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College of Human Medicine students, faculty & alumni receive COVID-19 vaccine

Across the country, College of Human Medicine students, faculty and alumni are doing their part to combat COVID-19. They are receiving the vaccine and our first-year medical students are assisting with vaccine administration, nasal swabbing and contact tracing, as part of the community health pandemic response in Kent and Ingham counties.

As a first-year student, Sabrina Williams (below left) says she “did not think [she] would have many opportunities to make an impact, but volunteering in one of the first COVID-19 vaccination events felt like a monumental moment in medical history.” Williams described the room as buzzing with a great sense of excitement and relief, noting that she had never seen so many people smile while receiving an injection.

  

College of Human Medicine alum (above center) Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD ('10, College of Human Medicine), described the experience as one of the most memorable moments of his life, primarily that it stood for hope. “While the last year was undoubtedly difficult, this vaccine represented the power of medicine and the value of science. Sometimes in health care, we often forget the daily miracles that occur, and it was an incredible feeling knowing that doctors and scientists were responsible for helping start the healing process for the world. I’ve never been so proud to be a doctor and hope that 2021 will be a year of new beginnings,” he said.

While people are excited and hopeful to receive the vaccine, many are still skeptical. As medical professionals, third-year student Mauricio Franco (above right) notes that it is important to spread institutional information and build trust. “Black and brown bodies have been experimented on for so long. Our communities have been ‘research subjects’ and often never see the benefits of that extraction of data and knowledge. When folks in our communities are hesitant, it’s important we don’t shut them down” he says. 

Medical students have also stepped up to assist in the administration of the vaccine. Christi Boze (above) has been helping administer vaccines to others, including a Mercy Health nurse in Muskegon. "The experience has been invaluable" says Boze. "I never thought as a first-year med student that I would be a part of something so big. Even behind masked faces I can see the smile each health care worker has when I give them their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s great to provide some sort of relief to the real-life heroes out there.”

See more photos of College of Human Medicine students, alumni and faculty assisting with or receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.