AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - This week is spring break for Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW), but for Emily Frey, a nursing student, she spent her spring break giving people a COVID-19 vaccine shot.
“It doesn’t make me nervous,” said Frey.
Last spring break Frey was at the beach with family, but this year she volunteered her time.
“I decided why not help with the vaccine clinic because it’s pretty much a monumental moment. So I mine as well help,” Frey told WALB News 10.
Frey said she didn’t really have any travel plans and needed to knock out some community service hours for one of her classes.
She said she doesn’t believe she’s missing out this spring break because she had more important, life-saving plans.
“I’m just glad I’m helpful, that’s why I went into nursing and I want people to feel like they’re getting care from somebody who cares about them and actually wants to be there to help them,” said Frey.
School officials said around 100 people affiliated with GSW got their first COVID-19 vaccinations when the school’s health center staff and Frey ran their first COVID-19 vaccine clinic Thursday.
They administered vaccines to the university community who fall under the new Phase 1A+ criteria.
Frey said she has administered dozens of COVID-19 shots at Thursday’s clinic but has given out 500 or 600 COVID-19 shots since January at other facilities like Phoebe Sumter. She’s heading to Cordele on Friday to once again give out vaccines.
She said helping others is “just a personal joy” for her.
The 21-year-old senior said having a professional and comforting bedside manner means everything to her when taking care of her patients.
“I’m not somebody who’s just here to give you a shot. I’m here to be your friend,” said Frey.
Frey said she hasn’t decided if she wants to stay in Americus or return to Athens once school wraps up. She said she plans to stay in healthcare and wants to work in a hospital.
Frey said that although she is eligible to get a COVID-19 shot she hasn’t done so yet, but does plan to get one.
Most of the people who got their shot at Thursday’s clinic were faculty, staff and a few students, but the clinic was also open to staff’s immediate family members.
GSW Math Professor Jason Franklin and his wife Tara took advantage of the clinic to combat the virus.
“The main reason (I got the shot), I lost my father in October to the virus so I’ve been waiting and itching to get it as soon as it came out,” said Franklin.
Kimberly Hart is a physician’s assistant at GSW’s Student Health Center and was at the clinic Thursday.
“But we are hoping that we will do another first-time vaccine clinic here on campus in the next couple of weeks because we do have enough stock of the vaccine to give so we wanna give it,” said Hart.
GSW leaders distributed the Moderna vaccine.
They said those who got it Thursday will get their second dose in April.
GSW staff said that many of their students and staff have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine before Thursday’s event.