Garrett Kirk ’24
On Tuesday, Mar. 30, Dean of Campus Life and Vice President for Student Affairs Joe DiChristina sent a follow-up email to students regarding vaccination information. The College had previously sent out a survey regarding potential distribution in mid-March.
DiChristina noted that per Connecticut vaccination protocol, commencing “Thursday, April 1—all individuals ages 16 and older in Connecticut will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Regardless of your permanent address, all students who are currently living or taking classes on campus can be vaccinated in Connecticut.”
DiChristina told students that “Connecticut colleges and universities should be able to receive vaccines for their students in early May. Until we have further information from the state about a plan specifically for college students, we encourage you to take steps now to get vaccinated.”
DiChristina reminded students that “[t]he best vaccine is the first one you can get on the day of your appointment. Each vaccine is effective for those 18 and older. The differences among them concern handling and refrigeration, number of doses, number of days between doses. None of them is far and away better than the others.”
DiChristina additionally asked students to “[p]lease note that two weeks after a completed vaccine series, you are no longer required to quarantine after exposure to an active COVID-19 illness.”
The Tripod followed up with DiChristina concerning the College’s vaccine protocol.
DiChristina told the Tripod that “[a]t this time, we have not made a final decision on whether to require vaccines or not for Fall 2021. The vaccine is still under the emergency authorization category. Therefore, in the very least, we cannot require it until this changes.”
DiChristina indicated that it “has yet to be decided” whether students refusing the vaccine will be allowed on campus in Fall of 2021. The College looks partially to a March survey sent out to students in making this decision. The results of this survey, according to DiChristina, show that “8% [of students] already have been vaccinated and over 83% [of students] want to get vaccinated as soon as available. 1375 students completed the survey.”
DiChristina says that he believes “the number of students that have been vaccinated has risen in recent days as the vaccine became available to this age group. These numbers are important to our understanding of what we can do to help encourage vaccinations and as we develop plans for fall 2021.”
DiChristina additionally disclosed to the Tripod that “[t]he state of CT is saying that they will allocate the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for colleges/universities by the end of April/early May. This is the one shot vaccine,” while noting that the college does “not know if that means clinics on campus or that we will need to help get [sic] student to sites in the area,” although they “will keep our community updated on this.”
Note: This article did not appear in the Apr. 6 print edition and has run exclusively online.