Jan. 12, 2021
After vaccinating over 8,600 health care workers the past four weeks, Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health are accelerating their pace to prepare for the next phase of the state’s vaccine rollout plan.
Starting Jan. 12, VCU students in the clinical years of their training, in health programs that are involved in patient care and students in patient-facing environments will begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Developing a plan for vaccinating students engaged in clinical care, with input from their deans, has been underway since mid-December. In the last few days, VCU Health received enough additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to start vaccinating students on a voluntary basis, using a tiered approach based upon their clinical work and patient exposure.
After receiving additional guidance from the Virginia Department of Health supporting VCU’s plans to vaccinate clinical students at this time, VCU’s deans have identified about 2,100 clinical students who qualify for vaccination. The group includes students in patient-facing environments from VCU’s health sciences schools and the College of Health Professions, VCU School of Social Work, and a few students from the departments of Psychology, Kinesiology and Health Sciences in VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences.
A number of VCU faculty and staff who work as campus health care providers also qualify for vaccination at this time.
Schools and colleges with eligible students, faculty and staff will provide additional information Jan. 12 to notify those who qualify how to make a vaccination appointment. The university is working with the Virginia Department of Health on the timeline for vaccine availability for all students, faculty and staff. VCU will release more information when it becomes available.
Meanwhile, many students eligible for vaccination have plans to step forward and staff vaccination events that are being planned for quick rollout in partnership with local health districts. They will play a vital role in getting the vaccine to front-line essential workers and older adults, who make up the next group in the state’s vaccination distribution plan.
VCU Health is working with the state and local health departments to expedite the launch of vaccination events and support their rollout during the next phases of vaccine distribution.
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