COVID-19 vaccine update
Dear Faculty and Staff,
I write to provide an update on how the COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out to our campus community. Members of our community will be eligible to receive the vaccine, however, it appears availability will not be imminent.
Based on information gathered and provided to us by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), here’s what we know at this time:
- The supply of vaccine that New York state is currently receiving from the federal government is not sufficient to vaccinate all eligible Phase 1A and 1B persons at once. As a result, the state is prioritizing vaccination of certain groups within eligible Phase 1B groups. If the state is able to secure an increased vaccine allocation from the federal government, Phase 1B vaccine distribution will be adjusted accordingly.
- Higher education faculty and staff will be included in Phase 1B but not immediately. Educators and staff at the P-12 level are being given first priority and the Governor’s office says higher education faculty and staff will be made eligible in the coming weeks.
- Higher education faculty and staff are being considered "essential workers" not "education workers" by the state and additional categories of essential workers will continue to be added to the Phase 1B eligibility over the coming weeks.
- That means that higher education faculty and staff are not eligible to begin making reservations to be vaccinated on Monday, except for those who are 75 years or older.
- The other categories of campus faculty, staff and students that were previously confirmed to be eligible to be vaccinated remain eligible (student health employees in patient-facing roles, employees administering COVID-19 tests, students on clinical rotations with patient-facing roles, and anyone who volunteers to administer COVID-19 vaccines).
- In addition, student teachers working in P-12 schools during the spring semester are eligible to be vaccinated beginning Monday.
- Those who are currently eligible should complete this form to make a reservation to be vaccinated (note that those newly eligible groups, student teachers and anyone over 75, must wait until Monday for their eligibility to kick in).
- While many new populations will become eligible to be vaccinated Monday and many new vaccine distribution sites are slated to open, including pharmacies, doctor's offices and the Javits Center in New York City, the supply of vaccine the state is receiving from the federal government is not increasing. With more than 4.2 million people eligible to be vaccinated in Phases 1A and 1B, if the supply of vaccine does not increase current estimates are that it will take 14 weeks to vaccinate everyone in those phases, including higher education faculty and staff.
We will continue to monitor this situation for developments and will provide updates as relevant information becomes available. The information is changing rapidly and we will be sure to alert you to any relevant changes.
Marc C. Conner