|Dear Members of the Harvard Community, |
On Monday, April 19, every adult in the United States will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. A high vaccination rate in Harvard’s community, particularly among students, will be critical to the University’s plan for a return to full in-person learning, research and other activities in the fall. I am writing today to urge that each of you take time over the next few days to plan your vaccine, know what your options are for receiving vaccine, and seek all options available to you. Please be patient and persistent if you can’t get an appointment right away.
As I have shared before, all COVID vaccines available in the United States are highly effective at preventing infection with, and transmission of, the novel coronavirus. We are aware of some recent questions about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that federal agencies are looking into further. Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) is following this matter very closely and will provide updates on the University’s vaccine webpage, as needed.
The vaccines significantly lower your risk of infection, even if those around you have not been vaccinated, and they work well against the common variants that have emerged. And, for the few people who become infected with the virus despite being vaccinated, the vaccine helps prevent serious illness. Getting vaccinated protects you, as well as those around you.
Plan your vaccine: No matter where you are located, you can find resources on the University’s vaccine webpage.
It is still the case that HUHS has only received a very limited supply of vaccine, and the state has not promised any doses for HUHS in the near future. Thus, it is important that you seek all other available sources for receiving vaccine.
As we monitor progress toward full vaccination within our community, we ask that you please let HUHS know if you have been vaccinated by sending a clear copy of your completed vaccination card to firstname.lastname@example.org. We keep this information secure and confidential. If you received your vaccine through HUHS, you do not need to submit this information, since it is already recorded.
Like communities across the country, we have recently seen an increased number of positive coronavirus tests here at Harvard. The vast majority of infections in Massachusetts have been in persons who have not been vaccinated.
As the weather continues to get warmer, and we near the end of the semester, I know there will be an increased desire to gather more often socially. However, please keep in mind that we are, quite simply, in a race between the virus and the vaccine. We must continue to see vaccination rates rise, while (for now) remaining vigilant in our actions that have helped us keep this virus under control in our community. In particular, please avoid eating and drinking with anyone outside of your household, especially indoors, if you or any of your companions are not fully vaccinated.
Let’s Keep Keeping Harvard Healthy!
Giang T. Nguyen
Executive Director, Harvard University Health Services