Eligible Kent State professors get vaccinated

Bowen used Facebook for tips on where to go for her vaccination.

Alexandra Golden Reporter

Once COVID-19 vaccines became available to Ohioans 65 or older, some Kent State professors became eligible and received their vaccine in the beginning of Feb. 

Candace Bowen, a journalism professor, traveled 45 minutes to receive her first dose on Feb. 4. Bowen struggled to find a place to get vaccinated, even after researching her options. She received a tip from another faculty member about a vaccination site in Warren.

John Eichenlaub, a performing arts professor, traveled 55 minutes to receive his first dose on Feb. 8. “I found a couple of articles that listed the places that were authorized to give vaccines,” Eichenlaub said. “I just registered anywhere I could think of, and then I waited.”

Lawrence Terkel, a religion studies adjunct professor, traveled 30 minutes to receive his first dose on Feb. 2. Terkel tried to register for the vaccine using three different websites. Terkel decided on using Marc’s Pharmacy, but still had difficulties scheduling an appointment. 

The first location he chose showed no appointments, so he looked for opportunities at other Marc’s Pharmacy locations. When he clicked on an available time, it was gone within seconds. “You can’t hesitate,” Terkel said. “You need to be quick on the trigger.”

After getting vaccinated, patients have to wait for 15 minutes to ensure there is no immediate reaction, Eichenlaub said. During that time, he was handed a card registering that he received his first dose and was told when to come back for the next dose.

All three professors had different reasons for getting the vaccine. 

Terkel is a very active person who goes skiing, teaches yoga and swims competitively. He was also concerned about the long-term effects of COVID-19. He also has been teaching in person during the pandemic. Along with this, he wants to see his family again. “My wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in October and no one came,” Terkel said. “We couldn’t exactly celebrate.”

Eichenlaub wanted to get vaccinated because he has experienced a pandemic before and has seen the devastating effects. When he served in Vietnam during 1968 through 1970, there were multiple pandemics that had happened there. 

Bowen got vaccinated because she hopes to teach in-person classes next semester. Also, Bowen has not seen her family in over a year, except on Zoom. Lastly, she wants to keep her community healthy. “The more people that had it, the safer it would be for all of us,” Bowen said.

The vaccine is currently only available for those who are 65 years of age or older, people with pre existing conditions and K-12 teachers, but the vaccine will eventually become available to all who want it. 

“I just think we have an obligation, as long as it’s safe. Everything is risk and reward and the risk of the illness in all of these vaccination cases is worse than the vaccine,” Terkel said. “The odds are overwhelmingly in your favor.”

Alexandra Golden is a COVID-19 reporter. Contact her at [email protected].