RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.- Arkansas Tech University is hosting mass clinics to vaccinate as many students and faculty as possible.
Students were lined up at the clinic Thursday, eager to get vaccinated in hopes of returning to the college life they love and have missed this past year.
Arkansas Tech student-athlete Joel Holloway was one of the hundreds getting his COVID-19 vaccine today.
“I think it’s 100 percent in need to get back to normal,” Holloway said.
Despite the line to the door, the football player says getting the vaccine was seamless.
“It didn’t take as long as I thought it would,” Holloway said. “I thought it would be this big, long process but really, just fill out a form, lift your shirt up, and take a shot.”
Arkansas Tech is operating under phase one of its pandemic recovery framework.
They say if the number of COVID-19 cases within the ATU community remains steady or goes down in the next couple weeks, the school plans to transition to phase two on April 12.
“The more people we have get vaccinated, I think the more hopeful we are,” said Kristy Davis, Associate Dean for Student Wellness.
Phase two would allow more people to gather on campus. These vaccine clinics, the university says, are playing a big role in the transition.
“We had over 300 students come in yesterday and we have about 300 more openings today,” Davis said.
Davis said students are showing a lot of interest in getting vaccinated because everyone has the same goal.
“We’re looking forward to the day we can have more classes in person and a really more vibrant, energetic campus in the fall,” Davis said.
And for Holloway, hearing the roar of the crowd again is worth the small pinch.
“I can’t wait for us to have a bunch of fans in Thone Stadium,” Holloway said.
Arkansas Tech says they’ve vaccinated more than 1,000 people on campus so far. They’re administering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.