Belleville, Ontario, May 13, 2021 – Loyalist College students began administering COVID-19 vaccines at the College’s Immunization Centre this week. Directed by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) and supervised by College faculty, 22 Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Practical Nursing and Paramedic students are working alongside health care professionals to vaccinate community members. Together, they form a robust health care team, supporting nationwide efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 and move the region toward post-pandemic recovery.
“It is truly remarkable to witness our students, the future of our health care workforce, apply their skills and knowledge to advance one of the most critical mass immunization movements of our time,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President and CEO. “Since the Immunization Centre opened its doors at Loyalist College on March 1, over 90 students have supported clinic operations. We’re so proud of them and grateful to HPEPH for entrusting our students to share responsibility for vaccine administration. They’re well prepared to meaningfully contribute to our health care ecosystem, which is critical to our collective well-being, quality of life and economic stability.”
To date, HPEPH has administered over 62,935 first doses, which means 37 percent of adults in the region have received at least one dose. Paramedic, Practical Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing students capable of administering vaccines will be in demand in the second phase of the local vaccine rollout, in which vaccination eligibility will expand and the pace of immunization is expected to increase this month.
“This is a great opportunity for Loyalist College students to put their training to work and assist with the race to vaccinate as many eligible people as quickly as possible to thwart the spread of this virus and protect our community,” said Dr. Mark Froats, Quinte Health Care Emergency Physician and Medical Director for the Paramedic program at Loyalist College. “Our Public Health colleagues have expressed gratitude for the help from additional immunizers and report that this initiative will help free up Public Health nurses to provide vaccines at other clinics in the community.”
Students in Loyalist College’s Pre-Health Sciences, Business, Social Service Worker, Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant, Protection, Security and Investigation, Police Foundations and Community and Justice Services programs are also supporting vaccination efforts, assisting with registration, screening protocols, traffic flow, security and post-immunization observation. Nearly 20 graduating students have been hired by HPEPH to support the Immunization Centre in Trenton.
“As an ER doctor on the front line, as well as the Lead Physician at Loyalist College Student Health Centre, I am so excited, appreciative and proud that these young health care providers can participate in this initiative with Public Health,” said Dr. Tracy Steinitz. “It is an opportunity to use their skills to support the provision of critical Public Health services for the local population during the pandemic and to help ensure that clinics are staffed and ready to go, once vaccines arrive. I am sure they will look back later in their careers with pride and reflect on how they positively contributed to vaccination efforts in their community.”
About Loyalist College
Ranked one of Canada’s top 50 research colleges and #1 in the country for industry research income as a percentage of total research income, Loyalist College empowers students, faculty, staff, and partners through experiential, industry cluster-based education, training and applied research programs. As Ontario’s Destination College, the College provides job-ready graduates for, and knowledge transfer to, industry and the community. Of 2018-19 graduates, 88.8 percent were employed within six months after graduation. Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, the College is perfectly positioned between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Loyalist College offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in biosciences, building sciences, business, community service, health and wellness, media studies, public safety, and skilled trades. Continuing education options are available through LoyalistFocus.com, including hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, and through the College’s 100+ university transfer agreements. Loyalist College is a key driver of social and economic health in eastern Ontario. It contributes 3.7 percent of the Gross Regional Product, representing $382 million annually to the regional economy – based on a March 2020 report by Emsi. For more information on Loyalist College’s Belleville, Bancroft and Toronto campuses and Port Hope satellite location, visit YoureGoingPlaces.com.
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Contact: Kerry Lorimer, Director, Marketing, Communications and Recruitment
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