In a surprise email sent to the community on Friday, the Dean’s Office and the Office of Human Resources announced that COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed on campus beginning next week on April 7.
The college will be partnering with Rite Aid to distribute both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Haverford expects to have enough doses to immunize all students, staff, and faculty; even those who have not been approved to be on campus this semester will be eligible for vaccination.
The program is only open to those who have not yet received any doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who have already received their first dose must also schedule their second dose outside of the college.
Haverford’s announcement comes on the heels of Pennsylvania updating its immunization timeline. On March 31, the state announced that it would be accelerating the phases of its vaccine rollout.
Pennsylvania is currently in Phase 1A, which covers those who are 65 and older, adults with qualifying pre-existing conditions, and certain frontline workers. According to Governor Tom Wolf, this will be expanded to Phase 1B on April 5 and 1C on April 12. Finally, all Pennsylvania residents will become eligible for shots on April 19.
Haverford’s vaccination program will consist of three sets of paired dates, with community members scheduling an appointment for both of their doses at once. The first of these dates is April 7, when Fords who are a part of Phase 1A will be eligible to receive their first dose. Those who are not a part of Phase 1A “will be invited to schedule their appointments in the coming days,” per the Friday email.
The other two sets of paired dates have not yet been announced, but first doses will need to be distributed by the end of April to fully immunize students and staff before the summer break. Those receiving the Pfizer vaccine must wait 21 days before getting their second dose, while those receiving the Moderna vaccine must wait 28 days.
Immunizations will take place at the Douglas B. Gardner ’83 Integrated Athletic Center basketball court from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on designated dates. Appointments are expected to take 20 to 25 minutes, including the mandatory 15-minute observation period to ensure that there are no adverse reactions to the shot.
Students are expected to upload their vaccination documentation to the HaverHealth portal after they receive the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of whether it is through this on-campus vaccination program or not.
The community seemed generally excited about the prospect of receiving the vaccine. “I’m glad that the school is making an effort to vaccinate all students, faculty, and staff, and I’m glad that they’re prioritizing those who are at a higher risk for COVID-19,” said Jared Saef ’24.
Jackson Bayer ’22 said he was “pleasantly surprised” by Haverford’s announcement. He’s scheduled to get vaccinated next week in his home state of New York, which is opening up eligibility to all adults, but added that he might switch to the on-campus program if he can secure an appointment soon.
Haverford had previously applied to become a Vaccine Provider Site, but it’s not clear whether this vaccination program came about as a result of that application.
Bryn Mawr College has no confirmed plans to begin vaccine distribution, but they are hopeful they can do so before the end of the semester, according to an email that Bryn Mawr students received on Friday from Dean of the Undergraduate College Jennifer Walters.
As vaccines are distributed, masking and other COVID safety protocols will continue; twice-monthly COVID testing will remain required for those who have access to campus. Students with questions about the vaccination program are advised to contact Kathy McGovern, Director of Clinical Services.