Dr. Garth Russo, Executive Director of the University Health Center, Chair, Medical Oversight Task Force
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
As of Tuesday, April 13, the University Health Center (UHC) reached a milestone in its vaccine delivery efforts: extending invitations to all of our faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated. That’s nearly 55,000 invitations! Going forward, the UHC will no longer issue invitations by email but will instead rely on individuals to schedule their vaccine appointments through the user-friendly UHC Vaccine Portal.
We remain committed to administering the vaccine as efficiently as possible until everyone who wants a vaccine gets a vaccine. This week, as an added incentive, we are offering special “Georgia Strong/Dawg Strong” T-shirts to all those inoculated at the UHC.
We are very pleased with the progress that we have made to date in vaccinating our campus community, particularly in recent weeks as our supply of vaccine has become more routine and robust. As of close of business yesterday 12,355 individuals have been vaccinated at the UHC. Of those, 4327 are now fully vaccinated.
The UHC received additional shipments of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week and is able to accommodate up to 1,000 individuals each day for appointments. Remember that these vaccines require two doses: the Pfizer vaccines are administered three weeks apart and Moderna at four weeks. The UHC will provide second doses to any student, even if they have graduated before the date of their second dose of vaccine is due, and will continue to offer vaccines throughout the summer.
Last week we received our first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine—5,000 doses, which we had planned to administer this week. However, as you may have read, the FDA and CDC recommended that states temporarily halt using J&J’s vaccine out of an abundance of caution after six of the 6.9 million individuals in the United States who received it developed a rare blood-clotting disorder. The UHC had administered 188 doses of the J&J vaccine on Monday before suspending its use and has followed up with those who received it. So far we know of no issues.
We are aware that many members of our UGA community have been inoculated at sites other than the UHC, and we fully support those efforts. No matter where you receive your vaccine, our community becomes safer and stronger with every person who is vaccinated.
Recently a panel of UGA experts discussed a variety of topics related to vaccine safety and efficacy. We encourage you to watch the complete session and share it with others to learn more about how the available COVID-19 vaccines can help keep you and your family safe. For an overview of how the vaccine process is managed at the University Health Center, watch this video.
We continue to urge you 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 the free surveillance testing that we are offering at Legion Field. Participation has waned significantly in recent weeks, but we encourage all members of the community—whether you have been vaccinated or not—to continue to be tested because the results help us to understand the impact of both vaccines and variants.
T-shirts are also being offered at the Legion Field testing site this week. You can schedule tests through the VetView website, and walk-ups are always welcome.
Let’s work together not only to be Georgia Strong/Dawg Strong, but also to Finish Strong this Spring Semester!