Millersville University students Jasmine Smith and Matthew Teare arrive at the Vaccinate Lancaster community vaccination center for College Day on Friday, April 30, 2021. (Photo: Provided)
Millersville University students Jasmine Smith and Matthew Teare arrive at the Vaccinate Lancaster community vaccination center for College Day on Friday, April 30, 2021. (Photo: Provided)

Friday was “College Day” at the Vaccinate Lancaster Covid-19 community vaccination center.

More than a dozen institutions from Lancaster and neighboring counties took part. Three of them provided transportation to the vaccination center at Park City: Millersville University, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.

Organizers were expecting "a couple hundred students" throughout the day, Vaccinate Lancaster spokesman Brett Marcy said.

Signing up was easy, said Jasmine Smith, an art education major in Millersville University. She just scanned a QR code on a poster with her phone and it took her directly to the signup page.

She and Matthew Teare, a Millersville meteorology major, took the first of the university's three scheduled buses to the vaccine center. Teare said he was “just excited to help stop the pandemic, even in a little way.”

Millersville University students Jasmine Smith, left, and Matthew Teare receive their Covid-19 vaccinations at the community vaccination center on College Day, Friday, April 30, 2021. (Source: Provided)
Millersville University students Jasmine Smith, left, and Matthew Teare receive their Covid-19 vaccinations at the community vaccination center on College Day, Friday, April 30, 2021. (Source: Provided)

The Vaccinate Lancaster Coalition, the consortium behind the vaccine center, began planning College Day a few weeks ago in an effort to increase the vaccination rates for younger adults, which are lower than the overall population's, Marcy said.

Appealing to students to get vaccinated now is part of an effort to assure that they have enough time to get their second dose before the end of the semester, he said.

Even if they have to get their second shot elsewhere, they should get their first shot now, said Amanda Shirk, general manager of Rock Lititz, which set up the vaccine center and is handling logistics there.

Millersville spokeswoman Janet Kacskos said the university's Incident Management Team, which meets three times a week to discuss campus' Covid-19 response, made a big push to publicize College Day, posting flyers all over campus, sending out text messages and posting on Millersville's social media.

Smith and Teare said that even if they experience side effects from the vaccine, it's worth it.

"It’s better than getting Covid,” Teare said.

College Day: Participating institutions

  • Central Penn College
  • Eastern Mennonite University
  • Elizabethtown College
  • Franklin & Marshall College
  • HACC
  • Lancaster Bible College
  • Lancaster County Career & Technical Center
  • Lancaster County Workforce Development Board
  • Lancaster Theological Seminary
  • Lebanon Valley College
  • Millersville University
  • Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
  • Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
  • Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
  • YTI Career Institute
Emily Ritchey