By Madelin Shelton — 

University of Louisville students and faculty, primarily from the medical, nursing and public health disciplines, have been volunteering to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine at the drive-in service Broadbent Arena, located on the grounds of the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center.

Amanda Beering, a fourth year U of L medical student is a volunteer at the site, serving as a Team Lead and Medical Student Supervisor. She oversees groups of volunteers and is responsible for training volunteers in the clinical zone.

Beering said that volunteers are split among three zones. The first zone consists of those helping direct patients to the appropriate areas and checking them in. The second and third zones consist of people getting vaccinated and monitored afterwards to check for adverse reactions, respectively.

While the volunteers contain mostly students in the health sciences fields, Beering said there’s people from all academic areas volunteering with the effort. Only students with medical training will be administering the vaccines, while other students can help with quality assurance on documentation, pre-screening, checking temperatures and other non-medical tasks. The LouVax effort is ongoing.

When asked what it has been like to help coordinate this task in the middle of a global pandemic, Beering said, “It’s definitely not what I anticipated when I entered medical school. As unfortunate and horrible this virus has been, from an educational standpoint, I do think it has prepared me for real-world considerations.”

“Helping with the vaccination effort has been a way to join together my efforts with the efforts of other people so that together we’re able to contribute more to do something that’s really impactful for our community.”

In relation to the LouVax effort, U of L Health has started emailing vaccine invitations to university members in groups 1 and 2, which consists of those above age 65. In addition, a standby list has been generated by the university for U of L Health to contact those who would like a vaccine in case there are unused or unexpected vaccines available.

The university does not anticipate that U of L Health will need to use this list frequently, and those called by U of L Health will only have 15 to 20 minutes to get to the specified location. Additionally, if someone misses the call for an available unused vaccine, they will have to move on to others included on the standby list. Signing up on the standby list will in no way prevent individuals from getting their regularly scheduled vaccine if they either miss a call or an unused vaccine does not become available.

The COVID-19 vaccine standby list can be found here.

Photo Courtesy // U of L News