EVMS students gaining hands-on experience, saving lives by volunteering as vaccinators

COVID-19 Vaccine

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The younger generation is rising up in the battle against coronavirus. Hundreds of Eastern Virginia Medical School students are aiding COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Hampton Roads.

Health officials continuously say shots into arms are the key to getting us to the other side of this pandemic. That’s why students at EVMS in Norfolk are stepping up to help.

“I was just inspired to get involved and try and do my part in ending that pandemic,” said EVMS first-year medical student Lydia Lukomski. “Doing our part in the pandemic and being able to do so in my first year of medical school is really impactful.”

Back in January, nearly 300 EVMS students participated in about a month of vaccination training.

“We practiced using the syringes and giving vaccines into prosthetic models, basically, in-person until everyone was comfortable enough that they could do it at the real event,” Lukomski said.

Now, they’ve collectively administered more than 40,000 vaccines.

“I’m so proud that our students were able to be part of events those events that supported populations and people in most need,” said Dr. Cynthia Romero, who is the director of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health at EVMS.

Romero also used to serve as Virginia State Health Commissioner from 2013 to 2014, so she was able to help connect students with the Virginia Department of Health and Medical Reserve Corps.

“For us to be able to provide this experience for our students, we know that they are demonstrating the vision of EVMS,” said Romero.

It’s an experience that is not only hands-on and memorable, it’s saving lives.

“We all joined medicine to help people and make an impact on their lives, but a time like right now, feels like we’re making such a huge impact,” said Lukomski.

Lukomski says they plan to keep vaccinating people at least throughout the summer and as long as they are needed.

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