This past Sunday, April 11, 2021, in partnership with Safeway Pharmacies, the Audelia Community Response team, Delegate Lorig Charkoudian’s office, and the City of Takoma Park, Washington Adventist University (WAU) hosted outdoor immunization centers at the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church parking lot, located on Greenwood Ave. One thousand Pfizer first dose vaccines were to be provided to the community throughout the day, from 8 am to 6 pm.
As of April 6, 2021, the state of Maryland moved forward into Phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Now, all Marylanders the age of 16 years and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Due to Maryland’s accelerating vaccination
rate and increase in supply, many vaccines need to be administered before their expiration. Mass vaccination sites and local medical clinics across the state are being opened to provide people the chance to get vaccinated, one being Washington Adventist University.
“WAU has been a great partner for the City of Takoma Park throughout the pandemic as we work to recover from COVID-19 as a community,” said Jessica Clarke, Deputy City Manager for the City of Takoma Park. “Dr. [Weymouth] Spence graciously allowed us to use the University’s Greenwood Ave. parking lot for County COVID-19 testing in the fall.”
WAU previously partnered with the City of Takoma Park for COVID-19 testing back in October 2020, opening a new COVID-19 testing site on October 14th free of charge to the community, without requiring an appointment, insurance, or form of ID. The testing site was available to the public every Wednesday from 11 am to 6 pm, allowing thousands of individuals from around the community to get tested safely and efficiently.
“When we reached out last week with this last-minute opportunity from Safeway Pharmacies, Dr. Spence and his team did not hesitate in their offer of support, equipment, and outdoor space,” Clarke continued. “Many of our residents who still need to be vaccinated live in the apartment complexes along Maple Avenue. Safeway Pharmacies’ use of WAU’s parking lot put 1,000 doses within walking distance of those who most need it.”
John Cake, WAU’s Director of Security and Public Safety, and his staff members assisted the vaccination team, making accommodations to the site as needed, managing the traffic between each appointment, giving directions to bathroom facilities, and providing security. “The vaccination event was well planned and organized. The WAU facilities team provided tables and chairs for the vaccination team who remained on schedule throughout the event,” Cake commented. And their work did not go unnoticed, several students and members of the community expressed the relative ease of the registration process and the vaccination procedure.
As a result of this partnership, 960 people were vaccinated with the first dose of the Pfizer vaccination. This was a tremendous turnout, and we are thankful to those in the community who came out and took a step towards protecting themselves and others from the rapid spread of COVID-19. Washington Adventist University is excited to continue this partnership and reopen outdoor immunization centers on May 1, 2021, when community members and students return for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Please take the initiative to get vaccinated and visit the Maryland Vaccination website and the Montgomery Vaccination website to register for available vaccinations. For more information on COVID-19 and the vaccine, please visit the CDC website or FDA website.