Undergraduate Daven Sarikonda got his COVID-19 vaccination because of his father.
As a cardiac electrophysiologist in Toledo, Daven’s father regularly saw COVID-19 patients with potential heart issues. He worked long hours, suffered facial bruises from the tight medical masks, and like so many other provides, still lost some patients.
“I wanted to get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid contracting the virus from him—should he bring it home—and passing it along to someone else,” said Daven, now a rising sophomore who hopes to become a physician himself. “I was just doing my part.”
Daven is one of four winners of this week’s vaccination verification drawing, in which selected students had their choice of $500 or three months of parking in an available space in the campus lot or garage of their choice. Terence Tsai, a doctoral student in chemistry, is the other.
“I decided to get vaccinated because I need to conduct research in the lab to make the research project move forward,” said Tsai, who earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon. “Getting a vaccine shot turned out to be very essential for me and my lab mate.”
Gabriella Celeste, policy director for the Schubert Center for Child Studies, was this week’s staff winner, while Professor David Gurarie was randomly selected among faculty.
Guararie, whose primary appointment is in mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics, co-authored four research papers on COVID-19 over the past two years—including one that modeled transmission in college communities. He got vaccinated as soon as possible, and didn’t hesitate to submit his card to the university’s secure health record system.
“I see the importance of collecting public health data for policies on- and off-campus,” he said. “That was the main reason for uploading it,” not the incentives.
Celeste, who also co-directs the College of Arts and Sciences’ childhood studies program and is an adjunct professor of anthropology, also got vaccinated because of the science that showed vaccines would help support the community’s health. She uploaded her vaccine card because of its impact on everyone’s campus experience—including hers.
“I’m hoping to be back in person with my students in the fall,” she explained. “While I was so grateful to how my students this last year showed up online and supported one another throughout the semester, nothing takes the place for me of in-person discussion and co-learning.”
The deadline for this week’s drawing of submitted vaccination cards is 5 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, June 18. For information and instructions, please visit this page.