Dear Students,

Last week, I wrote to you with an update on our plans for both exit testing and potential on-campus COVID vaccination prior to the end of the semester. As seems to be the modus operandi for the pandemic, new information and obstacles have compelled us to reconsider our plans. So I am writing to let you know where things stand now.

Vaccination Update

Thank you to the students who responded to the vaccination survey we sent out last week. As we stated in that communication, our intention was to make the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine available to students prior to the end of the semester, contingent on our receiving vaccine doses from the county. However, on April 13, the FDA and CDC announced they were pausing administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until concerns about some extremely rare post-vaccination reactions could be more thoroughly investigated. The Oregon Health Authority has followed suit. All distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been suspended.

The College is continuing to explore other options for vaccine distribution to students. That being said, if the pause on administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not lifted quickly, it is extremely unlikely that we will be able to distribute vaccine doses in an on-campus clinic prior to the end of the semester. We know many of you will be disappointed by this development. We share in that disappointment.

All students will become eligible in Oregon for vaccination starting on April 19. We encourage students to visit this website and to pursue vaccination at locations off-campus. (Please keep in mind that if you sign up for a 2-dose vaccine--Moderna or Pfizer--and you will be departing Portland at the end of the semester, you will need to arrange to receive the second matching vaccine dose at your destination.) If you will be leaving Oregon at the end of the semester, another option would be for you to attempt to register now for your vaccine series in the state or country to which you will be traveling.

Exit Testing

As a reminder, we will be offering optional, voluntary COVID testing at the end of the semester for all students who want or need COVID testing prior to travel. If you are interested in this testing, please complete our survey by tomorrow, Friday, April 16. This testing is recommended for all those who are not fully vaccinated and who will be traveling at the end of the semester. It is highly recommended for those who are not fully vaccinated and who will be entering households where there are individuals who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID.

Issues related to COVID vaccination and testing are complicated. If you have questions or need guidance, please contact Ami Hanna (hannae@lclark.edu), Case Manager and Contact Tracer in Wellness Services, or email covid19info@lclark.edu.

Getting vaccinated is so important in stopping the spread of COVID. I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we work to keep up with the changing landscape related to vaccine issues. Best wishes for your health, and for a strong finish to the semester.


John Hancock, Ed.D.
Associate Dean of Students for Health and Wellness

 
 
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