Operation Immunization Hosts Clinics for COVID-19 Vaccine
By: Malavika Raj
Operation Immunization is a committee run by the Thomas J. Long Pharmacy School at Pacific and aims to vaccinate members of the Stockton community. With the ongoing pandemic, OI is tackling pandemic by administering COVID-19 vaccines.
Operation Immunization, otherwise known as OI, purpose is to organize and manage all clinics on campus and vaccinate members of the community. The committee, consisting of four pharmacy student co-chairs, works under the assistance of Dr. Veronica Bandy, professor of the pharmacy school. According to their website, the committee aims to “educate the public about the importance of vaccination as well as to promote implementation of immunization services in pharmacies by participating in flu clinics during the fall semester.”
Due to the pandemic, most student outreach events were cancelled; however, when the committee was able to get access to COVID-19 vaccines, it immediately launched a clinic to vaccinate eligible students, staff, and the local community. The vaccines were provided by the San Joaquin County of Public Health.
The first clinic hosted at Pacific administering COVID-19 vaccines was on January 24th.
“When I first heard the news that the vaccines got out, and when they said we could vaccine (students), that was very exciting for us,” says Woo Jin Lim, Pharmacy, ‘22. Lim serves as one of the four co-chairs on OI.
Currently, the dates of the clinics are spontaneous and depend on the doses available. According to Lim, the clinic is able to vaccinate about 400 people per day. The first clinic was hosted on January 24th. The committee’s goal is to host about four clinics a month.
Lim also mentioned that in order to prepare for the clinic, the committee drew on protocols from clinics OI has organized in the past, such as flu clinics. They also enlisted volunteer dental, physician assistant, speech pathologist students to help day to day operations.
Carissa Wong, Pharmacy, ‘23, another co-chair, said that her role involves immunization registration, and engaging with the people who come into the clinic.
“During the clinic we oversee everything. We jump in and screen [patients] and vaccinate. We do immunization preparation for the vaccine,” says Wong.
Wong also added that the drive through clinic was a great way to make the vaccine accessible for older people, since it makes it easier than going to a Walgreens or hospital.
Currently, the OI clinic is offering vaccines to the public based on CDC guidelines. The committee’s main goal is to vaccinate Pacific staff, faculty, and students who are working in healthcare rotations, such as physician assistant students and athletic training students. OI hopes to operate throughout the upcoming fall semester.
Students can also get involved with the OI clinics if interested. Talar Yetenekian, Pharmacy, ‘23, co-chair, says that the clinic has been hosting volunteers.
“We have been having volunteers from all the different programs at University of the Pacific as well as undergraduate students and people not associated with the university as well.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the CDC website.