UB will be one of five SUNY institutions serving as a COVID vaccination site, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced Tuesday.
The university will help distribute the COVID vaccine on its south campus, but the dates, times and building location will be provided at a later date. UB will join the University at Albany, Stony Brook, Binghamton and SUNY Potsdam in issuing the vaccine.
“The UB community has made many significant contributions in the fight against COVID through its research, teaching and volunteer efforts,” UB President Satish Tripathi said in a statement. “UB is proud to continue making a positive impact by serving as a vaccination site. This will help bring the vaccines closer to the community, speeding up a return to normalcy for Western New Yorkers.”
The university did not say which of the two FDA-approved vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna — would be distributed on its campus. But it did say the vaccine will be distributed in accordance with guidelines developed by the New York State Department of Health.
Currently, New Yorkers in phases 1a and 1b are eligible to receive the vaccine. These include, but are not limited to, high-risk hospital workers, residents and staff at nursing homes, EMS workers, individuals aged 65 or older, first responders, public transit employees and pre-K-12 faculty or staff. In-person college instructors are also eligible for the vaccine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said by April, “anyone, even those who don’t have underlying health conditions,” should be able to receive the COVID vaccine.
He said campuses should be able to reopen for the spring semester assuming universities test “appropriately and prudently.” UB plans to continue randomized surveillance testing using a test developed by SUNY Upstate Medical University. Students are required to be tested and undergo a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to returning to campus.
“Time and time again, SUNY has taken on whatever task was needed to combat COVID, and today is no different,” Malatras said. “In the weeks and months to come, eligible New Yorkers will make appointments and arrive at these SUNY campuses to receive the vaccine and protection from COVID. I am proud of these institutions for mobilizing so quickly, and of our university system as a whole for continuing to offer major contributions in the battle against the virus.”
Justin Weiss is the managing editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Justin Weiss is the The Spectrum's managing editor. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or throwing things at his TV when his sports teams aren't winning. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald.