About half of West Virginia’s 43 public and private college campuses started vaccinating their employees against COVID-19 this week, according to a spokeswoman for the state’s higher education oversight agencies.
Jessica Tice wrote in an email that 1,000 doses were to be given across the colleges this week.
“This was based on whether they were open, whether they had people who were eligible to be vaccinated who were available this week and whether they had at least 10 people who fit the criteria (doses come in vials of 10, and vials can’t be separated),” Tice wrote.
The vaccines require two doses, spaced apart, to reach their full effectiveness, so everyone vaccinated now will need to get another shot of the same company’s vaccine later.
Those receiving the vaccine this week must be more than 50 years old and working on campus, Tice wrote.
Rob Alsop, West Virginia University’s vice president for strategic initiatives, wrote in an email that the university received 120 doses Tuesday and started vaccinating employees Wednesday.
But Alsop said WVU Medicine has separately been vaccinating people for a couple of weeks, including “a few clinical faculty.” He said university President Gordon Gee, who is not clinical faculty, was vaccinated before this week because he’s the chairman of WVU Medicine’s Board of Directors.
The university is prioritizing vaccinating those over 65, but it also has asked those with underlying conditions if they’re interested, Alsop wrote.
The University of Charleston vaccinated 60 employees Tuesday in Charleston and 10 on Wednesday in Beckley, using up its entire initial allotment, UC wrote in an email. Among those vaccinated was UC President Marty Roth, who is over 50 years old.
“UC expects to receive 60 more vaccines next week, taking our total count to 130 initial doses, with at least another 100 employees on the waitlist for future doses allocated for higher education,” UC said.
West Virginia Wesleyan, a private school in Buckhannon, started vaccinating employees Wednesday, that school announced in a news release. It received 50 doses, and it’s prioritizing those over 60 years old or with pre-existing conditions, the release said.
“Wesleyan will continue to implement our arrival to campus plan that mandates universal mask wearing, social distancing and increased hand hygiene until further notice,” John Bohman, Wesleyan’s campus safety and security supervisor, said in the release. “We will continue to do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.”