Over 900 CUNY nursing students to help with city COVID-19 vaccine rollout

FILE PHOTO: Moderna’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Bathgate Post Office vaccination facility in the Bronx, New ork
Nurse Ellen Quinones prepares a dose of the Moderna’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Bathgate Post Office vaccination facility in the Bronx, in New York, U.S., January 10, 2021.
Kevin Hagen/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Close to 1,000 nursing students from the City University of New York system will help with the city’s vaccine rollout, officials from NYC Health and Hospitals announced Wednesday. 

Students, while under CUNY faculty supervision, will administer vaccines to eligible New York City residents, observe patients after they have received the shot and set up appointments in the city’s 11 public hospitals and Gotham community-based clinics. 

The deployment of the 984 nursing students–scheduled to begin this week and last throughout the spring–will not only ramp up vaccination efforts across the five boroughs but will also help students meet clinical hour requirements needed to earn their degrees. More CUNY nursing students could be deployed across the hospital system in the coming weeks as eligibility for the vaccine expands, according to a statement from the city’s public hospital system.  

“NYC Health + Hospitals is eternally grateful for the support we’ve received from partners, like CUNY, through this pandemic that have sourced additional hands to help save lives,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and System Chief Nurse Executive Natalia Cineas.  “We are confident the support from these students will further facilitate swift and safe workflow as vaccine supply increases and eligibility expands.”

Before helping with vaccine rollout, CUNY nursing students underwent “competency checks” and completed online training on the Modern and Pfizer vaccine. 

“CUNY’s health professional students are proud to support our partner, NYC Health + Hospitals, on local vaccine administration to help stop the pandemic in New York City,” said CUNY University Dean for Health and Human Services, Patricia Simino Boyce.“Our students – and our University – value the opportunity to serve at this important time.”

Over 2 million vaccinations have been administered in New York City since shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines first arrived in the state in December. The pace of vaccine distribution is expected to speed up given the recent approval of Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week. Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday New York state is expected to receive 164,800 doses of the third FDA-approved vaccine this week. 

Currently, some essential workers, New Yorkers over the age of 65, and those with some co-morbidities can schedule an appointment to receive the shot. Eligible New Yorkers can set up an appointment on the city website. https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/