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COVID-19 Update: Vaccination Principles and Policies

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University of Denver

News  •

Email Highlights

  • DU community members currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine should obtain one through their healthcare provider or public health agencies when available.
  • Should DU receive designation from the state to be a vaccine distribution center, the Vaccination Working Group has developed a set of policies and principles—including guidance on who gets access to the vaccine and when.
  • Our vaccination approach will be guided by safety, transparency, equity and privacy.
  • In the next few days, the COVID-19 coordinator will send a message to ask you for voluntary information on vaccination preferences.

Dear DU Community Members,

The nation-wide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is underway, albeit more slowly than any of us had hoped. Widespread vaccination is critical to combating the spread of COVID-19, and DU is committed to supporting the state of Colorado’s efforts to distribute safe and effective vaccines. We encourage all community members, once they become eligible, to receive their vaccination as soon as it is possible if it is safe for them to do so.

At this time, all DU community members eligible for a vaccine—as determined by the state—should work directly with their health care providers and public health agencies to receive their vaccinations.

Many in the University of Denver community have questions about DU’s role in vaccination distribution, particularly when the vaccine becomes more widely available. What follows are some common questions we are fielding with the accompanying answers. 

Will DU distribute the COVID-19 vaccine on campus?

At this time, DU is not a COVID-19 vaccination distribution site. However, we have applied to become a distribution site to help immunize the DU community. If we receive such a designation, we will update the community and provide additional details.

How is DU preparing for potential vaccine distribution?

Our COVID-19 Vaccination Working Group worked diligently to develop principles and policies regarding vaccination. Central to this planning is a commitment to four overarching principles: safety, transparency, equity and privacy. These principles will guide every decision the University makes as we support the state’s vaccination distribution.

Who will get the vaccine first?

Currently, DU is not distributing vaccines directly to our community. However, a small group of DU community members in the first priority groups—1a and early 1b categories—as defined by the state, have been offered their vaccines through our health partner, National Jewish Health. These community members met the state’s criteria for prioritization based on their level of risk and responsibilities, e.g., medical staff at DU’s Health and Counseling Center and personnel from housing, campus safety and maintenance working with students who tested positive for COVID-19 and are in isolation spaces, among others.

How do the vaccines affect our policies and protocols?

We recognize that the beginning of the vaccination distribution efforts offers many of us hope after a very challenging time of uncertainty, fear and grief. Even as more of our community members receive the vaccine in coming months, we must maintain the behaviors known to slow the virus’ spread in order to protect the wellbeing of those who are unvaccinated. Please continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing whether you have received a vaccination or not.

What can I expect next?

In the next few days, you will receive a communication from the COVID coordinator with details on how you can verify and voluntarily provide information that the University will use in the prioritization structure for vaccination. This message will also detail how the University will provide employer verification letters to health care providers for DU personnel who are eligible for vaccination due to the higher risk resulting from their DU responsibilities. You may also, at any time, direct questions regarding vaccination to our COVID-19 coordinator at

Thank you to the members of our Vaccination Working Group for their important role in helping the University of Denver plan for our potential role as a vaccine distribution site and for clearly defining the principles that will guide our efforts. For more details and the answers to frequently asked questions about the University of Denver’s principles and policies regarding vaccination, please visit our vaccination webpage.


Jeremy Haefner

Mary Clark
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor