“The safest route”- how SDSU students feel about the vaccine


Collegian Graphic by Adriana Garcia

Andrea Huete, Copy Editor (She/her)

South Dakota State University hosted a Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinic Sept. 9, which was held in the Volstorff Ballroom from 1-6 p.m. 

They will also be hosting a clinic Thursday, Oct. 7 for students to receive their second dose of the Moderna vaccine. These clinics are incentivized, providing $50 in Hobo Dough to students for each dose.

At the Sept. 9 clinic, 162 vaccines were distributed, Doug Wermedal, the associate vice president for student affairs, said. 

“There were 10 nursing students that assisted with the clinic,” Venita Winterboer, a nursing professor, said.

According to Lexie Dulas, a nursing student who has helped out twice at the COVID-19 clinics in town, the setup was well organized.

Dulas mentioned people are required to wear masks as they walk in and check-in for their appointment. After having their vaccination forms reviewed and their temperature taken, students were ready to receive their vaccine.

Those administering the vaccines made the students aware of any side effects they might experience and guided them to a waiting area where they had to wait 15 minutes before leaving.

“The purpose of this was to allow our volunteers to monitor them for any allergic or adverse reactions,” Dulas said. 

There were also curtain-enclosed areas with paramedics standing by to treat any individuals who experienced an allergic/severe adverse reaction to the vaccine.

Wermedal said that SDSU continues to offer the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines by appointment in the Student Health Clinic. Vaccines are also available for students to get at any time at the two health systems and four pharmacies in Brookings.

What students at the clinic had to say:

Kirbie Payne, who attended the Sept. 9 clinic, said it is important for people to get vaccinated because, “this is a place where disease spreads a lot.” 

“It’s a giant school that many people from different places go to, so you don’t know. It’s just like the flu vaccine except this one is newer–I don’t see much difference there.”

Jackson Dana, another student, explained his reasons for getting vaccinated. 

“I got vaccinated for several reasons,” he said. “First of all, with the delta variant going around, they say this will help protect you. So I figured that it might be best, just in case … Also, they were offering $50, so that is a really good idea. $50 is a great incentive to get back. There’s not really any risks from what I can understand.”

When asked why she thought it was important, Jenny Sompwa simply said, “It’s to protect the person you love.”

Cole Bear Ribs said he got the vaccine to help protect his family, who are all older.

 “It’s the safest route I can take, just to be on the safe side, and to be protective of myself and my family, because I have a lot of elders in my family; I’m very scared to give them the sickness, so I’d rather have them be protected and be protected myself.”

Gabriella Hormann sought out her doctor before deciding to receive hers. 

“Before you start listening to the news … go and consult your doctor about it beforehand, because there are definitely risks as well as a bunch of benefits,” she said. “So I think that if you are really unsure, you should go consult a doctor because my doctor did a really nice breakdown of  ‘Okay, this is what is going to happen and what your immune system is going to do. It kind of eased me into getting my shot.’”

What students who were already vaccinated had to say: 

When asked about how she feels about others not taking the vaccine, Vanessa Valadez said, “I would say, it’s everybody’s choice, but I would feel like anybody who is willing to take the shot they are just taking their first step to helping out the community and themselves, but if they chose not to that is fine as well.”

Regardless of whether or not they were vaccinated, some students are still opposed to wearing masks.

“I’m not wearing a mask because I feel like I got vaccinated and I feel safer than before when I had no shield at all,” Asledi Castillo said. “If I am going to be like in a large group or close space or if the professor feels safer then I am going to wear a mask. Like there is no problem, I’ll wear a mask.” 

What’s happening?

  • 162 Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines administered

  • Estimated $8100 in Hobo Dough distributed to participants 

  • Next clinic scheduled for Oct. 7