UND students now can sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on campus.
The campus has 1,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and students can pick out a slot through the university’s student health portal. Time slots are available for this week and next, according to an email sent Monday to students.
“I think having the vaccine available on campus for students at a clinic that they know ... is helpful,” Jessica Doty, director of student health at UND, said.
The UND student health clinic is something that’s familiar and convenient for students, Doty said, which may make the vaccine experience more comfortable for them.
Students also can get vaccinated at one of the community clinics or other vaccination locations throughout the city. Doty said students should try to get the first vaccine that’s available to them, if they want to get vaccinated – even if that means going to other locations.
All North Dakotans age 16 and older are now able to sign up to get vaccinated.
UND has been working closely with Altru Health and Grand Forks Public Health on its vaccination plan, Doty said. If the university were to run out of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the university would work with those entities to potentially obtain more.
“I think, at this point, we have the doses that we have and we want to make sure we fill these appointments and get them out there,” she said.
Although UND cannot ask students if they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19 – the university also is not requiring it – there likely is a large chunk of the student population that already has had the opportunity to get vaccinated because they were in earlier tiers. Doty said students who work in the medical field likely have already been vaccinated because that sector was among the first to get the vaccine.
UND President Andrew Armacost said in late March that the one-shot vaccine would be most convenient for students. His concern is that as the end of the school year approaches, students could potentially leave campus, and Grand Forks, before they could get the required second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
“Our efforts are going to be in encouraging and broadcasting the importance of individuals going to get vaccinated,” Armacost said.