Jan. 8, 2021

Sent on behalf of the Continuity of Operations Task Force

We know that one of the most important questions on everyone’s mind is: "When will the COVID vaccines become available to EVMS and to me?"

The short answer is that we hope to receive vaccines beginning in about two weeks and to administer vaccines to faculty, staff and students thereafter. Once we start, we will move as quickly as we can, but it will still take more time than we prefer.

We have been focused on the acquisition and distribution of vaccines since early December. The required paperwork has been completed and submitted and we are awaiting notification from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Hospital systems such as Sentara have received vaccines first and their clinicians and staff whom they have identified as higher risk, including a number of EVMS faculty and residents at Norfolk General, have been offered the vaccine. Hospitals at UVA and VCU received enough vaccines to address their clinicians, residents and students in clinical rotations. Since EVMS does not own a hospital, we have not yet received any vaccines, but we anticipate receiving an allocation in the next two to three weeks.

Again, we are working hard to procure vaccines as soon as possible under the constraints of the federal and state governments. We expect to ultimately have enough vaccines to vaccinate anyone who desires it, but initially vaccines will be distributed based on the priorities that follow. The vaccine administration process employed by Sentara Norfolk General Hospital has proven to be well-organized and our goal is to implement a similar process. The health and safety of our patients, faculty, staff and students remain our highest priority and we will keep you updated on at least a weekly basis.

EVMS Priorities for Vaccination for COVID-19
Dec. 10, 2020
Updated Jan. 5, 2021

In prior notes from the Continuity of Operations Task Force, we have stated that a process for distribution of COVID vaccines at EVMS will be developed as we receive guidance from federal and state agencies — FDA, CDC and VDH. It appears that the FDA will approve one or more vaccines in December. That approval simply begins a process of vaccine distribution that will evolve over the coming six months. It is important for everyone to understand that the particulars of the process and its implementation for EVMS are not now known and will only become known in a piecemeal fashion during the coming months. Therefore, this is the first in a series of emails that will address the EVMS distribution plan as it evolves following the guidance of the FDA, CDC and VDH. We are excited that the process is beginning, but also aware that the distribution process will take several months and require patience.

EVMS priorities are based on the CDC recommendations, direct patient contact/COVID exposure/AGPs and high-risk conditions. The initial priorities are listed below. As we receive additional guidance, we will develop further details concerning priorities and communicate those to the EVMS community as soon as we are able.

  1. All healthcare providers and students involved in direct patient care not previously vaccinated
  2. All other clinical personnel
  3. All EVMS employees and students who meet CDC 1b and 1c criteria
    1. 75 years or older, non-clinical personnel in clinical departments, clinical research personnel and security
    2. Aged 65-74 years
    3. 18-64 with high risk medical conditions
  4. All remaining EVMS employees and students
  5. EVMS Medical patients and EVMS community faculty