CSU students will be eligible for the vaccine sooner than anyone expected

By Jenna Thomas

Cleveland State’s campus is home to one of Ohio’s mass vaccination clinics beginning March 16 and lasting 8 weeks, By: Jack Brancatelli

Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center has become home to one of the few FEMA Mass Vaccination Clinics in the country. Supported by federal funding and operated by the National Guard, the Wolstein Center acts as a well-oiled machine. The clinic is fully up and running with the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 people per day. 

The vaccine clinic opened March 16 and will be open for 8 weeks. As it stands, the first three weeks will provide first dose shots, the next 3 weeks will provide second dose shots, and the last 2 weeks will offer Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. 

More great news followed when Governor Mike DeWine announced that all Ohioans 16 years and older would be eligible for the vaccine beginning March 29―months ahead of what many young people were expecting.

Inside the FEMA mass vaccination clinic ahead of opening, By: Jack Brancatelli

This prompted college-aged students to book appointments for on or after the 29th. According to a cleveland.com article, Governor DeWine’s spokesperson did not discredit this technique.

“If people want to work to find an appointment, you know, we’re not discouraging that. There’s not a standard way to do it,” [source]

Once March 29 comes around, students will have an easier time signing up for appointments without technological barriers. Young people who hope to be vaccinated at the Wolstein Center can use the Ohio Department of Health signup―just be sure to put 44115 as the zip code. 

Some CSU students might even have the opportunity to get the vaccine sooner. Students have been involved at the Wolstein Center as volunteers– helping people with disabilities easily navigate the clinic, passing out information flyers, registering patients, and more. Those who volunteer at the end of the day are eligible for leftover vaccines. Even those who are not volunteers are able to join the clinic’s “no waste” line. Anyone who is interested in leftover vaccines may begin lining up at 7:30 pm near the end of the day. CSU student Molly Bregar described her experience volunteering.

“After my volunteering shift, all of the volunteers that wanted to get the vaccine were able to. The entire process from start to finish was incredible and the team on the floor displayed a high level of professionalism. I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.”

One National Guard staffer told “The Cauldron” that it simply depends on the night. 

“The other night we had to thaw a whole box of vaccines to finish the people with appointments. That night, all the volunteers and everyone in the no-waste line got vaccinated.”

Not all volunteers were so lucky. On Saturday, March 20, dozens of volunteers waited around hoping to snag leftovers ― of which there were only 5 shots. The first volunteers in line were able to be vaccinated, the rest were sent home.

If you or someone you know is getting their shot at the Wolstein Center, they can expect a quick and easy experience. CSU South and Central parking garages are available at no cost. Many people are in and out in less than 30 minutes, which is particularly remarkable because all patients have to sit for 15 minutes after their shot to be supervised for any reactions. 

Craig Thomas, a resident of Cleveland, got his first dose at the Wolstein Center and said “It was remarkably efficient, and I was so excited to see CSU students volunteering. You were helping support history!” 

Students who are interested in volunteering can fill out an interest form here.