By RUTH MARTINEZ
Amarillo College is making it possible for students and staff to receive COVID-19 vaccines on campus. On March 9 and 10 and April 7 and 8, vaccines were given at the Carter Fitness Center on the Washington Street Campus.
The pop-up clinic coincided with AC President Dr. Russell Lowery Hart’s announcement that if Amarillo hospitalization rates remain low, masks will become optional on campus starting April 26. “Getting vaccinated is the choice of each individual. If your health supports you getting it, I hope you will,” Lowery-Hart said.
Walgreens partnered with Amarillo College to distribute the vaccines, with help from the Director of Outreach Services, Cassie Montgomery.
Montgomery discovered that Walgreens was about to have 400 vaccines expire by March 31 and was going to throw out these vaccines by the following Wednesday if they were not used. She sprang into action and set up the clinic overnight. “It was a miracle to me that this was actually going to happen overnight,” Montgomery said.
All the information about the clinic was sent out to employees at 5 p.m. that same day and on Tuesday morning at 8:15, there were 20 people already lined up to get their vaccine. No vaccines were thrown away.
Osyris Padilla, an education major and Blue Blazer, said she was impressed by the college’s commitment to helping students and staff get vaccinated. “The vaccine distribution just surpassed my respect for Amarillo College. It was amazing that AC went to the extent to bring the vaccines on our campus for our staff and students,” she said.
There were some employees who decided not to receive the Pfizer vaccine when the opportunity presented itself. Janel Vargas, a criminal justice major and Badger Central Bookstore employee, decided not to receive the vaccine. “I will in the future once there is more research and development is done,” she said.