A student-led Town Hall will be held via Zoom from 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, to address student questions and provide answers about COVID-19 vaccine availability and administration.
Fourth-year College of Medicine students Trey Moberly and Prabhsimran (Simran) Batra will moderate the event, which will include a panel of University administrators, deans and campus COVID-19 experts to answer questions. All NEOMED students have been invited to attend. NEOMED faculty and staff may also attend, using this link.
The Pulse asked Trey Moberly to provide a little background before the event.
Q: What are some of the top concerns you have been hearing among NEOMED students regarding vaccines? Which students are most impacted?
A: Many of the concerns I have heard regarding the COVID-19 vaccines revolve around when and where students will be able to receive the vaccine as well as who will be prioritized when it comes to vaccination. I believe all NEOMED students are impacted when it comes to COVID-19 and the vaccine administration process. It would make sense that students in their clinical years would be impacted the most as they are still able to receive education at clinical sites, which potentially puts them in contact with COVID-19 positive patients on a daily basis. Students rightfully see themselves as members of the patient care team and desire to be protected from COVID-19 in that role.
Q: What health challenges are third- and fourth-year students facing in clinical settings? Are there any challenges people have mentioned that you wouldn’t have expected?
A: Students in clinical settings are facing health concerns from not only COVID-19, but also the mental health strain that exists as a result. Students face constant stress and anxiety about the potential of becoming ill with the virus or potentially carrying it unknowingly as an asymptomatic carrier.
Q: Where will NEOMED students be vaccinated, and when?
A: This is the main topic of concern from a student perspective. Many students are fortunate enough to be participating in clinical rotations at our partner hospitals that are willing, and able, to provide the vaccination for students. The main question that then follows is when and where students who are not at those particular clinical sites, or those who are in their preclinical education, will be able to receive the vaccination. The hope is this Town Hall will be able to provide information in those areas.
Q: Where are students getting information about the various vaccines? Where else would you direct them to go?
A: NEOMED students are very passionate not only about patient health, but also their own health and education. Students are receiving information from numerous locations including, but not limited to, the CDC, their clinical sites, local health experts, and NEOMED administration and faculty, as well as through word of mouth from peers at other institutions. I would personally direct students to this Town Hall, as I believe this is where the most comprehensive and up-to-date information will be.
Q: How did the Jan. 13 student-led Town Hall come about?
A: The Town Hall is an event that was planned by the College of Medicine in response the questions and concerns they were hearing from the student body. The College of Medicine then reached out to both Simran and myself as student leaders and members of NEOMED Student Council and we collectively decided to work together to create active discussion in order to ensure that students were as informed as possible.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish at the Town Hall?
A: The hope for the Town Hall is to provide both transparency and answers. I have been fortunate enough to see that NEOMED and the College of Medicine have been working to ensure students have the ability to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as well as the fact that the status of this project evolves daily. I know students, including myself, still have questions about how we will proceed as we aim to protect ourselves while moving forward in our education and roles as members of the patient care team.