Clarksville, TN – Montgomery County has a new partner in its battle against the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic – Austin Peay State University (APSU).
Early Wednesday morning, the University received word from the Tennessee Department of Health that Austin Peay State University was now an official vaccination site for the county.
APSU expects to receive its first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine next week.
“Austin Peay is a vital part of this community, and our faculty, staff, and students have worked hard throughout this pandemic to provide current scientific information and resources to keep all Clarksville-Montgomery County residents safe,” Dannelle Whiteside, interim APSU president said. “We’re excited to begin administering these vaccines to protect our friends and neighbors, and hopefully bring an end to this pandemic.”
Austin Peay State University has spent the last three months preparing to become a county vaccination site. While waiting for the state to approve its application, APSU’s physical plant set up vaccine tents in parking lot 11, next to the Ard Building, and the University’s nursing faculty and students prepared themselves to begin administering doses.
“Once we receive our doses from the state, we’ll give the vaccine only to individuals who have made an appointment through the state’s website,” Michael Kasitz, APSU assistant vice president for public safety, said. “And we’ll dispense the vaccine following Tennessee’s phased vaccination plan, which means we won’t accept any walk-in appointments.”
Last month, Austin Peay State University opened a new clinical laboratory on campus for testing and vaccines. The lab has an “ultra-freeze” freezer, which is necessary to hold the vaccines.
These freezers are “very hard to come by, they’re very pricey and most people don’t have them,” Dr. Heather Phillips, the clinic’s director, said. Joey Smith, Montgomery County’s public health director, “asked if the university would be willing to help not only store the vaccine for the Clarksville community but if we would also be willing to vaccinate part of the community.”
For information on Tennessee’s COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccination plans, visit https://covid19.tn.gov