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COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations

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Jeremy Haefner

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  • Per Gov. Polis, as of today, Colorado will open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to anyone over age 16 (general population).
  • The University strongly encourages community members to be vaccinated.
  • For a more “normal” on-campus experience, our goal is for 90% of the DU community to be vaccinated by the fall term.
  • DU will begin offering the majority of on-campus vaccination appointments to students, while still reserving a portion for faculty and staff through a lottery system.
  • Everyone is encouraged to pursue vaccination appointments elsewhere as available.

Dear DU community members,

Throughout the winter term, DU carefully followed the state’s phased eligibility plan for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. Late last month, Gov. Polis announced that Colorado will enter the final phase of the state’s plan today. This means that, as of today, everyone over the age of 16 is eligible to receive the vaccine.

The University strongly encourages everyone to be vaccinated. As we have communicated, we expect to enter the fall term as close to “normal” as possible, including more fully occupied student residences, and with a vaccinated student population that allows for a vibrant campus. High vaccination rates, alongside other strategies, offer us the opportunity to relax protocols that are necessary now, like indoor mask-wearing and six-foot social distancing. Consequently, our goal is that at least 90% of DU’s faculty, staff and students will be fully vaccinated by the start of fall term. I imagine this goal elicits deep emotions and hope for so many in the community. And it was not made lightly. We set this goal to protect the well-being of our community and to give our students an engaged in-person experience, as well as to support access and equity in the broader Denver community.

Please note that DU is not mandating the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, although we are strongly encouraging anyone living, learning or working on our campus to receive the vaccination.

Over the past few months, we have been able to offer vaccination appointments to every eligible DU faculty or staff member working on campus this spring. Given the state’s transition to the “general population” phase, we will now implement a strategy to support vaccination of DU students, faculty and staff not yet vaccinated, alongside outreach to community partners to support equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Thus far, we have focused our attention on eligible faculty and staff, particularly those working on campus. As a next, important step in our strategy to combat COVID-19, we want students living and studying on campus to receive the vaccine in the spring term.

After today’s vaccination event, and for the rest of the spring term, we intend to extend most of our vaccine appointments to students, while continuing to offer vaccine appointments to faculty and staff. Faculty and staff who have indicated they would like to receive the vaccine on campus will receive invitations through a lottery process. Of course, if you are able to get a vaccine elsewhere, we encourage you to do so.

Thank you for your continued understanding as we make decisions that provide the best protection for our community and which will put us in a strong position to experience a robust, in-person, engaged fall term.


Jeremy Haefner