Ally Morrison, Correspondent
Jacksonville State University has submitted a request to the state to receive 10,100 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, though “there is no indication at this time as to when we might receive it,” according to Jeff Ryan, JSU’s chief of program operations.
“It’s simply a case of high demand and low supply,” said Ryan by email on Tuesday.
Ryan explained that the university is registered with the Alabama Department of Public Health’s (ADPH) “ImmPRINT” system — or “Immunization Patient Registry with Integrated Technology” — and that the department has acknowledged their request. Vaccination providers in the state are required to enroll in the program to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
“Please keep in mind that tens of thousands of Alabamians in the highest priority groupings (front-line healthcare workers, long-term care residents, first responders, 75 years of age and older) have not received their vaccinations yet,” said Ryan. “As to when JSU teachers and staff will get their vaccinations, we do not know.”
Ryan assured that JSU’s primary goal is to offer the vaccine to all JSU faculty, staff and students as soon as it is made available to the university. As to whether or not the university would require the vaccine, Ryan said, “We will not be requiring the COVID-19 vaccination.”
“It’s very likely that if we get our vaccine allocation from ADPH it will come to us in batches,” said Ryan. “When and if that does occur, we will have to follow the ADPH COVID-19 vaccination plan that prioritizes all Alabamians based upon their relative risk for severe disease and death.”
As to how the university plans to administer vaccinations, Ryan said, “If we are vaccinating a large percentage of our campus population, we intend to set up a large scale vaccination campaign as a drive-through operation and/or appointment system.”
Ryan said that the university continues to implement and follow its COVID-19 procedures for rapid testing, reporting and contact tracing as the university’s number of cases reported a “slight increase” since returning to campus.
As of today, the university is reporting 40 active cases of COVID-19 being monitored by the JSU COVID-19 task force, an increase of 19 cases since Jan. 5.
“Any JSU student or employee experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 may be tested at the Student Health Center during morning hours of operation,” he said. “If positive, you will receive instructions for patient care, reporting to the Task Force, and isolation.”
UPDATED: Ryan confirmed in a follow-up statement to The Chanticleer that COVID-19 vaccine would not be required. The story has been updated.