Colleges, universities help drive vaccinations

As COVID-19 vaccines reach more people than ever in Western North Carolina, local colleges and universities are playing a big role. 

Western Carolina University gave its 10,000th vaccine dose on April 7. A-B Tech has hosted the tens of thousands of shots administered by Buncombe County. 

The clinic at UNC Asheville has been the site of more than 11,000 vaccinations and Mars Hill University is ramping up on-campus vaccination clinics, planning its third.

Students are giving shots and manning phones as well as lining up to get their vaccinations. 

International relations major Maggie Fairey receives the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at the Reuter Center on UNCA's campus. The center has served as a vaccination site for the surrounding communities since February. On Thursday, they held a special vaccination day for UNCA students and administered over 550 vaccines.

“There’s a real sense we’re really contributing to the public good,” said Sarah Broberg, special assistant to the chancellor for communication and marketing at UNCA. “For so long, many of us felt sort of helpless.”

Partnering with the Mountain Area Health Education Center, the clinic at UNCA has been rolling since February and has given more than 11,000 doses, she said. 

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