Students Encouraged to Get First Vaccine Dose by Friday
Students who get their first dose this week will be on track to full vaccination by the time the spring semester ends, President Robert C. Robbins said in his weekly COVID-19 status update.
University of Arizona students should receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday to reach full vaccination before summer travel, President Robert C. Robbins said during his weekly virtual COVID-19 status update Monday morning.
Both capacity and appointment availability at the university's COVID-19 vaccination site remain high, Robbins said. Thousands of appointments are released every Friday for the following week, and same-day appointments are often available each day.
Robbins said he and Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th U.S. surgeon general and University Distinguished Professor of Public Health, have heard from many students who are hesitant about the vaccine, and are consulting their friends and family before making appointments.
"We want students to understand and make very informed decisions about their health, and we respect the importance of the role their social network, their friends and their family members play in these decisions," Robbins said, adding that students' parents and family members will receive more information in a statement to come later Monday.
Students have several ways to register for a vaccine:
- Visit the student registration tent directly behind the volunteer/hospitality tent on Cherry Avenue for a same-day appointment. The tent is staffed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Visit the CAT Ambassador Team tent, which is on the Mall in front of the Student Union. Call the hotline number below for other locations.
- Find an open appointment at podvaccine.azdhs.gov.
Those who need help navigating these options can call the COVID Ambassador Team hotline at 520-848-4045 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Others wishing to book a vaccine appointment can register by visiting podvaccine.azdhs.gov or calling 844-542-8201 or 602-542-1000. Assistance is available in English or Spanish. Email email@example.com with any questions.
The UArizona vaccine point of distribution, or POD, had administered more than 155,000 doses as of Sunday, Robbins said. About 24.6% of the people coming to the POD have identified as Hispanic or Latinx.
Robbins said the university will remain in Stage 3 of its instructional plan at least through next week, with in-person teaching for classes of up to 100 students. The rate of positivity from last week's COVID-19 tests was 0.39%, Robbins said.
Antibody Testing Initiative
University researchers are also asking for participants to receive an antibody test as part of an initiative with the state of Arizona to better understand immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Deepta Bhattacharya, associate professor of immunobiology in the College of Medicine – Tucson and one of the creators of the antibody test, joined Robbins during the Monday briefing to explain the basics of COVID-19 antibodies and the testing program.
Bhattacharya said the study will help scientists determine how long immunity – either from infection or vaccination – can last, how many antibodies are required to protect from the virus, how age affects the immune response to infection or vaccination, and whether symptoms after infection or vaccination correlate with antibody levels.
"The more people that take the antibody test, it allows us to make some more robust conclusions on some of these questions," Bhattacharya said.
Getting an antibody test can help participants answer questions about their own immune systems, too, Bhattacharya said. A positive test can help confirm that a participant has had a robust immune system response after a vaccination or help someone learn if they've had an asymptomatic case of the virus.
Students, employees and designated campus colleagues interested in getting an antibody test can do so in the South Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center until April 30. They can register by visiting testing.wellcheck.arizona.edu and logging in with their NetID.
Anyone age 18 or older can find testing locations around the state and register at covid19antibodytesting.arizona.edu.
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