Monday Afternoon Update

Good afternoon,

We would like to share the information we currently have about the COVID-19 vaccine and what to expect moving forward.

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of two COVID-19 vaccines. Initial quantities are very limited in West Michigan and across the nation. For that reason, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services vaccine distribution plan follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for prioritizing who will get the vaccine and in what order.

Most of our University community will fall into Phase 2 of the vaccine distribution schedule, which will occur later this spring. This continues to be a fluid situation, one that we are closely monitoring. More information on vaccine distribution and the phases established by the MDHHS are available on the Vaccinate West Michigan website.

Partnership with District Health Department #10

The College of Pharmacy, College of Health Professions and other areas on campus are partnering with District Health Department #10 to provide storage and vaccine distribution for the 10-county region while providing educational opportunities for our health-focused students. In addition, the Birkam Health Center will be obtaining and administering vaccines to the campus community when they are available. As more information develops, the Re-entry Committee will share this with the campus community. 

A COVID-19 vaccine workgroup, composed of faculty and staff from across various colleges on campus, is facilitating this collaboration with the health department and is led by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Bobby Fleischman.

Currently, the University is storing the Pfizer vaccine for the health department, as we have the deep freezer storage capacity needed to safely store the vaccine. Clinical staff in the College of Pharmacy and College of Health Professions, along with students from these respective colleges, will be assisting the health department with vaccine clinics as they become available.

Below are a few of the recent questions we have received regarding the COVID-19 vaccine:

1. Will receiving the COVID-19 vaccine be a condition of employment?

No, faculty and staff will not be required to receive the vaccine.

2. Will I still have to wear a mask and socially distance after I receive the vaccine?

Yes. The CDC recommends continuing the mitigation practices established to continue to limit the spread of COVID-19 even after receiving the vaccination. Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing our hands often will continue to play an important role in stopping the pandemic. More information on this can be found on the CDC’s website.

Please visit the State of Michigan’s website for more information on the vaccine and related information, or the District Health Department #10 website. You can also click on this local health department map to find your local health department and to find out how to receive the vaccine when it is available.

As always, all Re-entry communications to faculty, staff and students, and other important information is available on the Coronavirus Updates Hub homepage under “Info for Faculty & Staff” and “Info for Students.” Please continue to check this page frequently for updates. If you have trouble finding information or have a question, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

-The FSU Re-entry Committee