How UCF students are helping at COVID-19 vaccination sites

Students get hands-on experience during pandemic

How UCF students are helping at COVID-19 vaccination sites
How UCF students are helping at COVID-19 vaccination sites

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sites across Florida continue to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to thousands of people and University of Central Florida nursing students are playing a big role in that effort locally.

“The significance of the event it was just so exciting knowing that thousands of people were showing up to receive this vaccination that the world has been waiting for,” Katherine Moya, a senior at the UCF School of Nursing said. “There was a father who actually brought his son who has special needs and he was so relieved to be able to provide this opportunity for his son and they were coming all the way from New Smyrna Beach.”

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Moya, 26, is one of about 200 UCF nursing students who’ve collaborated with vaccination sites hosted by five different health organizations including AdventHealth, Orlando Health and the Volusia County health department.

“To know that we were the ones that were providing-- the ones providing that resource and that opportunity for people was just so majorly significant and emotional,” Moya said.

UCF’s goal is to provide all nursing students who plan to graduate this spring with the opportunity to participate in at least one vaccination administration.

“We are fortunate that UCF College of Nursing throughout the pandemic, has been able to maintain live clinical experiences. It’s a monumental opportunity because you’re helping proactively to support health and wellness of a pandemic,” said Kate Dorminy, UCF’s clinical coordinator. “The College of Nursing at UCF is wanting to link arm and arm and be a participant in that and we feel very fortunate that they’re letting us assist.”

Moya graduates in May from the UCF College of Nursing, a degree she pursued after becoming a psychologist in 2016. She said her passion sprung in a different direction after her brother suffered seizures caused by a condition called cerebral edema, when the body becomes intoxicated by too much water.

“Seeing that, you know, it was tragic but then also seeing the impact that these nurses had on my brother and my family’s life just every little thing that they did helped him improve and that was so powerful for me, it made me feel I need to do this for somebody else someday,” Moya said.

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