University extends eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine to all faculty, staff, students

By Alexandra Gergova, Staff Writer

The University released a Massmail announcing that all faculty, staff and students are considered eligible to schedule and receive the COVID-19 vaccine via select appointments. 

This announcement comes in response to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District’s official notice that vaccine appointments have been extended to “individuals 16 years of age or older who live or work in Champaign County.” 

While CUPHD’s announcement extends eligibility to individuals 16 years or older, vaccination opportunities for those younger than 18 will differ depending on the site and the authorized vaccine being distributed. 

“Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are currently available for individuals age 18 and older while Pfizer is available for those age 16 and older,” the CUPHD press release states. 

The Massmail urges all members of the community to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated if they are in a position to do so. However, the University said they recognize that there are individuals with certain health conditions or reasons that prevent them from being vaccinated.

Since there are select appointments available to the community, Chancellor Robert Jones requests patience from the community until further vaccines and appointments are made accessible to the public. 

CUPHD leads the vaccination distribution for the Champaign-Urbana area, and the University will distribute more information to the public when it becomes available, Jones said in the Massmail.

Despite the increase in COVID-19 vaccine availability, individuals – regardless of vaccination status – must continue to remain in compliance with mandatory testing schedules and safety precautions. These include “regular COVID-19 testing, wearing face coverings, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding large gatherings,” according to the Massmail. 

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