Rowan Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic opens in Stratford with medical students volunteers

Katherine Scott Image
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Rowan Medicine opens vaccine clinic with med students volunteers
Hundreds of medical students are volunteering to help at the newly opened Rowan Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic.

STRATFORD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Rowan Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic opened in Stratford, New Jersey on Thursday morning, with medical students administering the first injections.

Dr. Adaora Okoli-Umeweni, a physician with Rowan geriatrics, received the first vaccination.

"It's the right thing to do. It's something we all must do," Dr. Okoli-Umeweni said.

Dr. Okoli-Umeweni has cared for nursing home patients and patients with COVID 19.

"We've been on the front lines since February. We've seen people get sick. People die. People get better, and this is the right thing to do," said Dr. Okoli-Umeweni.

Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine Dean Dr. Thomas Cavalieri explained, "We just received the Moderna vaccine yesterday. So we are ready to go."

Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, who was also vaccinated, said they call this vaccination program "Operation Saving Lives."

He added hundreds of medical students are volunteering to help, with supervision.

"Every medical student dreams of saving lives, and I tell them this is an opportunity to do that," said Dr. Cavalieri.

Anjani Patel of Edison, NJ and Nida Ansari of Flanders, NJ., third year medical students were selected to administer the first vaccinations.

The clinic is expected to build up to accommodating around 400 people a day, starting with health care workers.

To do that, they need student volunteers.

"We have people who are registering the patients, we have people giving the vaccines, people who are monitoring- everything," Ansari said.

Patel, student government president, added, "No one thought in our medical career that we would be part of a pandemic, so it's taught us a lot as future physicians."

The vaccination center is expected to remain operational for at least six months.