Earlier today, the State of North Carolina announced it will expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to include college students beginning March 31. Duke Health expects to obtain sufficient supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the State to offer all currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate/professional students in the Durham area the option to get vaccinated in the next several weeks.
The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been demonstrated to effectively prevent serious illness from COVID-19 infection and may prevent asymptomatic spread of the virus. You can learn more about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on the Centers for Disease Control website.
Since the vaccine does not reach its full strength until two weeks after it is administered, and because it’s possible that vaccinated persons may still transmit the virus to others, all students must continue to follow Duke Compact and behavioral guidelines for the remainder of the semester. Students who have been participating in spring surveillance testing will be required to continue.
In the coming week, all Duke students who have not already been invited to receive the vaccine will receive a message to their Duke email account providing an opportunity to schedule an appointment for the vaccine, starting April 1. Specific details regarding registration, scheduling, and location will be included in the email. Due to uncertainties in the supply chain, it may take several weeks to schedule an appointment at Duke. We also encourage you to explore all options for vaccination, such as local public health departments, pharmacies, and other providers that may have additional supply.
As a reminder, students are not required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have concerns about whether you should get the vaccine, you should reach out to your medical provider at Student Health or your personal physician. You can learn more about the COVID vaccine, appointments, and scheduling at https://covidvaccine.duke.edu/.
Both the criteria for eligibility and the amount of vaccine available are controlled by the State of North Carolina, not Duke University nor Duke Health. The availability of the vaccine will continue to dictate how many and when eligible students will be able to schedule appointments for vaccination with Duke Health.
Our hope is to make the vaccination available to as many students as possible, as quickly as possible. Last week’s stay-in-place directive was a stark reminder that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. Regardless of your vaccine status, everyone must continue wearing a mask, maintain social distance, report your symptoms, report for your surveillance tests and wash hands often to keep yourself and our community safe. Thank you for all you continue to do this semester to keep yourselves and each other safe so we can finish out the semester strong.
Thank you, and go Duke,
John Vaughn, M.D.
Director of Student Health Services
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education