University offers vaccines to all students

April 23, 2021

All students living on campus or in the Waltham area will be able to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine through the university’s pharmacy partner, according to emails sent by Morgen Bergman, COVID-19 Testing Program Director and Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives. The university was able to secure a total of 2,310 doses of the vaccine to provide to students. 

In the university’s initial announcement on April 16, the university had secured 1,200 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with access only to residential students. In a follow up email sent on April 20 by Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Carol Fierke and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Stew Uretsky, all students living on and off-campus are now eligible to receive the vaccine due to additional vaccine allocations. 

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be held on April 22 and 23 for the first dose of the vaccine in the Zinner Forum at the Heller Building. The second dose will be distributed three weeks later on May 13 and 14. 

Residence Halls are set to close for students on May 17. To accommodate students with scheduling conflicts for the second dose due to finals, the Department of Community Living (DCL) will extend students’ stays for an additional 24 to 48 hours so that students can move out after the side effects of the vaccine subside, wrote Bergman. Extension requests must be submitted on MyHousing with proof of vaccination. 

The university will have appointment slots open starting on April 18. To register for an appointment, students need to use a link from an email sent by the pharmacy partner. The email will provide a username and password for students which will prompt them to fill out state-mandated demographic information, wrote Bergman. Students will also be required to upload a photo of their health insurance card. 

If all appointment slots are taken, the university encourages students to apply for the waitlist. Students on the waitlist will be contacted at the end of the day if there are leftover vaccines available.

The clinic will not be supplying vaccines for students who have already received their first dose at a different testing location. The vaccines being allocated to the university must be given in pairs, due to the limited quantity available, Bergman explained.

The university hopes to receive more vaccines at a later date in order to hold more vaccination clinics, wrote Fierke and Uretsky in an email sent to the Brandeis community. 

Students were also encouraged to sign up to get the first dose at the clinic even if they are set to leave before receiving the second dose. Students can get the second dose at other locations closer to their homes after the semester is over, though they must have their vaccination card, according to the email. 

Students should expect to feel unwell after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, wrote Bergman. Students should not come to campus or leave their room if they are not feeling well. Students can call the Health Center and talk to a clinician if they are feeling unwell.  

Even after being vaccinated, students are expected to follow and maintain all health and safety protocols set on campus, including social distancing, wearing a mask and getting regularly tested, according to the email. 

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