SIU School of Dental Medicine Dean Bruce Rotter, DMD, receives the first dose of the Moderna vaccine during a vaccination clinic on the Alton campus.EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SDM) Dean Bruce Rotter, DMD, is the first individual to have received the COVID-19 vaccination on campus.

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Rotter exemplified his leadership receiving an initial dose of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday, Jan. 12 on the Alton campus during the University’s first coordinated vaccination clinic, hosted in partnership with the Madison County Health Department. Amanda Pruitt, Madison County Health Service Director and Operations Chief of Vaccine Administration, helped lead the clinic.

“As health care providers, it is incumbent on us to take the necessary precautions to protect the patients we serve as well as each other,” Rotter said.

During the clinic, dentists, hygienists and clinical dental students on the Alton campus received the vaccine. According to SIUE Health Service Director Riane Greenwalt, participating individuals will receive the second and final dose in four weeks.

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Greenwalt notes the University’s vaccine distribution clinic aligned with Phase 1A as identified by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Phase 1A includes healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.

Greenwalt emphasizes that receiving the vaccine, in addition to regularly practicing the 3Ws (wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance), will protect against the Coronavirus and ensure the health and well-being of all individuals.

For more information on SIUE’s COVID testing processes and vaccination distribution, visit siue.edu/coronavirus.

The SIU School of Dental Medicine students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at its patient clinics in Alton and East St. Louis. In addition, students offer oral health treatment, screenings and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a wide variety of off-campus community outreach events. These opportunities provide students the training they need to graduate and become highly skilled dentists. The School of Dental Medicine is a vital oral health care provider for residents of southern and central Illinois, and the St. Louis metropolitan region.

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