PA Students Administer COVID-19 Vaccines Throughout Las Vegas Valley

Touro University Nevada Students Participate on Strike Teams

July 8, 2021

Touro University Nevada PA (physician associate/physician assistant) students preparing to administer COVID-19 vaccines
Touro University Nevada PA (physician associate/physician assistant) students prepare to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

As the world looks toward vaccines to alleviate the COVID-19 crisis, Touro University Nevada’s medical students and faculty are on the front lines of delivery.

Early 2021
Students and faculty volunteers administered 425 COVID-19 vaccines at the university on Jan. 17. Students from the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Osteopathic Medicine participated in the event together as part of COVID-19 strike teams.

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“This was an incredible learning opportunity for our students to be at the forefront of this significant moment,” said Dr. Phil Tobin, Director of the School of PA Studies. “From the onset of the pandemic, our students have been eager to get out there and help in any way they could. This event brought students from all programs together. They are united against a common issue and are forming close bonds. As we look to round the corner of COVID-19, they can say that they had a direct impact in getting this virus under control.”

Dr. Wolfgang Gilliar, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, knows the medical students have been eager to help. “This pandemic has been devastating for so many people around the world, but our students have always been willing and able to use their experience and education to improve the situation,” he said. “I am so grateful to see our students collaborating for the common good. This vaccine is a symbol of hope for those who have been looking for something to give them hope. Once again, our wonderful students demonstrate that keeping the flame of optimism alive is a key charge to being a good physician and healthcare provider.”

Ongoing vaccination efforts
Under faculty supervision, students from the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Osteopathic Medicine have vaccinated more than 11,000 people across the Las Vegas Valley, as of July 2021. They have done so in numerous locations — in front of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign; at the East Las Vegas Community Center; at a popular entertainment and events complex; and at Salvation Army and Catholic Charities locations throughout the area.

Touro PA students vaccinated more than 100 people in front of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.

“Students come to Touro from all over the U.S., many of them drawn here by the promise of community outreach. During these unprecedented times, our students are playing a vital role in the wellness and recovery of our neighbors in the valley,” said Dr. Rebecca Edgeworth, assistant professor in the School of PA Studies. “We’ve especially been reaching out to the populations disproportionately affected by COVID infections, and the students are genuinely proud and excited at the impact our outreach has had in the community.”

“I’m so grateful that I’ve been given this chance to make a difference,” said PA student Leslie Shen. “By reaching out to our local communities, we’ve been able to educate and vaccinate so many people that I otherwise never would have been able to help. It’s been a busy month, on top of an already crazy year, to say the least, and I still think we have a long road ahead of us. I also believe we are making the right steps toward achieving some sense of a return to normalcy.”

Touro’s PA students plan to continue administering vaccines at pop-up locations throughout the Las Vegas Valley in the coming months.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in February 2021.

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