Students look off-campus for additional vaccination opportunities


Simpson students and Indianola residents get the COVID-19 vaccination in Cowles Fieldhouse. Photo by Jacob Kuehl.

by Paul Hyatt, Staff Reporter

After Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that all Iowa residents over 18 years of age were eligible 

to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, many Simpson students have been given the opportunity to act on this.  

How many Simpson students have been making the decision to be vaccinated?  

According to a poll posted on The Simpsonian’s Twitter account, 74% of students have or plan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now that they are eligible, while 26% said that they do not plan to. 77 students responded to the poll.  

If Simpson students missed the college’s times of offering vaccines, it is still possible to find places to be vaccinated in or around Indianola. Hy-Vee, Walmart and Warren County Health Services all are providers of the COVID-19 vaccine, although appointments need to be made ahead of time. 

Various places in Des Moines also offer vaccines. To find specific places and check availability, students can go to to find and book appointments.  

For some students, the vaccine rollout in this area of Iowa has been too slow. One of these students is senior Eli Marriott.  

“I received the Pfizer vaccine, and I received it from the Mayo hospital clinic in La Crosse, Wisconsin, which is my family hospital,” Marriott said. 

Katie Cardoza, a senior at Simpson, also went off-campus for the vaccine.  

“I got my first dose in Marshfield, Missouri, and the second at Medicap in Indianola. I chose to get it because I just want the pandemic to be over and I want to go out in public without the guilt and fear of infecting someone else,” Cardoza said.  

Other students who have had more success with the vaccines provided on campus describe their experience.  

“I got the Pfizer vaccine on campus through Hy-Vee,” Paris Flack, a junior said. “I was worried I’d have a reaction to the second dose, but all went well for me. Getting the vaccine felt like common sense to me. I live with a nurse and an at-risk individual back home and I wanted to do what I could to help protect them.”  

Ethan Madden, a junior at Simpson, was one of many students who has experienced side effects with his injection.  

“I got Pfizer and I was super tired that day and my arm was super sore for a couple of days. I was not hesitant whatsoever to get it though, I was stoked,” Madden said.  

For other students, it is not a decision of where they will get their vaccine, but if they will get one at all.  

“I’ve already had COVID, so I already have the antibodies in my system. So pretty much a vaccine is to put antibodies in the body, so the death rate for COVID for younger people is lower than the flu, and I don’t know the longer-term effects,” a first-year, who wishes to remain unnamed, who has decided to not receive the vaccine yet, said.  

Kiki Pastor, a junior at Simpson, also struggled with this decision.  

“I’ve been hesitant for a little bit, but then realized it’s better to be vaccinated rather than have COVID again,” Pastor said. “My mom is a nurse and we have had multiple discussions about it. So, when there were extra ones at Hy-Vee, I took the opportunity before they expired.”  

As of April 19, 2,060,963 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Iowa. 31,000 of those doses have been administered in Warren County.