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University of Tennessee nursing students administer COVID-19 vaccines

Some nursing students at the University of Tennessee had the chance to get some historic, real-life experience.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Students at the University of Tennessee stepped out of the classroom for the chance to get some historic, real-world experience.

Nursing students worked with Covenant Health to administer over 400 vaccinations for COVID-19 on Wednesday. There will be a second round of students administering vaccines on Thursday as well, according to UT officials.

Educators said that by administering the vaccine, students had the chance to learn lessons that are hard to teach in the classroom.

"They had the chance to talk with patients, answer questions they might have about the vaccine itself or side-effects, and even deal with some folks who might be nervous about getting the injection," said Victoria Niederhauser, the UT College of Nursing Dean.

Covenant Health also announced Wednesday that it began offering drive-thru vaccine appointments to people who are 75 years old and up at its Fort Sanders West campus.

This comes after the hospital group began administering the second dose of vaccine to its frontline healthcare workers on Monday.

Across all of East Tennessee, vaccine demand has far outpaced vaccine supply in the first phase. The Knox County Health Department said Tuesday that the county had received roughly 4,700 COVID-19 vaccines, which falls far short of the more than 30,000 people who are 75 years old and up in the county.