On April 29, Concordia University Chicago opened for their second day of free vaccinations to their students, staff, and faculty. The Loop Medical Center brought in doctors and nurses to conduct the first set of Moderna vaccines in the Christopher Center 200. Individuals who received the first shot were invited back to campus on May 27 for their second dose.
“If this is what it takes for the world to move forward, I am going to do what I need to do,” said Julia Hoffman, a second-year transfer student from CUC. “This is the next step for recovery.”
Those who received the vaccine were required to sit in the lobby for 15 minutes afterward to observe if they had any allergic reactions. Snacks and waters were distributed to all.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had announced on April 19 that the COVID-19 vaccine would be available to everyone over the age of 16 in the United States, regardless of their job or high-risk status. In December 2020, when the vaccine was first released, only essential workers, individuals above 65 years of age, and people that were considered high risk were eligible to receive the shot. State and local governments also set their own guidelines for who was eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and how the doses would be distributed.
So far, more than 330 million vaccine doses have been delivered to healthcare providers, out of which more than 264 million doses have been administered to patients, according to the CDC. As of May 12, approximately 46% of the population had already received at least one dose, while 35% of the United States population was fully vaccinated. More statistics can be found at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations.
Though CUC has already hosted two first-time COVID-19 vaccinations, more clinics will be held in the near future. “We plan to host additional vaccination clinics on-campus,” said Kathy Gebhardt, dean of students. “The dates are still to be determined.”
As far as whether CUC will require all members on campus to be fully vaccinated when returning to campus for the Fall 2021 semester, the university has not updated its COVID-19 information page since February 26, which announced its plans for the fall 2021 semester. In this announcement, the university stated, “It is our intent to offer face-to-face instruction, to support full occupancy in our residence halls, and to provide students with a wide range of meaningful on-campus experiences.”
“At this time, we are not planning to require campus community members to be vaccinated,” said Gebhardt. “This may change if vaccinations become mandated by a governing body.”
If the university updates this protocol, it can be found at https://www.cuchicago.edu/general-information/covid-19-information/.