In-Person Fordham Professors Are Now Eligible For Covid Vaccine


COVID-19 cases have seen a dramatic increase recently (Courtesy of Twitter).

On Jan. 11 New York State moved to the next phase of its vaccine distribution plan, which, among other recipients, includes “in-person college faculty or instructors.” The same day, Fordham students received an email from Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university regarding COVID-19 precautions and the availability of vaccinations in the coming Spring 2021 semester. 

The email revealed that some University Health Services and Fordham University Emergency Medical Services (FUEMS) members have received the first dosage of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccination. The second dosage will be administered soon after the semester begins on Feb. 1. 

Fordham faculty teaching in-person this semester can fill out a screening form to be vaccinated through the university. Faculty teaching completely online are not yet eligible for the vaccine, according to McShane. He also directed faculty members to use the New York City vaccine finder tool if they do not wish to be vaccinated through the university’s program. 

Fordham and New York City’s Department of Health have agreed to supply dosages of the vaccination to the university’s community, according to the email. Currently, the agreement provides a sufficient number of first dosages to be distributed among faculty, administration and staff. The vaccinations will be administered once the dosages have been supplied, but there is no estimated date of arrival. All vaccinations will be free, according to the email. 

McShane explained that the university does not yet know when it will be able to begin administering the vaccine. “While we are not entirely sure when we will receive the doses that we have contracted for, we will begin the process of registering people for their vaccination appointments as soon as we receive firm word from the state,” he wrote. 

However, preparations for the vaccine are already underway at Fordham, and sites for the vaccine administration have been determined for both Fordham’s Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses, said McShane. Storage for the vaccine doses is already being installed as well. Of four deep-freeze refrigerators, two are already being prepared to preserve the vaccines. The other two are currently in transit and are expected to be received at some point in the next week, according to the official email. 

The email also confirms that Fordham plans to order a second batch of vaccinations to provide to those who received the primary dosages. According to the CDC’s webpage on Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, patients must undergo two dosages of the vaccine for full immunity to take effect, with the second dose at least four weeks after the first dose.

According to the phased distribution of vaccinations set forward by New York State, college students are expected to receive vaccinations in one of the final phases. Once Fordham students are permitted to be vaccinated by the university, registration and paperwork to receive the vaccine will be handled through the same VitalCheck program the university currently uses for COVID-19 testing, explained McShane. 

Until the vaccines are delivered and administered, the university’s COVID-19 prevention protocols will remain in place. “Mandatory testing, the wearing of face coverings in public areas, and maintaining social distancing in all areas on campus” will continue in the spring semester until students have received their vaccinations, according to the email. The university has also ordered 4,000 additional COVID-19 tests to continue its current testing program for students, faculty, and staff in the spring semester. 

McShane encouraged members of the Fordham community to be vaccinated as soon as possible. “We urge you all to be vaccinated at the earliest opportunity to build immunity on our campus and in the communities to which we belong, including our families, neighborhoods, cities, and towns,” he wrote.