MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida hospital system has turned their attention to college students, as they continue vaccination efforts in their fight against the coronavirus.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya conveyed the importance of ensuring that everyone who can receive their shot at protection is able to do so.
“These shots are the best protection we have against COVID-19,” he said.
Jackson Health has taken steps to give college students an opportunity to be vaccinated.
7News cameras captured several Barry University and Florida International University students receiving their doses.
“COVID has affected all of us in different ways. For young people, it’s been especially hard,” he said.
Thursday’s inoculations are part of a new COVID vaccination initiative and partnership with multiple local colleges and universities.
Migoya listed the higher education entities that are taking part in the initiative.
“The University of Miami, FIU, Miami Dade College, Florida Memorial College and Barry University,” he said.
Students can get their shots at one of three Jackson Health facilities, including the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center in Miami.
“We have ample availability for appointments at all our three vaccination sites,” said Migoya, “here at the Lynn Rehab Center on Jackson Memorial campus, at Jackson South Medical Center, off of U.S. 1 and Southwest 152nd Street, and the North Dade Center, just south of the Palmetto Expressway on Northwest 27th Avenue.”
The appointments are available to students who are Florida residents, as well as out-of-state and international students.
Among those who received their first shot on Thursday was FIU student Camila Gutierrez.
“I know that if I were in my home country, I wouldn’t be able to get the vaccine, so I’m really thankful for this opportunity,” she said.
Over the past year, the college experience has looked considerably different. Students like Nils Buecheler, a soccer player at Barry University, said they’re excited to return to some sense of normalcy.
“It’s quite hot, it’s different, but I hope that for next semester, everything is going to be similar as before,” said Buecheler.
The goal for Jackson Health leaders is to continue to expand vaccine access to students. Those who spoke to 7News said they aim to encourage their peers to get vaccinated.
“Actually getting the vaccination just encourages me even more to pretty much be excited to see what’s to come,” said Barry student A.J. Joshway.
To make a COVID vaccination appointment through Jackson Health System, click here.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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