‘It means a lot’: Metropolitan Community College excited for First Lady’s visit Thursday

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will visit Kansas City this week. She’s stopping at Metropolitan Community College’s Penn Valley campus to tout partnerships helping people get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The college is offering an extra bonus for those who come to Thursday’s clinic, to help get you both vaccinated and educated. 

Metropolitan Community College is quiet right now, in between the spring and summer sessions. But this Thursday, May 27, the education center on campus will be buzzing as a vaccine clinic brings Jill Biden to Kansas City.

“We are so thrilled to have Dr. Biden. I know they could’ve chosen to go to many community colleges in the country. It’s her advocacy that’s going to help community colleges nationally but we’re excited to have her here. It means a lot,” said Dr. Kimberly Beatty, Metropolitan Community College Chancellor.

Two hundred COVID vaccine appointment slots are available, provided at the college by retail pharmacies.   As a way to entice people on campus and the community to get the shot, MCC is giving away a free class this summer or fall for both new and current students.

“We know finances is one of the primary barriers for people to start their education and so we want to remove that barrier, or at least contribute or decrease that barrier by offering a free course which is up to a $348 value for anybody that comes to get vaccinated, they will get that voucher,” Beatty said.

The college insists getting more people this protection against COVID-19 will be a shot in the arm to the economy and allow for a more normal school year ahead. 

Doctors hope the extra incentives will help alleviate any fears people have about vaccine side effects.  

“The chance of having any of these complications is greater if you get actual COVID-19 than if you get these vaccines so please continue to get vaccine. These things should not be a reason for vaccine hesitancy,” said Dr. Dana Hawkinson, infectious disease specialist with the University of Kansas Health System.

There’s an incentive for MCC staff to get vaccinated, too. Staffers who get the shot anywhere by June 30, not just at Thursday’s clinic, are entered into a drawing for one of five $1,000 prizes. 

If you’d like to sign up for the event, appointments are still available. You can sign-up online here, and a limited number of walk-in slots will be offered as well.  

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