When 'if' turns to 'when': COVID-19 vaccine planning at Indiana University

An IUPUI student receives the COVID-19 vaccine on campus.View print quality image
IUPUI began vaccinating students, faculty and staff on campus on April 6. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

With everyone age 16 and older eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana, conversations that started last fall with "if we get a vaccine" have turned to "when we get the vaccine." Teams across Indiana University have worked for months to ensure that all students, faculty and staff have accurate information about the vaccine and as much access to the vaccine as possible.

From daily meetings with local health departments and the Indiana Department of Health to countless internal planning meetings, IU has been continually advocating for vaccination and getting access for students, faculty and staff.

"This effort has involved hundreds of IU staff for months," said Kirk White, assistant vice president and co-lead of the IU Bloomington COVID-19 Response Unit. "The amount of collaboration and sheer dedication to getting our students, faculty and staff information and vaccinations is at a level I've not seen before. It's truly been extraordinary."

Through these efforts, IU has opened vaccine clinics in collaboration with state and local health departments on many campuses.

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall set up as a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.View print quality image
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on the IU Bloomington campus is now the site of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for IU Bloomington students, faculty and staff as well as the community. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

IU Bloomington

People are taking different kinds of shots at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall these days. The site is now home to a clinic providing the COVID-19 vaccine to the community as well as to IU students, faculty and staff.

Since opening March 29, in collaboration with the Monroe County Health Department, nearly 6,000 vaccines have been given at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The site continues to ramp up appointments exponentially each week with additional vaccine doses from the state. Site leaders expect to provide 72,000 vaccines at Assembly Hall by June.

IUPUI

Through a vaccine allotment from the state of Indiana specifically for IUPUI students, faculty and staff, IUPUI opened an on-campus vaccine clinic on April 6. In just three days, nearly 600 vaccines have already been given to the IUPUI community.

The site currently plans to continue to give first doses through April 23 and then will provide second doses the weeks of April 26, May 3 and May 10, giving students another option for getting both doses of vaccine before the end of the spring semester.

IU East

In collaboration with Reid Hospital, IU East is operating a one-day clinic open to students, faculty and staff as well as the community. The site provided first doses of the vaccine on April 8, with second doses scheduled April 29.

IU Southeast

Since early this year, IU Southeast has been the location of the Floyd County Health Department's vaccine site; the campus's School of Nursing has provided clinical support for the site. IU Southeast is also working with the local health department to host two days of the clinic for IU Southeast students, faculty and staff. First doses for this clinic are April 8 and 10, with second doses being given April 29 and May 1.

For those campuses that don't have a vaccine site on campus currently, students, faculty and staff can continue to schedule their vaccine appointment at any site in Indiana. All Indiana counties have at least one local vaccine site, and many mass clinics are being organized around the state.

"We've appreciated the collaboration not only across all of IU's campuses, but with all of the local health departments and the Indiana Department of Health to make these vaccine clinics a reality," White said. "We hope that these additional options for getting the COVID-19 vaccine provide more access and convenience for our students, faculty and staff to take their shot and help us get back to an in-person fall 2021 semester." 

IU students, faculty and staff can schedule their vaccine appointment at any site in Indiana through ourshot.in.gov; they do not have to receive their vaccine on campus. Some of the on-campus clinics require students, faculty and staff to schedule their appointment via a unique link sent by the Indiana State Department of Health via email (from noreply@coronavirus.in.gov) and text message (from 45179).