Students Give NYC/Queensborough Vaccination Program a Shot in the Arm

Published: May 17, 2021

Veronica Javellana, a first-year nursing student from Sydney, Australia, is assisting patients and staff at Queensborough’s vaccination site in the Robert F. Kennedy Hall.

“We help with the workflow, check-in patients, direct some traffic and observe people for side effects after they have their vaccination,” said the qualified (in Australia) midwife, among dozens of Queensborough nursing and emergency medical technician students assigned to the campus facility operated by the New York City Department of Health and the Hospital for Special Surgery.

“My specialist qualification was not transferable here, so I decided to do nursing at Queensborough to get all the foundation knowledge I need to pursue my bachelor’s in nursing,” Javellana explained on a busy Thursday morning, in between serving patients.

“It’s a great experience for our students to work with Hospital of Special Surgery staff, who administer the vaccinations and manage the site,” said supervising Nurse Professor Nancy Mobyed.

“We’re serving the community and we love it,” Professor Mobyed added.

Dave Meketansky at vaccination site

Dave Meketansky, a first-semester Queensborough nursing student, is assigned to the vaccination site.

Queensborough students work one eight-hour shift a week at the center, learning from physician assistants, nurses, and nurse practitioners who manage daily operations.

Dave Meketansky, an EMT for eight years with The Glen Oaks Volunteer Ambulance Corps (which covers northeast Queens including Bayside), is a first-semester Queensborough nursing student assigned to the vaccination site.

“As a volunteer, we’re keeping people safe,” he says, in the corner of the gymnasium where earlier he and his partner cared for a post-vaccination patient who was feeling faint.

“We had 568 people here in just four hours, one-day last week,” he said, adding that a wide variety of patients, from 16-year-old soccer players to a 95-year-old woman had been in to receive their first and second shots.

“The people coming reflect the diversity of our community. And having a vaccination site here, in the neighborhood helps builds trust and comfort. That goes a long way in getting people vaccinated.”

Staff at the Queensborough location have administered nearly 10,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine from April 21st to May 17th. Vaccinations are available Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, please visit



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