Can any University employee now receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

Penn State has not been named as a distribution site for the COVID-19 vaccine, and vaccine distribution may vary by county across the commonwealth. While the vaccine is not yet widely available to the general public, when it does become available, the University strongly encourages participation as part of the effort to mitigate the longer impact of COVID-19 on our campus communities.

The University has helped select groups of front-line employees, including workers from Physical Plant, dining and residence halls and health care personnel, receive vaccinations as dictated by the priority phases established by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Faculty, staff and students should visit Pennsylvania’s vaccine website for information on the defined phases; when they may be eligible to receive a vaccine; and where those vaccines may be available in their communities. Education workers who are in contact with students would be eligible in phase 1B, including faculty and staff members who are in contact with students, as well as undergraduate and graduate students who help provide instructional, health-related or other services to students.

While some employees at select campuses have been able to receive vaccines, these isolated instances were the result of special circumstances where local providers made the vaccine available to Penn State faculty and staff.

Penn State does not determine an individual’s status or eligibility for the vaccine, but faculty and staff over the age of 65 and those under age 65 with specific CDC-defined conditions that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus are encouraged to seek a vaccine from a local health care provider when available. Additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania is available at the web site listed above, including where to obtain a shot locally and a quiz to determine eligibility. Keep in mind that circumstances may be different depending on where you live; some areas have provided vaccines to people identified as phase 1B.

Additional information about the vaccine is available in this Penn State News article.