BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar University is now beginning to administer COVID-19 vaccines, and they're getting help from some of their own.
Nursing students are volunteering and getting first-hand experience by giving the vaccine to fellow students, faculty and staff members.
The university received 250 complete doses of the Pfizer vaccine from Christus Southeast Texas Health System. Their goal was to vaccinate 60 people on Monday.
"We get them in, and they are so excited to have this service provide to them," Shawn Gray, director of the Student Health Center at Lamar University said.
The Lamar vaccination program is by appointment only, and only students and staff eligible to be vaccinated based on DSHS eligibility guidelines will get shots. You also have to show your university ID to get vaccinated.
Lamar is waiting on allocations from the state, and they hope to be able to give shots to members of the community by late-spring.
“This is a great opportunity for Lamar University to begin the process of vaccinating against COVID-19,” Gray said in a university news release. “I look forward to receiving more vaccines and widening the population of those who can take it.”
Right now, Texas is in Phase 1C of the vaccine rollout.
That means all adults 50 years and older are now eligible to get vaccinated. The state decided to go against CDC guidelines. DSHS says that's because death certificate data shows that 93% of Texas fatalities directly caused by COVID-19 are in people 50 and older.
"Expanding vaccination to those who are at least 50 years old will protect the next most vulnerable group and advance the state’s dual priorities of reducing the burden of disease on people at the greatest risk of hospitalization and death and protecting the health care system," the state said.