An Update on Vaccinations, Availability, and the NYU Community
Date: January 11, 2021
To: The NYU Community
From: Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Exec. Lead, NYU COVID Prevention & Response Team
Vaccinations against COVID-19 — which have been proven to be safe and effective — have begun, including in our own community.
Naturally, we are eager to have members of our community vaccinated. However, as demand currently far outstrips supply, the order in which groups of people will be eligible is being determined by New York State, which is providing strict guidance.
Who Is Currently Eligible?
At this point, NYS authorities are permitting vaccination of the people who fall into Category 1A and, as of today, January 11, those who fall into Category 1B, as defined by New York State.
Last week, NYU Langone Health began making appointments available to members of the NYU community in category 1A, including personnel from College of Dentistry, the Meyers School of Nursing, and the Student Health Center — altogether about 3,000 people.
This week, in accord with State directions, we will begin extending appointments to individuals that fall into Category 1B, including individuals aged 75 or older and those teaching in-person classes in the spring semester, among others. Individuals in these groups should be alert for forthcoming communications from the University about setting appointments for vaccinations.
Notification of Authorization to Receive a Vaccination
The University has already started emailing some of those in the NYU community who fall into Categories 1A and 1B to make them aware that they are eligible to receive the vaccine and how they should go about setting up vaccination appointments. The distribution of vaccinations to those who are in Categories 1A and 1B are expected to take two to three weeks to fully complete. If you are in Categories 1A and 1B and haven’t yet received a communication about scheduling your vaccination, you will receive it over this period.
Going forward, that will be our pattern: as the State directs that new categories are eligible for vaccination, we will send communications to those members of the NYU community who fall into those categories to let them know they are authorized to receive the vaccination and how they should make the necessary arrangements.
We understand that many members of the NYU community are eager to be vaccinated ASAP; we’d like that, too. Nevertheless, we would ask that you not call the NYU COVID Prevention & Response Team (CPRT) to attempt to determine if you are eligible at any given point. When you are eligible, we will email you as promptly as possible.
Eligible members of the NYU community are not required to receive their vaccinations through NYULH or the University. If they wish, they can register to be vaccinated through the public vaccination process or through their own healthcare provider.
How We Will Be Vaccinating Members of the NYU Community?
At this point, those at NYU who fall into Category 1A and 1B are being vaccinated through NYU Langone Health’s locations.
As I indicated in a prior communication, the CPRT, on behalf of the University, applied to be a COVID-19 vaccination center. That application was approved. We are awaiting our first shipment of vaccines, and are making arrangements to conduct on-campus vaccination operations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. We will provide additional information as the arrangements are finalized.
In the near future, we expect vaccinations to be available to eligible community members through both NYULH and the NYU CPRT vaccination centers. And, of course, as noted previously, members of the community are free to avail themselves of vaccinations that are offered through their personal providers or other healthcare providers.
The University strongly encourages all those who are eligible to be vaccinated; it is an important action to take for your own health, and to help keep each other safe.
The Progress of Vaccinations, Community Health, and Our Safety and Health Rules
The COVID-19 vaccines are a great advance, developed at record speed. Safe and effective, the vaccines will allow us to resume many of our pre-COVID activities and routines.
Still, it will take some months before we have vaccinated a substantial majority of the University community. In that interim period, it will be critical that we all — both those awaiting vaccination and who have been vaccinated — keep up the behaviors and habits we launched in the fall: mask wearing, physical distancing, avoiding crowds, hand hygiene, regular testing, use of the daily screener, and all the rest.
Vaccinations immunize the individual — this is an indispensable step, critical to ultimately overcoming COVID-19. However, it is equally important to sustain community health, and there may be ways that immunized individuals, even if they aren’t sick, spread COVID-19 — by being lax about hand hygiene, or by participating in crowded events — that may present little risk to them but considerable risk to others who haven’t been vaccinated.