be saved with the clinic, it makes the effort of everyone involved feel worthwhile,” Mr. Patel said.
For Ms. Scott and Ms. Slyers, who both administered vaccines, it was another great opportunity to get involved in the community. “It was great to meet people in such a diverse neighborhood in Yonkers and to answer questions and provide vaccinations at a pop-up clinic that was convenient for the community,” said Ms. Slyers.
“Considering there is still much hesitation with regard to the COVID-19 vaccine, I was happy to answer questions and offer reassurance,” Ms. Scott said. “I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to serve a community I’ve called home for the last three years."
New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, third from right, stopped by the clinic which was in partnership with Westchester Medical Center Health Network.
"During my visit to the vaccine site at the Indian Assembly of God in Yonkers, I was incredibly impressed with the care and dedication with which student volunteers from the New York Medical College were serving their community. Throughout the past eighteen months, our health care professionals have fought tirelessly against COVID-19. Now, with a viable vaccine and the means to put the pandemic behind us, they are still working hard to ensure everyone can protect themselves and their loved ones. I offer my sincerest gratitude to these volunteers, and everyone in the healthcare community, who have made tremendous sacrifices to help see us through this difficult chapter," Senator Stewart-Cousins said.