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Vaccine

Many are anticipating the widespread availability of a COVID-19 vaccination in the months ahead. The University of Minnesota is currently preparing a phased approach for access to the vaccine for students, faculty, and staff that follows guidelines developed at the federal and state level.

Vaccine Availability

Multiple vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, the vaccine is not expected to be available to the general public until the second quarter (April, May, June) of 2021. 

As outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health, which is coordinating the vaccination effort in Minnesota, COVID-19 vaccinations will take place over several phases.

The University is following guidelines established by the state for each phase of vaccine distribution. Currently in Phase 1a, the state has established three priority levels: 

  • First Priority
    • Hospitals, which include all personnel working in dedicated COVID-19 units, intensive care units , emergency departments, and designated COVID-19 urgent care clinics 
    • Emergency Medical Services personnel
    • COVID-19 testing personnel
    • COVID-19 vaccination personnel 
    • Long-term care facility personnel
  • Second Priority
    • Hospitals, which include all personnel providing direct patient services or handling infectious materials and not included in the first priority group 
    • Urgent care settings, which include all personnel providing direct patient services or handling infectious materials and not included in the first priority group 
    • Dialysis centers, which include all personnel providing direct patient services or handling infectious materials
  • Third Priority
    • All remaining healthcare workers not included in the first and second priority groups that are unable to telework, such as:
      • Hospital personnel
      • Ambulatory and outpatient settings
      • Dental clinics
      • Pharmacies
      • Public health clinics
      • Mental/behavioral health settings

University Vaccination Planning

At the University, vaccination distribution plans are developed and led by the University of Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Team and approved by the Campus Public Health Officer. Our community—across five campuses—is large and diverse. Throughout the weeks and months ahead, the COVID-19 Vaccine Team continues to identify specific target populations of students, staff, and faculty and ensure timely access to vaccines as they become available from state and local public health partners.

For each phase of vaccination distribution, the University will follow to the following steps:

  1. Federal and state public health officials release guidelines for the upcoming phase of vaccine distribution.
  2. The U of M COVID-19 Vaccine Team reviews those guidelines and develops a University-level distribution plan for the upcoming phase.
  3. The plan is then reviewed by the Campus Public Health Officer. 
  4. Once approved by the Campus Public Health Officer, the University submits a request for vaccines to state and local public health partners.
  5. Once vaccines are received for distribution on campus, individuals in a given target population will be asked to schedule an appointment for vaccination at a designated vaccine clinic. 

Current status on the Twin Cities campus

Current status on the Twin Cities campus: PHASE 1A - 1st and 2nd PRIORITY (Updated Jan. 19)

  • Phase 1a assessment of those eligible to receive the vaccine has been drafted by the COVID-19 Vaccine Team and approved by the Campus Public Health Officer. While revisions have been made after a review by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), this process continues in consultation with state health leaders as guidelines are revised.
  • Vaccine clinics for personnel who are staffing current COVID-19 testing clinics, the state-level testing lab, and future COVID-19 vaccine clinics were held during the last week. SARs-CoV-2 researchers handling hazardous materials and urgent care providers were also vaccinated.
  • The University continues to have limited access to COVID-19 vaccines. Clinics held this week will reach local-level testing lab personnel and health sciences students currently doing direct patient care in hospitals, urgent care clinics, or long-term care facilities who do not have access to the vaccine through their clinical site. 
  • To ensure timely use of available vaccines and to avoid wasting vaccines, open appointments will be offered to those who have been approved by MDH and are in the third priority of Phase 1a. Filling open appointments is at the discretion of clinic managers and in accordance with MDH guidelines and the University’s COVID-19 Vaccine Team. 
  • The COVID-19 Vaccine Team is monitoring the status of federal and state guidelines for others in the University community who may be eligible to receive the vaccine.

Additional Resources

Additional information regarding vaccinations can be reviewed at the following locations:

Questions

While vaccination planning continues at the University, please reach out to [email protected] if you have questions.

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