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University of Akron prepares to vaccinate thousands of students

University of Akron
Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 18:18:10-04

AKRON, Ohio — The University of Akron will host a series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics at James A. Rhodes (JAR) Arena for students beginning Thursday, April 8.

The clinics will be held in partnership with Klein's Pharmacy, an independent, family-owned Cuyahoga Falls business.

Additional clinics at the arena are scheduled for April 9, 12, 14 and 15.

Last week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, announced a push to vaccinate college students before they leave campuses and scatter throughout the country.

Eric Green, the director of health and safety at UA, said the university is slated to receive an initial supply of 3,500 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses, also known as the one-and-done shot. Another 700 doses will be requested.

Green said about 10,000 to 13,000 students currently attend classes or live or work on campus. Students were asked to complete a survey to indicate their interest in receiving a vaccine.

University of Akron students will receive an email about the clinics and appointments are required.

"Sign ups will be made available to qualified students either Tuesday (April 6) or Wednesday (April 7) and it will be appointment-based to manage the flow of traffic," Green said.

Students will be asked to bring their student ID and their health insurance information to their appointment. In the absence of health insurance information, students should bring their driver's license.

Green indicated the university has averaged about 25 positive COVID-19 cases per week during the pandemic and peaked at more than 70 cases in late October.

"The big peaks seem to be behind us in October and November, but we're still not trending down in a consistent level. It's still up-and-down a little bit," Green said.

Ryan Christensen, a freshman from North Canton, said a college COVID-19 year has been full of adjustments, dealing with online courses, social distancing and masks. He plans to sign up for a shot.

"Absolutely, I'd get it. I think it'd be great, especially for travel with the summer coming up, being able to go on vacation and having a vaccination card for other things like that," Christensen said.

Clara Knoepke, who is in her first semester at UA, is from Germany and a member of Akron Zips women's soccer team.

She's currently sidelined with a leg injury but is anxious to get back on the field and get vaccinated.

"We talked about it with our coaches and with the other teammates and it would be better for everyone to get the vaccine," Knoepke said.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccinations at college campuses will begin next week, Gov. DeWine says