About 3,635 people were vaccinated for COVID-19 at the community vaccine clinic at the Rasmussen Center on Saturday with the help of more than 300 volunteers.

The Creighton operation, which is one of four clinics rolling out vaccines in Douglas County, is the only one that is interdisciplinary and student driven, said Jenny Tilleman, a doctor of pharmacy and associate professor in the School of Pharmacy.

Health sciences, nursing, EMT, medicine and pharmacy students are placed into both clinical and nonclinical roles.

Darci Legore, a third-year student in the School of Pharmacy, helped prepare the vaccine for administration.

“My role during the COVID clinic was to add sodium chloride to the vial of vaccine and properly mix the vaccine to then pass onto my colleague, [who] drew up doses,” Legore said.

She had previously volunteered for Shoo the Flu. Unlike the flu vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine being used at the clinic must be brought to room temperature and mixed before it can be administered.

“More people are needed to prepare the vaccine,” Legore said.

Pharmacy students are taught techniques for mixing medications, preparing IVs and combining other products under sterile conditions, according to Legore, which prepared students to mix the vaccine to then pass onto my colleague, [who] drew up doses,” Legore said.

She had previously volunteered for Shoo the Flu. Unlike the flu vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine being used at the clinic must be brought to room temperature and mixed before it can be administered.

“More people are needed to prepare the vaccine,” Legore said.

Pharmacy students are taught techniques for mixing medications, preparing IVs and combining other products under sterile conditions, according to Legore, which prepared students to mix the Pfizer vaccine.

Katie Sandquist, a third-year student in the School of Pharmacy, also helped prepare the vaccine.

“All pharmacy students are encouraged to volunteer their time to prepare the vaccine or administer the vaccine to patients,” Sandquist said. “This is an essential service that our profession has the skillset to contribute to.”

She said volunteering at the clinic is both a learning opportunity and a way students can contribute to public health.

“There was an overwhelming sense of relief and joy from the people receiving the vaccines,” Sandquist said. “It is a wonderful privilege to serve our community and be a part of that joy.”

In addition to preparing the vaccines, student volunteers helped administer the vaccine shots.

Srilekha Bonala, a student in the accelerated nursing program, was one of the vaccinators.

“The clinic was very well-organized, and considering the amount of people who passed through, the atmosphere was quite calm,” Bonala said. “I was so grateful to be offered the experience to do my part by helping members of the local community stay healthy.”

There were also plenty of nonclinical volunteer positions available for under- graduate students.

Allie Jones, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, signed up to volunteer at the clinic through the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice.

She bounced between positions, greeting and directing people inside the clinic as they went through the registration stations and directing traffic in the drop-off and pick-up zone outside the building.

“I think it's really important to be able to provide health for people in the community, all across the community,” Jones said. “So having a clinic that's open for all Douglas County that we can put on as Creighton students, and creating community, I think is really important.”

Jones said the clinic is expecting another 4,000 appointments this weekend.

“For the amount of people that are being seen at the Creighton clinic, it's pretty organized throughout and, you know, spacious and open,” Jones said. “Everyone's just excited to be there and talking to each other.”

The Creighton clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays at the Rasmussen Center.

All vaccinations are by appointment only, and all registration is through the Douglas County Health Department.

The health department is currently scheduling appointments for residents who are 65 years old or older.

A total of 447,849 vaccines have been administered in Nebraska, according to the Department of Health and Human Services vaccine dashboard.

About 10.3% of Nebraska residents over the age of 16 have received both dos- es of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Students interested in volunteering at the vaccination clinic can sign up on Creighton’s community vaccine clinic website.

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