As news of emerging COVID-19 variants surge, Alvernia students took aim against the pandemic by hosting the Shot for a Shot event during halftime of the Alvernia Men’s Basketball game on Dec. 1.
“It was really moving to see all of my classmates participate in something for a great cause,” said Alvernia senior communications student Matt Mitchell. “With everything happening throughout the pandemic, it was nice to see people get together and celebrate what it means to be vaccinated while having fun doing it.”
Students organized a knockout basketball competition during halftime where attendees learned about vaccine awareness. Alvernia Associate Professor of English and Communication Dr. Jodi Radosh and students in her health communication service-learning class partnered with the Berks Immunization Coalition to spread the importance of vaccines. Alvernia Director of Health and Wellness Dr. Claire Murphy and Chairperson of the Berks Immunization Coalition Dr. Tracy Scheirer addressed vaccination misinformation. They focused on the COVID-19 immunization boosters.
“Spreading awareness is the first step to creating immunity in our community,” said Scheirer. “That is why as chairperson of the Berks Immunization Coalition, I think Alvernia students taking initiative to spread vaccination awareness is crucial to educate those who may have had doubts or misinformation about the vaccines. There is so much misinformation out there, and it is important to be able to provide people with some of the facts about the vaccine, which we were able to do with this event. With the new strain coming out and cases on the rise, the CDC recommends everyone 18 or older to get a booster shot.”
The students also shared the importance of other vaccines, including HPV. They held a screening on-campus about the documentary, Someone You Love, which follows five women who have HPV and cervical cancer. The Halftime Knockout Competition cost $1 to participate in, and all the proceeds went to the Yellow Umbrella Foundation for HPV vaccination awareness. Students also distributed hand sanitizers courtesy of the Berks Immunization Coalition and information about COVID-19 and HPV vaccines.