Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
We are writing with an update about vaccine eligibility and distribution for students, following Governor Phil Scott’s statement on Vermont residency and college students, released late Wednesday. The statement clarifies residency requirements and estimates that the state may be able to expand vaccination registration to college students who are residents of other states by April 30. Requirements vary for those living, studying, and working in Vermont now and those planning to stay for the summer.
In the statement, the governor said he expects to make vaccines available to all people in Vermont, including college students. Priority will, however, be given to those who meet both the state’s age and residency requirements for vaccine eligibility. This includes “anyone who has moved to Vermont within the last six months, with the intention of becoming a resident and who is in an age group, occupation, or another group that is currently eligible.”
College students who intend to stay in Vermont this summer would, therefore, be eligible to sign up for appointments in Vermont on April 19, and we encourage all students who meet this criteria to do so.
Those who are residents of another state and plan to leave Vermont at the end of the spring semester are not eligible at this time. While he did not guarantee it, the governor said he expects that Vermont will be able to expand registration to all college students on April 30.
Middlebury continues to work closely with the state of Vermont, the Vermont Department of Health, and other colleges and universities to facilitate vaccination on our campus. We are prepared to distribute vaccines to students as soon as they become available. Timing, availability, and type of vaccine offered will determine how we proceed. In the meantime, we will continue to offer guidance to students who are otherwise eligible on how they can best receive the vaccine. Our goal remains to facilitate vaccination of as many people as possible as quickly as we can, and we are ready to do that once the vaccine becomes available. We continue to follow national and regional developments of the pandemic and are acutely aware and concerned that the majority of new COVID-19 cases are among young people, including college students––some of whom are infected by new variants of the virus. We also know that we must continue our multilayered approach to preventing transmission.
Given these developments, we advise students to do the following:
- Any student who already has an appointment for a vaccination or who has received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should keep their appointment.
- Individuals meeting Vermont eligibility requirements should register with the state as soon as possible and book an appointment.
- Vermont students identifying as BIPOC as well as their roommates and suitemates should contact Miguel Fernández or Naomi Neff for a special code needed to secure an appointment. For those accessing off-campus vaccination, be mindful to not exploit your relationships with BIPOC friends who are not your roommates/suitemates in order to receive your vaccination before you are eligible.
- Vermont employees who identify as BIPOC and people they live with should contact their healthcare provider if a code is required.
- Vermont residents and any students living off campus, as well as students planning to stay in Vermont this summer, should register now in the state system and sign up on April 19 for vaccine doses. Please be sure you’ll be available to get a second dose in Vermont if a second dose is required.
- Students participating in any summer programs, including internships, language schools, research, or working at Middlebury should sign up for vaccination using their Vermont address as soon as they become eligible.
- Those who are eligible to receive a vaccination in their home state that is within safe same-day driving distance must receive approval from the Dean of Students Office to travel out of state. Those approved to do so must follow the student personal travel guidelines.
- Students who live out of state beyond safe same-day driving distance should sign up for both first and second vaccinations in the location where they plan to spend the summer. They should make their appointments for as soon as possible after arrival at their summer location.
- Because we must preserve quarantine capacities on campus, Middlebury cannot allow round-trip air travel or extended travel (beyond safe, same-day driving distance) in order to obtain the vaccine in another state and then return to Middlebury.
Even as more students, faculty, and staff become vaccinated, emerging variants of the COVID-19 virus present new unknowns and challenges. We must continue the health and safety protocols of wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene to prevent transmission. Middlebury has been truly exemplary in coming together as a community in this pandemic.
We’d like to take the opportunity to thank our students, faculty, and staff for all you have done to follow our health and safety measures. We know this situation has and will continue to be difficult, but there are many reasons to be hopeful. As we continue to monitor the changing landscape, we will provide additional updates when information becomes available.
Chief Health Officer and College Physician
Dean of Students