PA Covid-19 Vaccine Update for Ursinus Students

Marie Sykes

With both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines released but a limited number of doses administered, students at Ursinus are wondering when their turn will come. As university students live in a “congregate setting,” they are considered part of Pennsylvania’s “critical population” as outlined in the state’s Covid-19 Interim Plan.

The state of Pennsylvania classifies university students as part of phase 1B of vaccine distribution. However, only just over 200,000 members of phase 1A have received both doses of their vaccine, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, and NPR reported on February 3 that only 1.9% of Pennsylvania residents have received both doses. These numbers do not include Philadelphian residents — but the point is that it’s pretty slow going, considering how much some students would like a vaccine.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health website advises residents (including out-of-state residents, like myself) to check eligibility (college students are 1B unless you are at high-risk, then you are 1A), find a vaccine provider, schedule an appointment, and remember to get both doses. Sounds simple enough, but the local hospital systems are clogging up, as seen from my own attempts to register for the vaccine with help from registered nurse and Ursinus parent, Tammy Miller-Cross. The best option is to keep checking back every few days if you are having trouble getting through the system. Ursinus has applied to become a point of vaccine distribution for Ursinus faculty and students, but has not yet been approved as of December 2020.

With President Biden’s promise to vaccinate 100 million residents in his first 100 days and three more vaccines in their final phase of testing, all Bears planning on getting vaccinated in Pennsylvania should sign-up soon and stay alert. Until then, stay safe!

. . .