We are writing with some important information about COVID-19 vaccination opportunities on campus today, tomorrow, and next week, as well as new federal guidance for vaccinated people.
As previously announced, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) is offering a Pfizer vaccine clinic at the Middlebury College Athletics Complex today, April 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. The clinic registration is full, but we learned this morning that there likely will be up to 60 additional doses available at the end of the day to members of our campus community, including students.
In addition, VDH plans to return to campus at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, to offer up to 30 additional doses on a first-come, first-served basis. This pop-up clinic, which will depend on supply, will also be at the athletics complex.
Please note that although there are a limited number of Pfizer doses available today and Thursday, all students will become eligible to sign up for vaccination through the state system tomorrow, Thursday, April 29. We expect that there will be additional opportunities for vaccination on campus in the coming weeks. This includes a planned Johnson & Johnson clinic on campus on Tuesday, May 4. We will provide more information as it becomes available. Some preliminary information is below.
Students who are interested in participating in today’s clinic should:
- Preregister for vaccination on the Vermont Department of Health website or by calling 855-722-7878. This will expedite the sign-in process.
- Report to the athletics complex at 4:15 p.m. to receive further instructions. The first 60 people will receive an assigned time for vaccination. Others may sign up to receive shots at future clinics.
- Plan to return for their second shot in three weeks. Those who receive shots today will be given a follow-up appointment either in Middlebury or at the same venue.
Today’s clinic on campus was set up for BIPOC students, faculty, staff, and community members (and households, including roommates/housemates). The original appointments were reserved by BIPOC individuals. The additional doses are available to any student.
Thursday Registration for J&J Clinic, May 4 on Campus
The VDH, Walgreens Pharmacy, and Middlebury College are partnering to offer a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus Tuesday, May 4. The clinic, which will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, will be open to all residents of Vermont age 18 and older, including faculty, staff, and students.
Registration through the state registration system is required to receive a vaccination at this clinic. The link for registration is expected to be available on the state site early Thursday morning. There will be about 500 doses available. Because the J&J vaccine only requires one dose, no follow-up visit is needed, although individuals will not be fully vaccinated until two weeks after the shot.
The J&J vaccine has been approved again for use in all individuals over 18 years old, but the CDC advises that women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of an adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen. While this risk is small, anyone who is concerned could pursue other vaccination opportunities. Middlebury continues to strongly encourage and facilitate vaccination opportunities for all members of our community.
New CDC Guidance for Vaccinated People
Finally, the CDC unveiled Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People on Monday, which included guidance stating that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues. While this advice is an encouraging glimpse of what our future will look like, our campus community remains largely unvaccinated. Therefore, we do not plan to make any major changes in protocols for the remainder of the semester.
VDH and other Vermont college health officials have concluded that Vermont colleges should continue to follow the Vermont Forward Roadmap to Reopening. This guidance states that masks and physical distancing are required when in the presence of those outside your household. In the case of Middlebury students, this means your designated close contacts.
Staying the course with use of face coverings, physical distancing, crowd avoidance, and hand hygiene, as well as choosing and getting vaccinated in the weeks to come will allow us to finish the semester strong. Thank you once again for all that you are doing to keep our campus and community safe.
Chief Health Officer and College Physician
Dean of Students