A campus vaccination clinic would be located at Red Deer Polytechnic if the student association president had her way.
“I personally am working on trying to get a community clinic set up here on campus for when classes start again. That way any students who haven’t yet had their first or second dose can go and get them very easily,” Savannah Snow said.
Snow initially approached polytechnic administration about a clinic when vaccines were first rolled out to students. She said administration seemed to have an appetite for the clinic, and was told to pursue it again in August.
“I’m hoping that they will agree to push forward.”
She said an RDP students’ association poll showed only about 20 per cent of students indicated they had no intention of getting the vaccine when it was first available.
Given the growing number of COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, a campus clinic would be prudent, and could be set up on the second floor of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, she said.
RDP has not commented on the possibility of a campus vaccination clinic.
On Monday the NDP said only 50.9 per cent of Albertans aged 20 to 24 have two doses, and called on the province to provide on-campus vaccination clinics.
“We have a golden opportunity here to vaccinate large groups of the population at a place where they will be congregating. Let’s bring vaccines directly to the students,” said NDP education critic David Eggen.
He said testing should be available at the clinics for students, faculty and staff who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
“Most students that I have consulted with want access to testing especially if they’re going to sit in lecture halls with hundreds of their peers. They not only want this for themselves, but they want to take personal responsibility for not spreading the virus to others,” Eggen said.
The NDP said $83 million is also needed for additional sanitization, cleaning staff, PPE and other necessary precautions for Alberta campuses before the first day of classes in September.
After the province moved into Stage 3 of its reopening plan on July 1, RDP announced masks were no longer mandatory, but still recommended them on campus while encouraging physical distancing when possible. People were still required to check in daily using the polytechnic’s SAFE App.
Snow said most classes are a blended model, with half the time spent in the campus classroom and half spent attending class online from home.
“I think everyone is just ready to have some in-person events and to start getting back to normal.
“I think students are pretty confident that they’ll be safe. The college has done a pretty good job on being responsive.”