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COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Newly-Announced Details from the State

Jan. 17, 2021

Dear members of our SLU community,  

As communicated on Monday, SLU has formally applied with the state of Missouri to be a COVID-19 vaccine administration site to serve our University community and our neighbors in St. Louis. We hope to have approval soon. 

On Thursday, the state refined its priority populations for COVID-19 vaccines, creating additional priority categories that will guide our planning should we be approved as a vaccination site — and that will inform when you will be eligible for the vaccine.

Vaccinations for those who fall within Phase 1A are being administered now at the SSM Health SLU Hospital COVID-19 Vaccine Site. Phase 1A individuals are determined by Missouri public health authorities by the following criteria: All healthcare personnel and staff who have potential for direct or indirect exposure to COVID-19 and those health care workers who are unable to work from home. 

Department chairs and managers are contacting individually those who fall within Phase 1A. If you believe you qualify as Phase 1A and have not yet been contacted by your manager, please notify your manager to escalate your concern.

In the coming weeks, we hope to administer vaccines for Phase 1B individuals at the Simon Rec Center. We will not schedule these vaccinations until the University has been granted permission by state public health authorities to be an approved COVID-19 vaccine provider — and until we have received the first shipments of the vaccine for Phase 1B use. 

Please be patient as we urgently work to organize our University vaccination program and secure state approval. In the meantime, if you fall in the priority groups cleared to be vaccinated and have the opportunity to get your shots at another vaccine site, please do so. Please check with your local health department to see if there is a pre-registration option, such as this one for the City of St. Louis, and this one for St. Louis County. Please report your vaccination to Student Health (shc@slu.edu) or Employee Health (employeehealth@slu.edu). 

Phase 1B inoculations will be prioritized by three sub-categories or tiers. Again, details about these tiers are available on the state’s vaccination website.

With the state’s latest vaccine priority system, any University faculty and staff members who do not meet Phase 1A or Phase 1B criteria will fall in Phase 2. No priority tiers of Phase 2 have yet been released.

Phase 2 will include some SLU students who are not included in Phases 1A and 1B. Phase 3 includes anyone who does not fit within all of the other phases.

We expect further refinements from the state in the coming weeks about who qualifies within the tiers of Phase 2. It is likely to be a few weeks or a month before those within Phase 2 will be able to get vaccinated. The timeline is dictated by the state and vaccine availability.

With the prospect of a vaccine so close for each of us, please show appreciation for others who have been vaccinated. It’s not just for them. It’s for all of us. 

We recognize many members of the SLU community are eager, anxious, even impatient about receiving one of the COVID-19 vaccines. We ask you to please respect your assigned phase and tier, and that you give grace during this logistically challenging process. While it may be tempting to try to request an exception to the current priority lists, we are not in a position to grant exceptions. We will abide by the state's guidance.

Please be patient. We are all in this together. We intend to do all we can to organize a smooth and sustained vaccination program that benefits our University community and our neighbors.

More information is available on SLU’s vaccine website. If you have additional questions that are not answered on the website, please email pandemic@slu.edu

Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC
Special Assistant to the President
Director, Institute for Biosecurity
Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
College for Public Health & Social Justice

Stay safe and healthy.

Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC
Special Assistant to the President
Director, Institute for Biosecurity
Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
College for Public Health & Social Justice

Rachel Charney, M.D. 
Director, SLU Contact Tracing 
Director of Disaster Preparedness, SLUCare 
Professor, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
School of Medicine

Deborah Horton, RN, MSN, MPH, PHNA-BC
Assistant Professor
School of Nursing

Renee Jonas, M.A.
Director, Student Health Center