EU officials talk COVID-19 vaccine, school applies to be open POD

Category:  News
Thursday, February 25th, 2021 at 9:03 PM
EU officials talk COVID-19 vaccine, school applies to be open POD by Julia Petrovich

With the Edinboro campus aiming for a fall 2021 reopening and housing applications now open for next semester, both the prospect of a safe campus and questions regarding COVID-19 vaccinations have come into focus.

In the recent “Tea Time” event put on by Edinboro University leaders, Jim Dahle, EU’s director of safety and risk management, discussed campus plans and vaccinations. Although students are likely to be in “Phase 2” of Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout — labeled as “All individuals not previously covered who are 16 and older and do not have a contraindication to the vaccine” — certain students and faculty may have already received their vaccinations. This includes some nursing students because of contact with patients, along with some professors, and those student teaching in smaller state counties. Dahle and other EU officials are highly encouraging students and staff to receive the vaccine whenever it is available to them.

However, in an interview with Dahle, he did state that the university will not currently be requiring the vaccine for its on-campus community, but strongly recommending it. Currently, Pennsylvania is in “Phase 1A.”

In a separate interview with The Spectator, Vice President of Marketing and Communications Angela Burrows also reiterated that the university cannot require students and faculty get the vaccine. “As a public institution, we cannot mandate vaccination in order to pursue an education unless the Pennsylvania Department of Health requires it.”

The university is also under consideration as a distribution site for the COVID-19 vaccine. According to an email from the university’s Emergency Response Team (ERT), the school has “submitted information to the PA DOH (Department of Health), at their request, to become a point of dispensing (POD).” Specifically, EU is in consideration for an open POD, which means the school would be “utilized to vaccinate the community.” They do warn readers that “this information was provided for planning purposes only and does not guarantee the delivery of the vaccine to Edinboro University.”

Once again, this email encourages students to get the vaccine whenever they can. For any questions or concerns regarding when an individual may receive their vaccine, you can visit Health.pa.gov and take the “When Am I Eligible?” quiz.

Given the occasional controversy surrounding vaccinations, one student discussed her view on vaccine safety. Kendra Wilson, an Edinboro University freshman, said, “I would take the vaccine if it were offered, not only to protect myself from the virus but also to help the community and country as a whole to recover from the pandemic.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective” and “Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.” The CDC lists “many people” as reporting mild side effects like “pain or swelling at the injection site” and “a headache, chills, or fever.”

“Though I was disappointed to live off campus and have classes in a different format than expected, I feel as though it is my duty as a community member to take the proper steps in protecting myself and others,” Wilson stated.

Edinboro University and its community can expect to do their part in creating a healthier and safer community in the not-so-distant future.

Julia Petrovich is the Arts Editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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