‘Just go get it.’ Students who have received the COVID-19 vaccine encourage others to get their shots

Jean Philippe, left, will get vaccinated when he returns home to New York, while Iris Cotrupi, center, and Zach Stanziano, right, have each received one of two doses. “Just go get it,” Stanziano urges others. Photos by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

“Just go get it. It brings peace of mind.”

That’s the advice of Zach Stanziano to fellow Northeastern students who haven’t yet received the coronavirus vaccine. Stanziano is getting the second dose on Friday, about three weeks after receiving the first shot.

The fifth year electrical engineering and music technology major was standing outside of the Cabot testing center on the Boston campus wearing a special edition yellow and blue Boston Red Sox jersey, appropriate given that he will soon be attending his commencement ceremony at Fenway Park.

Stanziano’s parents and sister have already been vaccinated and, as the youngest in the family, is excited to complete the circle. Stanziano works around people frequently because of a job in retail, and says he’d feel better knowing that others around him have received their doses.

“It’s pretty quick, it takes just a couple of minutes, and it’s not hard to get an appointment anymore,” the Connecticut resident says.

Portraits of Byron Kress and Grace McNamara

Houston native Byron Kress, who studies cybersecurity, will be vaccinated later this summer. Grace McNamara, who studies theater and communications, will get her second dose before returning home to Bermuda over the summer. Photos by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

His remarks come on the second day that everyone in the United States over the age of 16 is eligible for the needle prick. Northeastern is requiring all students returning this fall to be fully vaccinated unless they are exempt for medical or religious reasons. Information about vaccines — including where to register and what to expect at inoculation sites — can be found here.

“Our message continues to be get the vaccine as soon as you can,” says Madeleine Estabrook, Northeastern’s senior vice chancellor for student affairs. “There’s no reason to delay, and make sure you get the full complement.”

Iris Cotrupi, a first-year international affairs and economics from New Hampshire, already had her first dose in her home state and is slated to receive the second one in about two more weeks. Cotrupi is on the women’s rowing team and feels more at ease when she goes to practice knowing that she’s halfway to being fully inoculated.

Some of her teammates are involved in a co-op in the medical field and received their shots weeks ago, Cotrupi adds.

Haleluya Asfaw, who is studying data science, received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine about a week before distribution was paused while federal officials investigate reports of a rare, dangerous blood-clotting disorder in a few women. The second-year student from Maryland says she wasn’t concerned about the reports and has experienced no side effects.

Jean Philippe, a second year communication studies and theater major, hasn’t been vaccinated yet but plans to be when he returns home to New York City in about a week. “I don’t want to get my vaccination in two different places,” he explains.

At first he was skeptical, but now that his mother and sister have been inoculated and he has learned more about the doses, “I feel a little bit more relief,” he says.

Third year cybersecurity major Byron Kress, who just qualified for inoculation two days ago, would have received the doses earlier when Texas loosened eligibility requirements, but he couldn’t make it home to Houston. So now he plans to get vaccinated later in the summer.

Grace McNamara, a second year communication studies and theater major, is preparing to get  her second shot this week in Boston. She’ll be fully vaccinated well in time to return home to Bermuda in early July. The vaccine isn’t mandatory but is strongly encouraged, according to the British territory’s government.

McNamara’s parents have been vaccinated, but with infections rising and Bermuda on lockdown, “they’re just kind of sitting at home,” she says, laughing. “My arm hurt after the first shot, and I know some people feel sick after the second one, but honestly, just go for it,” she advises others.

For media inquiries, please contact media@northeastern.edu.