Chancellor Malatras Announces Program to Begin More Easily Vaccinating SUNY Residential Students Prior to Spring Semester Departure Using One Dose Vaccine
SUNY Will Receive First Round of 18,600 J&J Vaccines from New York State to be Distributed to 34 SUNY Campuses Reserved Specifically for Residential Students
Working to Secure Additional Doses Reserved Specifically for SUNY Residential Student Population to be Delivered in Weekly Installments Over Next Several Weeks
SUNY Invites Students to Share Purpose for Getting Vaccinated with Photos and Videos as Part of #ItsYourTurn and #KnowYourVax Public Education Campaigns
More Than 900,000 Vaccines Administered at 44 State and County-Run Vaccination Sites Located on 36 SUNY Campuses Since December; Approximately 17K Vaccinations Scheduled Per Day
State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras today announced a program specifically designed to begin vaccinating SUNY residential students prior the end of the spring semester. SUNY has secured its first reserved shipment of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate SUNY residential students prior to their departure for summer break. Because the J&J vaccine requires just one dose, tens of thousands of on-campus students scheduled to finish the semester in early May can get their one shot without having to wait weeks for a second dose before going home.
As vaccine eligibility expands to all New Yorkers ages 16 and older today, 18,600 J&J vaccines are being distributed to 34 SUNY campuses. SUNY is currently working alongside New York State to secure additional doses to be reserved specifically for the SUNY residential student population. Those will be distributed to more campuses in weekly installments over the next several weeks.
With college students becoming eligible to receive the vaccine today, SUNY strongly encourages all students to schedule their vaccine appointments before the semester ends, and if possible, to choose points of distribution set aside specifically for college students. The availability of the one-shot J&J vaccine will be particularly helpful to residential students, who may be scheduled to leave campus for summer break before they can receive a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
More than 350,000 students are receiving email messages today to remind them of their eligibility. The messages also connect students with reliable facts about available vaccines, provide directions for making an appointment, and review recommended health guidelines to follow once you're vaccinated.
SUNY is also inviting students to share their purpose for getting vaccinated on social media with a photo or short video as part of the #ItsYourTurn and #KnowYourVax public education campaigns to make sure all students get vaccinated. The complementing campaigns were launched last month to dispel vaccine myths and misinformation and to link students, faculty, and staff with reliable information from experts about the many benefits of receiving one. The #KnowYourVax campaign features more than two dozen videos PSAs in eleven different languages.
"SUNY has vigorously advocated on behalf of our students, faculty, and staff to make sure they were eligible for the COVID vaccine and we have worked diligently for months to prepare for this moment," said Chancellor Malatras. "Giving residential students the one-shot option helps clear a crucial logistical hurdle in the race to get people fully vaccinated before they leave campus and return to their hometown communities. We strongly encourage all students to schedule their appointments as soon as they can; to do their part in protecting themselves, their families, and their communities; and to help spread the word about the many benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines. Our students have been unsung heroes since the beginning of this health crisis, and with the pandemic's finish line firmly in sight, we expect them to play a pivotal role in finally putting COVID-19 behind us. I want to thank our New York State partners who helped secure these vaccines, as well as the dedicated teams and volunteers on the county and campus level that are working swiftly to set up student-specific points of distribution."
SUNY Trustee Eric Corngold said, "Over the past year, our students have faced and overcome enormous challenges in dealing with the impacts of this devastating pandemic. From remote learning, to weekly COVID testing and adhering to the safety protocols on campuses, our SUNY students rose to the occasion and did their part to protect each other and their entire campus communities. Now, we must do all we can to continue to ensure their safety by delivering the vaccine doses they need before they return home at the end of this semester to bring us all closer to defeating this virus once and for all."
Fashion Institute of Technology Student Katie Prior said, "I'm getting vaccinated because I want to be back on campus in the fall. I want to be able to see my friends safely, and I want to be able to attend my classes in-person so I can get the hands-on learning that I've been missing."
SUNY New Paltz Student Kristin Lasker said, "I got it because I think it's very important to be as active and proactive as possible with this—to be able to keep myself, my housemates, my family, and the New Paltz community as safe as possible."
SUNY currently houses 44 state and county-run vaccination sites on 36 campuses. These sites have administered more than 900,000 vaccines since December, with approximately 17,000 vaccines administered each day as allotment continues to grow.