Principles & Policies Regarding Vaccination

As the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has observed, “[i]mmunization with a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a critical component of the United States’ strategy to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths and to help restore societal functioning.”[1]

The University of Denver (DU) is committed to these goals and to adhering to Colorado’s vaccine prioritization efforts. With safe and effective vaccines now available and distribution just underway, the University is committed to a principled, effective, fair and transparent approach to vaccine administration for members of its community. The University must comply with state requirements, which are subject to change. The most current prioritization framework is available here

These principles and policies were developed by the COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group (CVWG) and approved by Chancellor Haefner and Provost Clark on January 21, 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccination Survey

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Guiding Principles

Our work is guided by four overarching principles: (1) Safety; (2) Transparency; (3) Equity; and (4) Privacy (STEP).

  • One


    The University will prioritize access to vaccines for those whose University responsibilities place them at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Within such prioritized groupings, the University will also consider–to the extent possible–individuals’ risk of COVID-19 complications due to age or self-disclosed medical risk factors.  

  • Two


    The University will communicate transparently on matters of community concern, including its vaccination prioritization principles and practices. DU personnel will be able to access and contribute to the information used to determine their own prioritization.

  • Three


    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both pre-existing and emerging health disparities in our nation, including those associated with race, ethnicity, socio-economic status and occupational privilege, as well as pre-existing health risks. The University recognizes that issues surrounding vaccination and prioritization may differentially impact communities of color and those with trauma related to historical or contemporary experiences with government-controlled medical initiatives. In its decisions and processes, the University will promote fairness and equity for all members of our community. Please visit this page for resources related to diversity, equity and inclusion and COVID-19.

  • Four


    On matters implicating individual privacy–including whether a member of the community has already been vaccinated–the University will protect such privacy to the extent permitted by law.

Policies & Procedures

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Phases

Effective Vaccine Administration

Working with campus experts and National Jewish Health, the University will develop a sound and comprehensive system for managing vaccine access, including (but not limited to) vaccine handling and storage, vaccination-related documentation and reporting and health and safety procedures during vaccination.

Avoiding Waste

Distributing scarce vaccine doses, even to someone outside of the category for prioritized access, is better than wasting a valuable resource. Accordingly, distribution of vaccine doses to an available person will occur if the alternative is to allow vaccine doses to go to waste.


  1. The University is prioritizing DU personnel at risk of contracting COVID-19 by virtue of their University responsibilities (e.g., employees who fall into Colorado’s 1a priority group, such as medical staff at the Health & Counseling Center). Personnel who fall into a priority group because of external obligations would also be eligible but would be in a lower priority group (e.g., someone who has a second job in an Early 1b setting that is not connected with their DU responsibilities).
  2. The University is prioritizing individuals whose work is on campus in spring term 2021.
  3. The CDC currently recommends delaying vaccine administration until at least 90 days after COVID-19 infection; our prioritization will follow this guidance.
  4. While this is a time-sensitive situation requiring preparation to act quickly, we view this as a living document subject to revision. Please email any recommendations for changes to