Message to students: Update on COVID-19 Vaccines
We write today with an exciting update: The Indiana Department of Health has confirmed that it will allocate COVID-19 vaccines specifically to Indiana universities and colleges for their students, regardless of residency. Thus, Purdue will soon serve as a vaccine distribution site — another major step toward a return to normalcy in our yearlong battle against the pandemic.
It is important that you consider getting the vaccination for several reasons:
- Full vaccination helps protect you from the risk, however small, of serious disease especially from the newer COVID-19 variants of concern.
- You’ll be helping to reduce transmission, which will allow all of us get back to normal sooner.
- By reducing transmission, you reduce the risk of new COVID-19 mutant variants forming, which could otherwise derail our efforts to get back to normal.
- Closer to home, you’ll be able to hug your loved ones safely again.
In the state of Indiana, COVID-19 vaccines will be available at no cost to anyone age 16 and older beginning tomorrow, March 31, at one of the more than 500 sites, including 18 sites in Tippecanoe County alone. Purdue continues to encourage all Boilermakers to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. Visit https://vaccine.coronavirus.in.gov/ or call 211 to find state vaccine clinics and make an appointment.
Many of the details surrounding our vaccination efforts are determined by the state, and there is a lot we still don’t know. Here is what we know today about our own Purdue University vaccination site:
- We will begin to schedule at our site once we have vaccine supply from the state, estimated as early as April 3 and no later than April 10.
- Per state guidance, our campus site will prioritize students first; we will also take proactive steps to ensure we do not waste precious doses, especially at the end of the day.
- All undergraduate, graduate and professional students, regardless of residency, will be able to utilize the campus site, which will be located at the Co-Rec.
- The state is specifically allocating the Pfizer vaccine for these efforts, which requires two doses administered 21 to 42 days apart.
- You will need to sign up online for an appointment to be vaccinated at the campus site; the exact registration process is TBD.
- The clinic will operate 7 days per week from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- You should keep an eye on your inbox and social media for updates.
Importantly, as we await the opening of our campus vaccination site, you will need to consider your individual circumstance and take personal responsibility in scheduling your vaccination — bearing in mind factors such as:
- Are you planning to leave campus at the conclusion of the semester or are you staying for the summer?
- If you are leaving, will you be able to receive both doses before you depart or just the first, noting a window of 21 to 42 days between the two doses?
- If you are not able to receive both doses before you leave, you will need to schedule your second dose of the Pfizer vaccination at your summer place of residence.
- If you are not leaving until later in May, or you are staying into the summer, consider waiting a week or two to schedule your first dose, leaving the earliest available opportunities for students leaving campus on May 8 or before.
- Consider your end of semester academic schedule and plan your vaccination around critical deadlines and exams as appointments allow. Take note of dates you want to avoid. Remember that your second dose needs to be administered 21 to 42 days after your first dose.
- Consider the potential impact of common and mild side effects on your classes, final deliverables and exams, particularly after the second dose, which can include fever or fatigue, generally subsiding within a day.
Make a plan now for these scenarios so that you’re ready to act when our campus site launches.
At the end of in-person instruction in November, we gave all students the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 before returning home. It is our utmost hope that we can give a majority of our willing students, if not all, the opportunity to be vaccinated as we conclude this semester. We will do all that we can to help make this happen; the critical factor is how much vaccine supply we receive from the state and when. Your diligence, patience and flexibility will be critical as we take this critical next step together to stop the spread of COVID-19.
We will share more information through our usual channels as we learn more. You can always find the latest on the Protect Purdue website.
We are looking forward to the day, hopefully soon, when we can return to our usual campus life, and the COVID-19 vaccine is a critical tool to help us get there. Thank you for stepping up, once again, to get vaccinated and do your part to help us Protect Purdue.
On behalf of the Purdue Vaccine Allocation Task Force,
Dean, Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine and Vaccine Allocation Task Force chair