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COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Jan. 11, 2021

Dear members of our SLU community,  

We want to share that 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 do not know when we can expect to hear from the state about our application.

The unknown timeline is not stopping us from preparing for what could happen should the state approve us as a vaccination site. 

The rollout of the vaccine nationally has highlighted challenges, which can be expected. Our shared focus is to be prepared, collaborative, inclusive, and transparent.

We are assembling a few teams: One focused on how we structure the vaccine rollout within the state’s prioritization schedule, and another group focused on what outreach, education and communication efforts should look like. The second group will be charged with developing appropriate and focused messaging and outreach to help people make an informed decision about the vaccine. Another team will plan and manage the logistics of inoculating people, as quickly as possible.

We are thrilled for our SSM SLUCare colleagues who have already been vaccinated. Currently, many SLUCare employees have received one or both doses.

Over the next few weeks, we hope that all SLU faculty, staff, and students who fall within Missouri’s 1A tier for vaccination will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine. 

The state’s definition for this tier is: “All healthcare personnel and staff who have potential for direct or indirect exposure to COVID-19 and are unable to work from home.” This includes University staff, faculty and students in some patient-facing programs. Your program directors and leaders will hear more in the coming days.

In the meantime, please know, even after you have been vaccinated: 

While we strongly believe getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best thing for your own personal health — unless you have a medical reason that prohibits you from being vaccinated — your family’s health and the health of our greater community, the COVID-19 vaccine currently is not required for SLU students and employees. 

These and other frequently asked questions are available on SLU’s vaccine website. If you have additional questions that are not answered on the website, please email

Stay safe and healthy.

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

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