By Emma Ralls
High Point University has been an advocate for health and safety during the CO- VID-19 pandemic. Since the return of on-campus learning in the fall, the university, administrators and staff have provided students with a safe learning environment.
One way HPU has helped fight the spread of COVID-19 is by preparing to play a direct part in storing and distributing the COVID-19 vaccines.
A Dec. 7 press release from HPU announced that the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy is providing Cone Health with a freezer to store the COVID-19 vaccines. The Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) freezer is being used to store the Pfizer vaccine.
This freezer is essential in the preservation and storage of the Pfizer vaccines, as they need to be kept at very low temperatures. This freezer will not only keep the vaccines at a stable temperature but could also provide a back-up power source.
In the press release, Dr. DeAnne Brooks, the chief pharmacy officer at Cone Health, praised HPU and the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy for their assistance.
This effort involves using dry ice to re- charge the shipping container every 5 days in order to extend the length the vaccine can be used from 20 days to six months.
HPU’s contributions to the vaccine efforts do not stop there. In December, HPU’s Dr. Jordan Smith, assistant professor of clinical sciences, made an appearance on Fox 8 to explain how the COVID-19 vaccine works.
Smith elaborated further about how the human body, once introduced to the vaccine, can recognize all the information to protect itself from COVID-19 if there’s an encounter. Those interested in watching the segment for themselves can view the video on HPU’s website.
HPU is also playing a direct hand in distributing the vaccine to Triad residents.
The HPU Community Center, located at Oak Hollow Mall, has become one of three vaccine distribution centers in Guilford County. The other two centers are located in Greensboro at Mount Zion Baptist Church and Greensboro Coliseum.
Bonnie Durland, a High Point resident, was quoted in another HPU press release regarding the community center about how grateful she is for HPU’s involvement in vaccine distribution.
“I think this is great,” Durland said. “HPU is doing a lot for the city.”
Don Campbell, the director of Guilford County Emergency Management, also applauded HPU for their involvement in the vaccine distribution process in the same press release.
“We are pleased that HPU is partnering with Guilford County Public Health,” said Campbell. “They were able to change course on previous plans and are offering the area absent of rent and utilities for the county and overall good of our citizens.”
On the home front, HPU is as dedicated as ever in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Students are still required to wear masks in buildings and outdoors unless socially distanced. Students and faculty are also still required to fill out the daily health screenings to help monitor the spread.