This story originally appeared on University News.
UW–Madison School of Nursing students are giving the COVID-19 vaccine to teachers and other qualifying populations around the southern part of the state, to help with the massive task of vaccinating against the new virus that caused a global pandemic.
In March, they volunteered in Dane and Jefferson County, while in April 2021 they will expand to Sauk and Portage counties. They’ve already put in 1,000 student hours, and expect to put in many more, said Jessica Coburn, assistant professor in the School of Nursing.
“Being able to contribute to warding off this disease is so empowering and rewarding, and it just makes me feel like all this suffering all of us have been experiencing is moving toward a resolution,” said nursing student Kayla Van Boxtel.
The students also gain experience and earn clinical hours needed for graduation that have been harder to come by during the pandemic.
Educators welcomed the vaccine, and the students’ contributions in providing it.
“It’s going to make make me feel a lot more comfortable and confident being around kids,” said Todd Patton, a Lake Mills science teacher who was vaccinated. “It’s a little bit of security even though we’re still going to be wearing masks and everything like that. That extra step is really important.”