University announces vaccine eligibility for higher education employees

A+Covid-19+testing+worker+at+the+Church+of+the+Living+God+discusses+vaccine+protocols+with+a+patient+on+Feb.+20.+The+University+is+now+allowing+higher+education+employees+to+receive+the+vaccine.+

Cameron Krasucki

A Covid-19 testing worker at the Church of the Living God discusses vaccine protocols with a patient on Feb. 20. The University is now allowing higher education employees to receive the vaccine.

By Payal Rathore, Staff Writer

Some COVID-19 vaccine appointments were made available for higher education employees, including student employees, who are eligible as per the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, according to the Massmail sent to all faculty and students Monday.

Any employee of the University is now eligible and appointments as of Monday were filled.

Individuals from the 1A and 1B categories, including Champaign County residents aged 16 and older with certain health conditions or disabilities identified by the Illinois Department of Public Health will continue to be eligible. 

The vaccinations were available only by appointment at different locations including Rantoul Youth Center, Meadowbrook Community Church and local pharmacies. 

The youth center and church’s appointments are filled and local pharmacies must be contacted individually. Rantoul Youth Center accepted those older than 18 who fit the criteria.

The Massmail encouraged those who are eligible to make an appointment and requested others to be patient as another message would be sent when more vaccine appointments would be available.

The Massmail clarified that there is no University control over the order of the recipients or the timelines for vaccine distribution. It is unknown when and to whom the vaccines will be offered next. 

“The distribution of a vaccine is welcome news, but we must continue to be as diligent as ever in safety precautions, including regular COVID-19 testing, wearing face coverings, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding large gatherings,” Chancellor Robert J. Jones said in the Massmail.

“Thank you in advance for your understanding as we work through this next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and rely on the guidance of our public health leaders to make the best decisions for our community,” Jones said.

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