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UC nursing students earn their degrees giving COVID-19 shots

WCPO nursing students deliver shots 2.png
Posted at 5:26 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 19:53:34-05

EVENDALE, Ohio — Jillian Vittetoe will spend her final semester of nursing school on the frontlines of a historic global crisis.

There simply aren’t enough registered nurses to administer COVID-19 vaccines at the scale they’re needed, she explained Friday afternoon, so she and her University of Cincinnati classmates are rolling up sleeves and delivering shots at vaccine sites across Hamilton County.

“I don’t like COVID, I wish it had never happened, but it really has been a blessing to learn from this experience,” Vittetoe said. “Finding the silver lining and being able to learn from a global pandemic has been a really interesting experience.”

Olivia Dean, a nursing student in the same master’s program at UC, said she believes student nurses will be in even higher demand as Ohio expands its vaccine eligibility throughout 2021.

“There's a lot of people that want their vaccines,” she said.

At the time Dean spoke to WCPO, all Ohioans over 60 were eligible to get the jab; so were all pregnant women, people with certain health conditions, law enforcement officers, nursing home employees, child care workers and K-12 educators, among others.

That’s still not even half the state’s population.

It might be an overwhelming task, but Dean said she’s heartened to see so many people excited for their shot.

“People are really appreciative, and that’s a really good feeling, to see how grateful people are and how willing they are to come get this vaccine,” she said.