UA receives 3,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine 

Vaccines are here, and first responders are first in line. Up next: On-campus students and staff.

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UA’s College of Community Health Sciences will begin administering its first batch of about 3,500 COVID-19 vaccines later this week. 

The two-part Moderna vaccine will initially be offered to healthcare providers, first responders, vulnerable populations and Capstone Village residents and employees. 

After that, Ricky Friend, dean of UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, said faculty and staff will be prioritized, followed by high-risk populations and on-campus students. 

Those employed at University Medical Center or the Student Health Center, along with officers at The University of Alabama Police Department, are considered first responders. 

“Because residential students and Greek life students live in congregate settings, they’re high-risk by definition,” Friend said. 

Friend said vulnerable populations will be identified through the Office of Disability Services. If someone has not yet filed for an accommodation but falls into a high risk category, “they can send us their information and we’ll look at it on a case-by-case basis,” Friend said. 

Priority access is being determined with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). 

Vaccination is not required for employment or enrollment at this time, but UA Vice President for Student Life Myron Pope said the goal is to eventually provide the vaccine to the entire campus community. 

Those who are eligible will receive an email and text message with instructions to schedule an appointment. Because of the vaccine’s limited shelf life, individuals have a 48-hour window to accept or decline the offer upon notification. After 48 hours, the offer will be extended to someone else. 

The recipient will authorize consent on-site at the University Medical Center before receiving the first dose and will be monitored for at least 15 minutes at the vaccination site. 

The vaccine will be free but Friend said there is a possibility of an administrative fee. Vaccine recipients are being asked to bring insurance information to the appointment. 

The second dose will be administered between 21 and 28 days after the first. This appointment will be set up immediately after the recipient receives the first dose of the vaccine.