by Katherine Morrissey ’22
After enduring the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year, the Friar Family and residents of Rhode Island can breathe a sigh of relief with vaccination eligibility expanding in the state of Rhode Island.
The happy news was communicated to Providence College students Thursday evening through a series of emails from the Continuity Task Force. Within the emails, students were told that all students 16 years or older now qualify to be vaccinated in the state of Rhode Island. This marks a monumental step for not only the state, but also the PC community, as all students are now eligible to be vaccinated.
The last year has tested the strength of this community, country, and the human spirit globally. Starting last March, students, faculty, and family watched as every sense of normality was turned on its head. The PC community lamented as classes went completely remote, study abroad programs and graduation were canceled, and everyone frantically grew acquainted with a new normal: a world of social distancing, Zoom classes, masks, weekly testing, and constant fear for others’ wellbeing.
At points over the last year, it seemed vaccination was far out of reach, specifically for students who attend college outside of their home state. However, with this news, students studying in Rhode Island can obtain their vaccines without having to travel home.
Late last week, students who were eligible could register to receive their vaccines on Saturday, April 17, at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The College offered transportation services to the Dunk, which made arriving for appointments more convenient.
Walking through the center and entering the stadium for the first time since last March was truly surreal. The familiar basketball court had been transformed into a fully-functioning vaccination clinic. While this new image did not match the memories of March Madness games and the John Legend concert, students found themselves in awe of how far the world has come in just over a year.
Continued information about vaccination registration and access is being communicated to students through emails via the Continuity Task Force. However, the most up-to-date information is also provided on the College’s website and the state health department’s online portal.
Vaccination appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for a vaccination appointment, students can call 211, which is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and ask for information about equity-focused vaccination clinics.