Tatum: More students are getting vaccinated

FAMU’s testing site is seeing more than 3,000 people a day. Photo courtesy: Jazmine Runyon

The coronavirus has reached its peak on Florida A&M University’s campus, according to Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services at FAMU.

Many students are aware that the COVID-19 virus has been spreading throughout the campus, she said. Earlier this month the testing site was seeing more than 100 positive cases a day.

Students are trying to protect and follow the protocols that FAMU is promoting. Due to the high volume of cases, students are highly encouraged to get vaccinated. If they are vaccinated, the university recommends that students get the booster shot to stay safe.

With FAMU’s testing site seeing more than 3,000 people a day, more than half of those tests are coming back positive.

Most students continue to practice COVID-19 safety protocols by cleaning their hands, social distancing and wearing their masks on campus, Tatum said.

Tatum said they are also working hard to keep students at other institutions in the community safe.

“Not only are we vaccinating FAMU students, but we also cater to Lively Tech College, Tallahassee Community College, and Florida State University,” Tatum said.

Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services at FAMU. Photo courtesy: Jazmine Runyon

Vaccination numbers have increased drastically from last semester to this semester, with a 33 percent increase in students getting the booster shot, Tatum said.

“One reason why more students are getting booster shots now is that we as the university are seeing such an increase in the virus with the new variant that is going around,” Tatum said. “Everyone is trying to take as many precautions as they can to stay safe.”

When the vaccine was introduced 14 months ago, it didn’t include a booster shot. However, the virus has evolved, and the vaccination process has changed tremendously. The two-shot treatment has now turned into two shots and a booster shot for students and others to stay safe.

Jamal Lake, a business administration student at FAMU, says he had to overcome his fear of getting vaccinated.

“I was scared to get the vaccine, but after experiencing the virus when it first came out, I went ahead and got both of the shots and got the booster shot,” Lake said. “It is important to want to keep the university and the people I am around safe.”

Mark Campbell, a political science student at FAMU, says getting vaccinated isn’t stopping the virus.

“I am not big on getting the vaccine, and I have yet to get the flu shot,” Campbell said. “Personally, these shots are not keeping away the virus. People are still getting sick with the shots and booster shots.”