Jan. 15 Message to Campus: COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

To Our Faculty, Staff and Students:

In the nearly two weeks since we last wrote to you about vaccines, our efforts to secure doses have involved dozens of conversations—and some progress. 

Before and since that Jan. 2 message, our teams have engaged widely with government and health care leaders to convey our university needs, as well as our strong interest in assisting with vaccine distribution to those in the broader community.

Case Western Reserve now has been approved to serve as a vaccine provider, but we have not yet received doses to administer. Through herculean efforts from our emergency management, facilities, [U]Tech and medical school staff, however we are fully prepared to begin vaccinations the moment we do.

Meanwhile, our hospital partners have helped enormously in vaccinating students participating in clinical activities, and government officials have allowed us to access doses for others in our community involved in providing care, handling specimens containing COVID-19, or serving as first responders.

As much as we appreciate such assistance, we also know that most of our campus has yet to be immunized. For those most vulnerable to COVID-19 in particular, the wait can feel excruciating, and ongoing uncertainty about timing makes it even worse. Please know that we continue to pursue every possible option for each of you.

While we do so, we also encourage you to register with hospitals and public entities that are providing that option. You can find that list and related information on our COVID-19 Vaccinations FAQ page.

A few other points to keep in mind as we all navigate this extraordinarily complex and quickly changing process:

  • When other organizations are able to offer access to vaccines to members of our community, the notice is often short. While we realize many would prefer to learn of these opportunities further in advance, we continue to believe that it is better to inform those eligible of any chance to be vaccinated—even if it is with little lead time.
  • Those eligible for Ohio’s initial phase of vaccinations are involved in providing health care, with particular emphasis on those who may serve individuals with COVID-19. First responders also qualify for the first phase. We have worked with school and unit leaders to secure lists of those who meet those criteria, and immediately contact these individuals when opportunities arise. The state’s next phase involves individuals 80 and older and then those 75 and older; we already have prepared those lists as well.
  • We recently learned that some of you have secured vaccinations from our partner hospitals or other entities even though you are not in the categories for eligibility to receive them. We ask that our community members remain mindful that the respective phases of eligibility are designed to serve the most vulnerable first, and seek vaccinations only when it is their turn—unless they are specifically asked to report to a vaccination site so that remaining doses can be used before they expire.
  • We recognize the reasons for the anger and frustration people around the country express about the vaccination roll-out. At the same time, we know firsthand that those involved in parts of the process that affect our community—people on our campus, in the city and county, and at the state level—are doing the very best they can with the information and resources they have at this moment. Please show them the patience and compassion that their efforts very much deserve.

We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

Scott Cowen
Interim President

Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President