As millions of people receive the COVID-19 vaccine worldwide, students and faculty at Oklahoma State University are growing curious as to what the university’s distribution plans are. In a recent email sent to all faculty members, OSU provided clarity on some of the unknowns. Here are three takeaways from it:
Who gets it first?
While there are many factors that could go into when a student or faculty member at OSU receives their COVID-19 vaccine (if they work at a nursing home, health care facility, etc.), the majority of people at OSU will receive them in the phase 3 and 4 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.
Nursing home residents, health care workers and others received their vaccines in phase one while first responders, people in the 65+ age category, health staff and employees of pre-k-12 schools are receiving their shots in phase two right now.
The state has an online platform available for people to preregister for a vaccine.
Details on when phase 3 and 4 will occur have been vague thus far.
How will University Health Services be involved?
According to the statement, University Health Services, OSU’s main on-campus health care facility, will play a key role in the vaccine process. While the plan to have them involved is in place, the timing of it remains unclear.
“UHS is in the early stages of setting up on-campus distribution, but the exact timing is still being determined,” the statement read. “Distribution across the community is anticipated to be a mix of both on-campus and off-campus opportunities as we move into the semester with health services providing opportunities on campus.
“The exact timing of distribution within each phase will depend on the pace of administration and the amount of supply available within the county. The university will follow the direction of the state and local health department in determining opportunities for distribution to additional groups within each phase.”
UHS has already allocated its staff to assist Payne County within the initial distribution for the community as many first responders and medical staff at OSU have already received their first doses during phase 1.
What happens to masks?
Although many students and faculty are expected to receive the vaccine in the coming months, the university remains committed to social distancing and proper protection on campus.
“Face coverings will continue to be required on campus, even for those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19,” the statement read. “Strict adherence to social distancing and public health safety measures are of the utmost importance as we begin the semester.”