Dear Danforth Campus faculty, staff and students,
As the State of Missouri has continued to implement its COVID-19 vaccination plan in recent months, we have stayed in close contact with our hospital partner BJC HealthCare, which has been a state-designated vaccine supplier. Since December, BJC has been administering the vaccine to eligible individuals according to the state’s tiered roll-out plan, which under Phase 1A included personnel at the School of Medicine and essential healthcare workers on the Danforth Campus.
Up until this point, Washington University was not authorized as a vaccine supplier. However, we have just learned that the School of Medicine has received authorization from the state to distribute vaccines and has received its first small shipment of supply. We have received a modest number of vaccines and will begin immediately to distribute these to members of the Washington University community and patients within the Washington University Clinics, in accordance with the rules set forth by the state and federal government.
We are hopeful that we will continue to receive at least a small supply of vaccine, and we will make this available to members of our community as supply allows. We will begin with Danforth Campus community members who are ages 75 and older, and then move on to employees who are ages 65 and older, as vaccine availability allows. Beyond that, we will move forward with a process to identify those who are at increased risk, defined by the state as those with the following risk factors: adults with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, weakened immune system due to organ transplant, severe obesity (BMI >40), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome. Developing a process for this group will take a bit more time because this information is not readily available to the university’s Occupational Health Services. We will reach out as soon as this process has been developed.
For those of you who meet the age requirements, we will reach out to you directly with an invitation to make an appointment to receive your vaccination. In the meantime, please continue to pre-register for the vaccine through BJC and other hospital systems, pharmacies, or your local municipalities if you have the opportunity to do so. We recommend that you take the first vaccination appointment that becomes available to you. Please see our COVID-19 vaccination FAQ page for additional information.
We remain grateful for your patience and resilience as we continue to work through this very important phase of managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine is certainly cause for optimism and we are all hopeful that more members of our community will be protected from COVID-19 very soon.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs