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Vaccinations offered during UConn commencement ceremonies | News

EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – It’s the moment students wanted, but feared they were going to lose.

Today, hundreds of UConn students turned their tassel and graduated in person.

“We didn’t think it was going to happen. After last year, it was all online and we were all really sad about it, and so when we found out it was happening, we all signed up right away and we came, and it feels amazing,” UConn graduate Alyssa Paladino tells us.

Paladino says the school limited the number of people that could RSVP, kept everyone social distant, and masks were required.

On top of those safety measures, the school also partnered with Community Health Center and hosted a vaccine clinic next door.

One group of graduates were all vaccinated before today, but say this vaccine clinic was ideal.

“My family lives around the area as well, so my mom actually got her vaccine here last week, so it’s definitely more accessible, which is what we need,” UConn graduate Zoe Green said.

It’s a push clinics, like CHC, are doing to target people who haven’t gotten the shot.

“The graduates can really set an example for their other brothers and sisters, sometimes for their parents,” Mark Masselli, president and CEO of Community Health Center says.

With clinics like this one, officials hope to beat the hesitancy some might have.

“Now is not the time to throw the ball down and spike it, so we have more work to do. We are doing everything we can. We are sort of shifting from these large vaccination sites to add more hubs,” explained Masselli.

These vaccine hubs could be in graduations, amusement parks, and beaches.

“It’s something we haven’t experienced before. If you can find something that can protect you and keep you safe, and everyone around you safe, why not do it?” asked UConn graduate Samantha Garcia.

“If you are hesitant and have doubts, read up on it, educate yourself. There’s a reason why it was approved by emergency FDA, so I think you just need to educate yourself,” UConn graduate Franches Garay added.

As graduation ceremonies continue, so will the clinic.

All you have to do is drive in, no appointment needed, and get your shot of Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer.

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