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UMMS students bring COVID-19 vaccine to underserved downtown Worcester

By Bryan Goodchild and Susan E.W. Spencer

UMass Medical School Communications

April 20, 2021

Nine UMass Medical School student volunteers administered COVID-19 vaccinations to the community on Monday, April 19, at the YWCA Central Massachusetts in downtown Worcester. The mobile clinic, which delivered roughly 300 doses of the Moderna vaccine, was one of scores so far deploying trained health care personnel as well as nonclinical volunteers in the Vaccine Corps, a program organized by UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to where people need them the most. The event itself was organized by the Worcester Department of Health and Human Services.

More than 7,000 volunteers statewide have signed up with the Vaccine Corps as of mid-April and have delivered more than 55,000 doses of vaccine to nearly 41,000 people.

Pointing out the Salem Square location, serving largely vulnerable residents, Mina Botros, SOM ’24 and an organizer of student volunteers, said, “What that really means is, we came to the community.”

Graduate School of Nursing student Reginald Sarpong said administering vaccinations throughout the community has given him a sense of accomplishment in being able to counter the pandemic.

Camila Hernandez, SOM ’24, said it was “a really amazing feeling” for students to get out of their homes, engage in hands-on work, and “do something to fight COVID and to get to know the community a little better.”

Other UMMS volunteers at the YWCA were: Alex Richard, SOM ’24; Ben Potee, SOM ’24; Brian Argus, SOM ’22; Christy Mangiacotti, GSN; Kamal Sidhu, GSN; Jack Dufton, SOM ’24; and Ekaterina Skaritanov, SOM ’24.

Related stories on UMassMed News:
UMass Medical School launches Vaccine Corps, backed by philanthropy, to support statewide vaccine rollout
UMass Medical School students to administer COVID-19 vaccinations for Worcester area
We're building a vaccine corps of medical and nursing students – it could transform efforts to vaccinate underserved areas
Chancellor Collins and President Meehan call for COVID-19 Vaccine Corps in Boston Globe op-ed