As part of its campaign to combat the spread of COVID-19, Florida A&M University received doses of the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, Jan 20. Through a partnership with the Leon County Health Department, FAMU’s Student Health Services received the vaccine allotment.
The partnership provides the county an opportunity to expand distribution and get the vaccine to community members sooner. The University will begin to administer vaccines by appointment only, as early as Thursday, Jan. 21.
Earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis established an executive order stating that providers administering vaccines should only vaccinate individuals who are health care personnel or 65 and older.
“We are leading the way with seniors first in Florida,” Gov. DeSantis said on Twitter. “The focus on vaccines should remain on the population most at-risk to this virus.”
The first round of vaccines will prioritize health care workers, including students on clinical programs, employees and students 65 years and older.
According to the Director of Student Health Services, Tanya Tatum, individuals who meet the criteria will be contacted by student health services about receiving the vaccine.
“There is a limited amount and I need to make sure that the appropriate individuals receive the vaccine, ” Tatum said.
In accordance with Gov. DeSantis’ focus on “seniors first” and the most at-risk approach to the vaccine, doses will be opened up to students who are on clinical programs before the 65 years and older population on campus.
“Gov. DeSantis has also prioritized health care workers, and our students are health care workers that are working in those clinical locations,” Tatum said.
“Since they are on the front lines with people who have COVID, we are doing both those and the individuals who are 65 and older.”
The vaccine has not yet been made a requirement for health care students or individuals 65 years of age and older. Students were given the option to receive the vaccine, and while some accepted, some are questionable on its effectiveness.
Graduate Health Science Student, KyAsia Crawford is one of the many students working in the health field that is undecided.
“I want to see how it works for others first…Not receiving the vaccine does not affect my studies so we will see for now,” Crawford said.
As of now, students are allowed access to their clinical programs in hospitals, as well as labs within the program, without being administered the coronavirus vaccine.
Because there is a limited supply of the vaccine, a system is being put in place to ensure that all authorized individuals are able to receive it. Eligible stakeholders will receive word allowing them to register to receive the vaccine. The registration process will be available through the FAMU app and online.
The vaccine will be issued at the Student Health Services building on campus. It is being advised that any eligible FAMU student, or personnel who receives the vaccine, have it administered by FAMU Student Health Services.
For more updates on the coronavirus vaccine distribution, visit the student health center on campus, or go to Leon.floridahealth.gov.