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March 18, 2021

Why I Will: Employees discuss why COVID-19 vaccination is important

On March 16, Frank Telewski, professor of plant biology and director of the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Arboretum, drove to MSU’s Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education to receive his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. He describes the drive-thru vaccination clinic as quick and easy and says the vaccine was similar to receiving a flu shot.


The 65-year-old, who’s had three open-heart procedures within the past 10 years, says receiving the vaccine was a priority to protect both his health and the health of the community.


“The sooner we can get everybody vaccinated in this country, the sooner we get back to a semblance of normalcy, and I'm really looking forward to that,” he said. “I'd like to be able to be in a classroom with students, go to a movie theater or out to dinner and board an airplane again.”


Like Telewski, many Spartan faculty and staff members are arming up with the COVID-19 vaccine to help end the pandemic. 


Currently, more than 107 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the United States. Over 3 million doses have been administered in Michigan.


“A lot of extended family members that I am close to have some pretty serious health conditions,” said Kelly Feister, asset management and preventative maintenance coordinator at Strategic Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, or IPF. “To me, doing my part is making sure that when my family and kids are around, that they're as safe as possible.” 


Feister is currently on the waitlist to receive the vaccine at Ingham County’s drive-thru vaccination clinic, which administers more than 1,000 vaccines per day.


With MSU’s large population, it’s critical for employees to receive the vaccine to minimize the transmission of COVID-19, says Jack Mumma, IPF administrator. 


“MSU needs to have health security to operate,” said Mumma, who received the first dose of the vaccine on March 10. “And that's only going to happen if we get people vaccinated and we stop spreading this.”


From protecting families to pushing toward a quicker end to constant Zoom meetings and face coverings, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine helps everyone, Telewski said. “You can be a little self-centered about it and say, ‘I don't want to get sick,’ but it also keeps your colleagues, your students, your family and your friends from getting sick. And I think that's all positive.”

By: RiAn Jackson

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