ASU Helps MPS: University Administers COVID-19 Vaccine to MPS Employees
By Kenneth Mullinax / ASU
Alabama State University has taken another giant step in the University’s ongoing effort to help in the fight against COVID-19.
During a Feb. 22 news conference, President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., and Montgomery School Superintendent, Dr. Ann Roy Moore, announced that ASU is partnering with MPS to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the public school system's employees.
“This is an exciting day for us as we announce this new partnership with the Montgomery Public School system as they work to ensure the safety of their employees and the students they serve,” President Ross said.
“Alabama State University has been on the forefront of fighting and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health as well as the Montgomery Housing Authority, not only to provide opportunities for our students, faculty, staff and alumni to be tested on this campus, but we have also been designated a vaccination administration site. Today, we are here for a very unique partnership. As a former public school employee—a former teacher and a former principal—I know how important it is that our students are in the classroom; but we also have to find a way to safely reopen our public schools. We feel that vaccinations are one way of helping to ensure students and school employees are safe,” Ross added.
The University began administering doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 800 MPS employees on Thursday, February 25. The vaccinations were given under the supervision of Dr. Joyce Loyd-Davis, ASU’s senior director of Health Services.
“This partnership is going to be an awesome venture with the Montgomery Public Schools system,” said Davis. “It is of paramount importance that we vaccinate individuals within our community so that we can ultimately create the herd immunity. To be able to give more than 800 vaccines is a wonderful start in the Montgomery Public School system’s efforts to protect their employees. We have an operation here on campus where we have been able to provide the Moderna vaccine for nearly a month, and now the Pfizer vaccine. Having both vaccines on our campus is huge for our University, for the community and for us being able to make these huge pivots so that we can help create a safer community and a safer environment.”
Davis said the campus testing and administering of the Moderna vaccine to ASU employees will continue during the regular clinics that are held weekly on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. MPS employees will receive their vaccines on alternate days.
MPS SUPERINTENDENT THANKS ASU FOR HELPING
MPS Superintendent Moore explained that the vaccinations were given to school system employees who registered for appointments with ASU’s Health Center staff. The appointments will continue as long as the vaccine is available at the University.
“I want to say to everyone here how much we appreciate the ability to partner with the ASU institution to make sure that some of our folks who are very nervous about returning to work can get their vaccine,” Moore said. “It’s been a long road. We’ve worked through many, many avenues, but this is the first one where we’ve actually been able to say that we have a designated amount of vaccine available to our employees. It’s interesting that I get emails from young students…and older students…saying they want to return to school. Our teachers also want to return but they want to return safely. So, with this partnership and being able to get a vaccine designated for our employees, it’s a wonderful sort of thing that has happened here. And we are so appreciative of Dr. Ross and all of his team who have helped to make this happen.”
Theron Stokes, associate executive director of the Alabama Education Association, also praised the University for their efforts to protect the community.
“We send great appreciation to Dr. Ross and also to the ASU Board of Trustees for always standing up to be the first to do what is best for this community and also this state,” Stokes said. “I am a proud graduate of ASU. I would like to claim that the black and gold that we wear is not just for colors, but for the impact we have on students and also this nation. We’d like to say this is a great partnership in being able to work together to make sure that educators are protected because the only way students can be protected is to make sure that the employees that work within the school system are protected.”
ASU Board of Trustee member, Delbert Madison, gave a poignant summation to the announcement of the vaccination partnership.
"As I stood here today, one of things I was thinking about is that we’re going to be able to protect the community even more and get our children back in school. We just want to say thank you to everybody who’s been involved in this process, especially a big thank you to our leader, Dr. Ross, for the work that he’s doing. I will end on this note: We are better together." Madison said.