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Update: Expansion of Eligibility and Significant Progress on Vaccine Distribution at UGA
Medical Oversight Task Force
Dr. Garth Russo, Executive Director of the University Health Center (Chair)
Dr. Marsha Davis, Dean of the College of Public Health
Dr. Lisa Nolan, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Shelley Nuss, Campus Dean of the AU/UGA Medical Partnership
Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) have announced that, beginning Thursday, March 25, 2021, all adults over the age of 16 in Georgia will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. The University Health Center (UHC) will soon begin issuing invitations for appointments to the remainder of our faculty, staff and students over age 16. Invitations will be extended to groups in this order:
all those 16 and over who have comorbidities who have not yet received an invitation;
all those 35-54 who do not have a comorbidity; and
all those who are 16 and older.
If the number in a group exceeds the available supply of vaccine, a random sample of individuals in the identified group will be utilized. This process will continue in accordance with the volume of vaccine received each week.
We are pleased to report that vaccine shipments to the UHC have become much more routine and robust in recent weeks. In the month of March, the UHC has received approximately 4,680 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine. Our UHC staff members have moved quickly to book appointments with eligible individuals and administer the vaccine in an efficient manner. As of March 15, adults age 55 and older, as well as those age 16 or older with comorbidities, were eligible for appointments.
To date, 3,168 eligible members of our campus community have received their first dose of vaccine, and another 1,769 individuals have completed the full regimen of two doses. The UHC has not yet received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, only Pfizer and Moderna.
As eligibility now expands to all of our faculty, staff and students, please know that you will be contacted by the University Health Center when it is your turn to be vaccinated. Vaccines will only be given by appointment, and we are being very careful to ensure that no vaccine is wasted. Per UGA Human Resources, you will not need to take leave for your vaccine appointments. We have prepared a brief video that explains how the process is managed at the University Health Center. If you have not already watched the video, we encourage you to do so.
When you are contacted by the UHC, please make your appointment as soon as possible. With every person we vaccinate, our community becomes safer and stronger. To learn more details about vaccines and UGA’s process for administering them, visit the UHC’s FAQs.
With this latest directive from the Governor and GDPH, please understand that you may be immunized at any number of sites across the state. We are offering a service to the University community by providing immunizations in a convenient location at the University Health Center, but we certainly understand that the limits of our vaccine supply might motivate some members of our campus community to seek earlier appointments elsewhere.
We continue to ask for your patience and understanding as we work to administer the vaccine in an orderly and efficient manner until everyone who wants a vaccine gets a vaccine.
In the meantime, we urge you to continue to remain diligent in washing your hands, wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding crowds, even if you have already received both doses of the vaccine. We also strongly encourage you to take advantage of our continuing surveillance testing that is being offered. While we have been greatly encouraged to see that cases of COVID-19 are declining, we cannot be lulled into complacency while variants are emerging. If you have not yet been vaccinated, you need to continue taking part in UGA’s free surveillance testing. In the coming weeks, we will be mounting a new campaign to help our campus community finish strong in our testing for the Spring Semester. Testing at Legion Field can be scheduled through the VetView website, and walk-ups are also welcome.
Thank you for your ongoing efforts to keep our community Georgia Strong/Dawg Strong.