January 15, 2021
Vice Provost for Research Update on Vaccination of UW Researchers
Many of you have questions about vaccination of UW researchers, how that will be prioritized, and how it will be accomplished. Priorities are determined on the federal level by the CDC and are interpreted on the state level by the Department of Health. UW Medicine very closely follows instructions from the Washington Department of Health. Unfortunately at this time, there is not yet enough information from the Department Of Health to provide definitive answers regarding vaccination of UW researchers. Governor Inslee recently announced an outline of vaccine availability phases for Phase 1 Tiers A and B, which does not yet prioritize most researchers.
One group of UW researchers is currently eligible for vaccination through UW Medicine as part of their vaccine priority grouping: those who work in a clinical setting including inpatient and outpatient clinics and dentistry clinics, who interact directly with patients, or who handle COVID-19 samples/virus as part of research activities. If you do not already have such researchers in the queue for UW Medicine vaccination appointments, you can request information at this email address: email@example.com. Note that all UW researchers meeting this definition are eligible, including students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. Please coordinate within your units to identify and list the groups/personnel that are eligible for vaccination at this time. The UW Medicine Vaccine liaison group will provide you with instructions to send to only those individuals who are eligible. The instructions may not be shared or forwarded to others and UW Medicine will be checking those who register to ensure they are approved by the unit head. Note that the Washington Department of Health has confirmed that this priority group does not include veterinary clinical settings.
The priority for other UW researchers will not be clear until the State releases new guidelines. How these later vaccinations will occur is also not clear, as that will likely involve the State, the City, and the County and may vary depending on your health care provider. Please access the sites noted below for more information, and we will be providing new information as it becomes available.
For now, researchers should be patient and continue to follow the guidelines and precautions for in-person research that we know are effective.
More information on COVID-19 vaccinations:
UWM information on vaccines
WA State DOH information on vaccines
National Academies Report on Vaccination (summary available for free)