Dean of Wellness Services Richard Jazdzewski announced via e-mail that Lawrence University was approved to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 2. In this email, Jazdewski explained that Lawrence will eventually have access to a COVID-19 vaccine and will first administer vaccines to people working with testing and those working with people in isolation.
Further, Jazdzewski encouraged university employees to contact their health care providers to determine if they are eligible to receive the vaccination before Lawrence begins distributing the vaccine. He also emphasized the importance of all Lawrence community members, including those already fully vaccinated, to continue honoring The Pledge.
Although the exact timeline for vaccine distribution at Lawrence has yet to be finalized, Director of Health Services and Campus Nurse Jillian Drier explained that Lawrence is planning to distribute vaccines to students and faculty. According to Drier, Lawrence is collaborating with the Appleton Health Department to get vaccines allocated to the university. Drier and Campus Nurse Allison Brusewitz will be administering vaccines and are working with the city to make sure vaccines are safely administered.
Throughout this process, Lawrence University will be working directly with the Appleton Health Department. Kurt Eggebrecht, Health Officer for the Appleton Health Department, stated that the following groups are currently eligible for the vaccine: frontline health care personnel, residents of long-term care, police and fire personnel, correctional staff, adults age 65 or older, educators and child-care workers, individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs, some public-facing essential workers, non-frontline essential health care personnel and congregate living facility staff and residents. Eggebrecht stated that once all people in these groups and group 1c have been vaccinated, appointments will open up to anyone else seeking a vaccine, including Lawrence students. Additionally, Eggebrecht said that the Appleton Health Department has already vaccinated some Lawrence staff members in the 1a group.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and the Appleton Health Department uses both, Eggebrecht said. He also said that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has recently been approved. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 14.6 percent of the Outagamie County population has received at least one vaccine dose, and 7.4 percent have received both doses.