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University of Denver

News  •

Email Highlights

  • All faculty, staff and student employees working on campus as of March 21 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine per the state’s phased plan.
  • First, DU will prioritize personnel with “high-contact” roles.
  • Second, DU will use a lottery system for all on-campus personnel.
  • Third, and as available, DU will offer vaccines to off-campus personnel who meet the state’s eligibility requirements.
  • Our vaccination events with NJH continue, helping to vaccinate thousands of Coloradans, especially those most underserved. Especially if you have already been vaccinated, please volunteer!

Dear DU faculty, staff and student employees,

Governor Polis recently included student-facing faculty and staff working in higher education in phase 1B.4 of the state’s vaccine distribution plan. This phase will begin after March 21. DU has defined student-facing as any faculty or staff who intend to be on campus, and who have campus clearance, as of March 21, 2021. (Please note: Campus clearance requires regular testing and compliance with all campus protocols.)

Who will have priority access to vaccine?
We anticipate several thousand DU faculty and staff will be eligible when phase 1B.4 begins. To begin to meet that need, we will prioritize distribution based on input from DU’s Vaccination Working Group.

Our first priority will be high-contact roles. These roles are largely staff currently required to take a COVID-19 test once per week. You can learn which roles are defined as “high contact” in our testing protocol document. To ensure equity, we will reserve a portion of our weekly vaccination supply for high-contact individuals and then offer vaccines to all other on-campus DU personnel through a lottery system. Everyone with active campus access after March 21 will be entered into a lottery, and those randomly selected each week will receive an email and phone invitation to schedule an appointment. You may update your vaccine survey information any time via the “COVID-19 Vaccination Portal” found on your PioneerWeb homepage. Each vaccine event will also include vaccination of non-DU affiliates, with a focus on outreach to communities with less vaccine access.

Once on-campus faculty and staff have been offered a vaccination appointment, we will open appointments to eligible DU personnel not working on-campus. In phase 1B.4, this will include DU faculty and staff who are age 50 or over and/or have qualifying medical conditions and/or have a qualifying secondary activity (e.g., a second job in food service). Off-campus faculty, staff and students who do not meet these requirements still fall under the state’s final phase: Phase 2, General Public.

We anticipate it could take up to several months to completely vaccinate all eligible DU faculty and staff on campus. If you find vaccine availability through your own health care provider or another source, please use that source as soon as you are able to do so. DU will provide eligibility letters for faculty and staff who qualify because they are working on campus, which can be used for vaccination at other locations. Faculty and staff who return to campus after March 21 can join the lottery pool at that time.

Vaccination events on campus
DU continues to hold vaccination events on campus with our health partner, National Jewish Health (NJH). At these events, we help NJH vaccinate eligible individuals from across the region. While our plans are dependent on the supply of the vaccine, we have committed to offering up to 1,100 vaccinations up to twice per week on campus. We will also host up to two additional and larger events each month, offering up to 3,000 vaccinations at each. We need volunteers for these events—especially volunteers who have already received their vaccine. Fill out this form to volunteer. Please note that we work hard to carefully assign appointments and avoid waste. Therefore, volunteering does not generally result in the opportunity to be vaccinated.

We remain committed to vaccine equity. So far, our community vaccine distribution with NJH has included early education and K-12 faculty and staff and residents living in assisted living facilities in underserved areas of Denver. In addition to this being aligned with our values, our supply of vaccine from the state is dependent upon our willingness and ability to vaccinate underserved populations, in addition to our own community members. To date, we have supported the administration of 7,500 vaccine doses and will reach nearly 10,000 by the end of this week. Thank you to everyone who has made this incredible effort possible.


Sarah Watamura, PhD
COVID-19 Coordinator