UConn Medical Students Gain Real-World Experience at FEMA Mobile Vaccine Clinic

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UConn medical students are getting some one-on-one experience before they graduate. On Wednesday and Thursday, health students are working at the state's mobile vaccine clinic while it's in East Hartford.

Alexis Hicks is an aspiring pharmacist who is a week away from graduating from UConn. Pharmacy students are supposed to have in-person experience during their last year but COVID-19 halted some of Hicks' plans.

"It was greatly impacted by the pandemic," said Hicks. "A lot of times, I had to work remotely or it was a hybrid between the two."

Hicks heard about the opportunity to work at the FEMA vaccine clinic and wanted to pick up on some skills at the clinic.

"I said 'yeah, I'm willing to help'," said Hicks. "There is a huge demand for people to help with this entire movement for vaccinations."

UConn students studying public health, dental, pharmacy and nursing are helping with the state's FEMA mobile vaccine clinic. Students get to administer shots and interact with patients.

"I personally just like found it super rewarding," said Omar Allam, a medical student at UConn. "The experiences I have here with patient population and working with people from all diverse backgrounds is great and I get feedback on how I'm doing."

UConn leaders tell NBC Connecticut the additional help gets society one step closer to the end of the pandemic.

"It's really important to involve everybody so that everyone can continue to get vaccinated," said Anne Horbatuck, Vice President for Ambulatory Services at UConn Health.

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