Nursing students and faculty from Lander University's William Preston Turner School of Nursing are among the first people in South Carolina to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.
Dr. Holisa Wharton, dean of Lander's School of Nursing, received her vaccine Friday, Dec. 17, at Self Regional Healthcare. The vaccine was made possible through the University's clinical partnership with Self.
Wharton said Dr. Linda Russell, Self's Senior Vice President and Chief of Nursing, discussed the opportunity for Lander nursing students and faculty to receive the vaccine because of their clinical work at Self's hospital and other healthcare facilities.
"Our students and faculty are considered frontline workers through their clinical education at Self," Wharton said, noting that the vaccines are not mandated by the hospital. "The vaccine is strictly voluntary, but many of our students and faculty have requested the vaccines, and we are grateful that Self has made this opportunity available to us."
Wharton, who has had friends and members of her own family contract COVID-19, had an additional reason to get the vaccine. "In order for me to tell my Mother and my community that they need the vaccine, I knew that I had to step up and take it. COVID has affected minorities disproportionately, and the mortality rate is high. Getting the vaccination is an opportunity to protect myself and get the message to our community. I need to lead by example."