Auburn receives initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine, begins first phase of vaccinations

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Auburn University received on Wednesday its first batch of the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19, with 3,500 doses being delivered and the university immediately initiating a phased approach in administering vaccinations amid the ongoing global pandemic.

“This is tremendous news for our university campus as we are now able to begin our first phase of inoculating first responders on campus and those who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work remotely,” said Dr. Fred Kam, director of the Auburn University Medical Clinic. “As we await additional batches of the vaccine to be released by the Alabama Department of Public Health, we are quickly making good use of the vaccine we now have and are committed to making it available on a wider scale as quickly as possible.”

On Wednesday, Auburn began distributing the vaccine to “frontline” healthcare workers. The university has developed a vaccination program with three phases based on highest risk levels and the current guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Homeland Security and the Alabama Department of Public Health. The details of those phases can be viewed here. More information on risk level assessment and scheduling appointments will be sent to the campus community soon. 

An exact delivery date for future vaccine doses is not yet known, but planning has been underway for weeks at Auburn for acceptance and distribution as the vaccine becomes available. A COVID-19 Vaccination Program Implementation Committee, charged with developing plans for distribution, was established and includes members of the Auburn University COVID-19 Task Force as well as the university’s COVID-19 Resource Center Team.  

More information about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

As updates are determined, information will be posted on Auburn’s COVID-19 Resource Center website. Auburn is keeping in constant contact with the Alabama Department of Public Health to ensure readiness as additional doses are released.

Auburn had already identified existing ultracold storage equipment, thereby eliminating any potential barriers for accepting the delivery of the university’s allotted doses. Health care providers across campus will be involved in the vaccination clinics, including staff of the Auburn University Medical Clinic and faculty, staff and students from the Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn School of Nursing and Auburn’s Social Work Program.

“The goal here is not to hold on to any doses,” Dr. Kam said. “The goal is to give up every dose that we can as quickly as we can.”

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.