MTSU Health Services staff receive COVID vaccine at Siegel High School

Including about 15 MTSU Health Services and Pharmacy staff members, dozens of area health care workers and first responders received the first round of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, Dec. 23, at the Siegel High School gym in Murfreesboro.

Wednesday’s vaccinations are believed to be some of the first to be administered in Rutherford County.

MTSU Pharmacist Tabby Ragland called it a positive experience, saying site officials “had a huge setup. It was very efficient and very well separated.” Once inside the gym, participants registered, completed forms and signed an agreement to receive the vaccine, Ragland said.

Officers with the Murfreesboro Police Department were available to provide security and screen participants, making sure they qualified to receive the vaccine.

Dr. Aruna Shah, a physician with MTSU Health Services, was among those receiving the vaccine.

“Staff schedules were accommodated to allow people to go in shifts to get vaccinated,” said Lisa Schrader, Health Promotion director. “We will all need to do it again in four weeks to receive the second dose of vaccine.”

In all, about 40 MTSU Health Services staff have chosen to receive the vaccine.

Ragland said she “experienced soreness in my arm” after receiving the vaccine around 1 p.m. as the five-hour event was wrapping up. “Several others said they also had soreness in their arm.”

“Hopefully, people will feel more comfortable with getting the shot,” Ragland said. As for vaccine distribution on the MTSU campus to students by Health Services staff, she added she is “hopeful … once it becomes more available.”

Schrader said Dr. Eric Clark, MTSU Health Services’ medical director, was contacted originally by the Tennessee Department of Health, letting him know the Health Services staff would be included in Phase A1A of the vaccine.

Schrader said when she “studied about the mass vaccination campaigns for polio and smallpox in school, I never thought I might one day be a participant in one. It is exciting to feel like we can see the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel.”

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