Vaccine clinic targets delta surge

School announces on-campus event


Erika Herridge, director of Health Services, encourages students and staff to get vaccinated during the upcoming clinics.

By Anna Gum, Editor-in-Chief

In the effort to fight COVID-19 and the Delta variant, Hockaday has announced plans to host an on-campus vaccine clinic. The clinic will be open from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 and 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Oct. 23. On those days, students, faculty, staff and their families will have access to free COVID-19 vaccines.“Our hope is that those who have been hesitant to get vaccinated will choose to get one of the vaccines,” Director of Health Services Erika Herridge said.The school’s medical advisory team and the COVID-19 Core Task Force are working in partnership with Carpe Diem Health to plan the clinic. Herridge said she hopes it will increase Hockaday’s vaccination rate and result in a safer, healthier community.“We encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated because the vaccine has been shown to be effective at preventing serious infection and hospitalization,” Herridge said.The school has released a message encouraging its community to get vaccinated and is only mandating vaccines for residence students who will move into the dorms in January. As of September, the school had reached a vaccination rate of around 85 percent. The vaccine has proved to be more important than ever as COVID-19 case numbers rise and the Delta variant surge continues, medical experts report.“I think it is a great idea to keep everyone in our community safe,” freshman Charlotte Schultz said.First identified in India in December 2020, the variant arrived in the United States the following March. Also known as B.1.617.2, it is roughly twice as contagious as previous variants, according to Yale Medicine. Its high transmission rate has allowed it to be responsible for 98 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the United States at the end of the summer, the Healthline website reported. Named a “variant of concern” by the CDC, Delta has provoked new CDC recommendations, including masking while indoors regardless of vaccination status.Delta also differs from other strains in the type and severity of symptoms it presents. Original COVID-19 strains traditionally caused a cough and a loss of smell and taste. Delta, however, causes flu-like symptoms such as headache, sore throat and fever, according to Yale Medicine. Hackensack Meridian Health also reported that those infected by the Delta variant are two times as likely to be hospitalized than those infected by the previous Alpha variant.Yale Medicine reported unvaccinated individuals face greater risks for contracting and spreading the virus. While the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been shown to be slightly less effective against the Delta variant than previous variants, data has shown Pfizer to be 42% to 96% effective after two doses and Moderna to be 66% to 95% effective after two doses, according to Healthline.With this data in mind, junior Stella Kozielec said she thinks the clinic will have a positive, lasting effect on the school.“It will benefit the school greatly,” Koizielec said, “and assure the health and safety of our community.”