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June 15, 2021

Veterinary students, faculty members administer COVID-19 vaccines

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A number of veterinary students, residents, and faculty and staff members at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine were trained to administer COVID-19 vaccines to humans. About 30 people from the veterinary college volunteered for the training to be vaccinators at ISU mass vaccination clinics.

Monique Reid practices performing a vaccination
Fourth-year veterinary medicine student Monique Reid practices performing a vaccination on a mannequin human arm at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. (Photo by Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

Abigail Swanson, a fourth-year student, said the training, which is offered by personnel from ISU, included a CPR certification course, practicing injections with mannequin arms, and learning safe needle practices.

“I did not expect to have as much fun as I did,” Swanson said about the vaccination clinics. She volunteered twice. “I didn’t know how I would react to dealing with humans rather than animals, but it was busy and moved smooth. I have a minor interest in public health, and I figured that this would be a good opportunity, and now I can tell people that I helped in a major way with the pandemic.”

Dr. Dan Grooms, dean of the ISU veterinary college, was trained to administer COVID-19 vaccines, too. He said volunteering with COVID-19 vaccination programs is a way that the veterinary profession is helping during the pandemic.

“This is another great example of how veterinarians are a part of the response to an issue such as this,” Dr. Grooms said. “It’s one health.”

The AVMA offers a resource with information for veterinarians and veterinary students who are or want to be COVID-19 vaccinators.