BOONE — Appalachian State University is set to aid in vaccine distribution after the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services approved its application to be a community distribution center.
The university can act as a vaccine distribution site to administer COVID-19 vaccines to community members — as well as to students, faculty and staff — once vaccine allotments are provided.
Chancellor Sheri Everts shared the news in her weekly campus update on Feb. 26.
“We anticipate beginning vaccine clinics in March, according to the state guidelines for the categories by which groups are prioritized for vaccination,” Everts shared in the email.
Everts announced March 2 that the university would host its first vaccine clinic on March 11 and that the university was set to get 500 vaccine doses next wee.
Currently, North Carolina is vaccinating those in Phase 1, 2 and those who work in education who are in Phase 3 which started on Feb. 24. On March 3, Phase 3 frontline essential workers will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
College and university staff who work in person at their work site can get the vaccine starting March 3. Everts said all other university personnel who are not prioritized into other groups — for reasons such as age or health care worker status — are in Phase 4. Students who are not eligible in the first four phases are eligible in Phase 5.
Everts said faculty, staff and students will receive an email from the university when it's time to schedule a vaccine appointment. The university will use the information provided by Human Resources, employees and all divisions to determine who currently falls into each phase of the rollout.
Following the State guidelines for Phase 3 Everts said:
Frontline workers who share workspaces that make physical distancing challenging (such as food preparation, residence halls staffing, etc.) will be the first to be offered the vaccine.
Faculty who are teaching in person will follow this group.
In her email, Everts thanked members of the emergency management team and student health services who “have been preparing and planning logistics for vaccine distribution for many months."
“I also know I speak for the entire campus when I thank President Hans and his leadership team at the UNC system office for their assistance and advocacy with the application and approval process,” Everts said in her email.
Everts also hinted that spring commencement is being planned, and that more information would be shared soon.
“We are reviewing the details carefully and consulting with public health experts to help inform our decisions with as much data as possible,” Everts said. “This is a monumental moment in the academic lives of our students and their families.”