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Update Regarding Potential For COVID-19 Vaccine Access At Texas A&M

January 15, 2021, 9:45 a.m. CST

  • The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) – which oversees vaccine distribution for the state after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determine how many doses a state receives (based on population) – received a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Priorities are front-line healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities (called Phase 1A), plus people over 65 years and individuals over 16 years with comorbidities who have increased risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19 (called Phase 1B).
  • At this time, the institution has not been given enough vaccines by the state to meet all the needs of Texas A&M University.
  • As expected, early shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine went to larger medical centers first. In anticipation of this, we worked with our clinical partners to help vaccinate many clinical faculty and clinical students who work in those hospitals and at a high risk of exposure from COVID-19 patients.
  • All four applications submitted by the College of Medicine, the College of Pharmacy (one each for their Kingsville and College Station locations) and Student Health Services to be vaccine distributers have been approved by DSHS.
  • Texas A&M received a total of 100 vaccine doses on Jan. 11, which have been distributed mostly to those working in clinics.
  • Primarily, we are still in the process of completing vaccination for the clinical employees and are also moving to vaccination of Texas A&M Phase 1B populations as the vaccine becomes available.
  • As national supplies grow in the coming weeks and when allowed by the state, we would then quickly pivot to provide vaccinations to other populations within the state vaccination roll out plan.
  • We are in daily communication with DSHS and anticipate hearing soon about receiving additional doses.
  • Staff from the Colleges of Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing and many others are prepared to play a large role in vaccinating Texas A&M employees.
  • Currently, there are local providers with the COVID-19 vaccine who are able to schedule appointments for the Phase 1B populations. While we have done everything we can to secure vaccines, we do not know when we will receive enough for us to move into our Phase 1B and other populations. We recommend that you inquire with your local providers to see if they have the COVID-19 vaccine available and would allow you to schedule an appointment. Here is where you can check on availability of the vaccine.
  • It takes a week or two after your second dose for the vaccine to have its full impact on your body. Currently, it is not known if you can continue to spread the virus after a successful vaccination. As such, you should not change your COVID-19-related safety behaviors after vaccination; social distancing, wearing a mask and hand-washing must be continued.

We understand the frustration some may be feeling about the delay in vaccine deliveries. We will continue to work with DSHS to expedite shipments, and we will do everything in our power to get vaccines into arms as quickly as possible once we have the necessary inventory. If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccination plans at TAMU, email covidvaccine@tamu.edu.