'We will be a part of history': Eager medical students are helping speed up US vaccine rollout

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'We will be a part of history': Eager medical students are helping speed up US vaccine rollout

INDIANAPOLIS – Nursing student Brandi White, 43, was a little nervous vaccinating her mother in mid-January.Angie Stark, 62, was initially hesitant

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Nursing student Brandi White, right, injects her mother, Angie Stark, left, with the Pfizer vaccine at  Ascension St. Vincent William K. Nasser, MD, Healthcare Education, and Simulation Center: 1801 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS – Nursing student Brandi White, 43, was a little nervous vaccinating her mother in mid-January.

Angie Stark, 62, was initially hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, even though she works at a long-term care facility for the elderly. But pride quickly replaced that hesitancy when she saw her daughter at work on the evening of Saturday, Jan. 16.

After White was done, her mother stood up, gave her a big hug and said, “thank you.”

“It was amazing,” White said, who also vaccinated her 21-year-old daughter that night. The three generations of health care workers volunteer at Ascension St. Vincent William K. Nasser, MD, Health Education and Simulation Center in Indianapolis.

While White and Stark administer vaccines to Indiana residents, the youngest registers patients at the front desk. She’s also very proud of her mom.

“It was nice for all of us to be there together,” White said. “It feels good to be doing something.”

Seniors and others arrive at Ascension St. Vincent William K. Nasser, MD, Healthcare Education, and Simulation Center, 1801 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, Ind., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Medical students are expected to be an increasingly important part of the nation’s unprecedented vaccination effort. President Joe Biden’s National COVID-19 strategy says clinical students, retired health care professionals and health workers who normally do not give vaccinations should all be called upon to deliver vaccines.

In White’s case, her chance to administer vaccinations came through her school. It worked with the Students Assist America program, an initiative spearheaded by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations by using qualified medical students.

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The effort comes as the nation faces a surplus of distributed but unused vaccines, with about 20 million doses currently waiting to be administered, according to Friday data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 



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