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WSU Student Says She Got Vaccinated To Protect At-Risk Population

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The Sunflower
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Though the COVID-19 vaccine has only been offered in Sedgwick County to medical professionals and those 75 and older, some college students have already been vaccinated.

Kari Coster, a junior majoring in health management at Wichita State University, is one of the students who qualified for the vaccine in the early phases.

Coster works at a hospital, and when the vaccine was offered to her, she decided to get it because of the people she is constantly in contact with.

“The main reason I got it is because I have older parents, and also the main population at my hospital is the at-risk older generation, and it would hurt my soul so much if I was the one who caught it and passed it to someone who was way more vulnerable to the virus than I was,” Coster said.

Health officials still recommend people wear face coverings and take other precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus even after getting vaccinated.

While Coster said she understands why some people may be hesitant to get the vaccine, she believes the it's a safe way to help control the spread.

“I’m very confident in the scientists and the research that was done for the vaccine,” she said. “I know a lot of people are worried about how fast it came out, but my reasoning is they wouldn’t put it out if it wasn’t safe for people to get it.”

With the vaccine being so new, some worry about the side effects that may come with it.

Coster said she experienced some COVID-like symptoms for a few days after getting the second dose, but she said that for her, having symptoms was worth the end result.

“Thirty-six hours after having the vaccine, basically all the symptoms were gone,” Coster said. “I think 36 hours of moderate symptoms is worth it for some kind of immunity.”

Coster said once the vaccine is open to the general public, she hopes people will decide to take advantage of the opportunity to help safely fully re-open the university.

“The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely it is for it to spread as quickly…. I think once we slow the spread the easier it will be to get it under control, and that way we can start reopening things more safely,” Coster said.

The state is currently in phase two of the vaccine distribution plan — which includes persons aged 65 and over, people who work in congregate settings, and high-contact critical workers. But due to a limited supply of doses, Sedgwick County is only offering vaccinations to citizens 75 and older right now.

This story was produced by The Sunflower as part of the Wichita Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of seven media companies, including KMUW, working together to bring timely and accurate news and information to Kansans.