COVID-19 vaccination update

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Gina Casalegno announced last Thursday that Carnegie Mellon University has partnered with the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) to provide vaccine appointments to the Carnegie Mellon community.

In an email to the university community, Casalegno wrote that Carnegie Mellon community members will have access to vaccine appointments with the AHN by the end of the month. The AHN will distribute the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine as part of its partnership. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one of three vaccines authorized for use in the U.S., the others being the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. However, the CDC recommends getting any authorized vaccine you are eligible for. The AHN has been approved to vaccinate people in phases 1A, 1B, and 1C. They have registration for eligible people on their website.

The announcement from Casalegno comes as Pennsylvania expands its vaccine eligibility and moves to phase 1C of its vaccine rollout this Monday. On April 5, Pennsylvania moved to phase 1B, adding education workers, including those in higher education, to the pool of people eligible to be vaccinated. As phase 1C starts, essential workers in a variety of industries will be eligible to get vaccinated. All Pennsylvanians 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination when phase 2 begins on April 19. Pennsylvanians (except for those living in Philadelphia) can check whether they are eligible on Pennsylvania's Your Turn website.

Pennsylvania has a map of registered vaccine providers on its website. After checking whether you are eligible, the website recommends finding a provider from that website and scheduling an appointment with them to receive a vaccine. The Allegheny County Health Department also has registration and pre-registration for the vaccine on its website.

Carnegie Mellon University's partnership with AHN also comes after Casalegno and Chief of Staff and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Daryl Weinert wrote on April 2 that Carnegie Mellon University had helped arrange over 1,000 appointments for Carnegie Mellon community members eligible under phase 1A as part of another collaboration with Giant Eagle. However, as vaccinations have increased across Pennsylvania and the U.S., the number of COVID-19 cases has crept back up nationally, in Pennsylvania, and in Allegheny County.

In their April 2 email, Casalegno and Weinert wrote, "Participating in weekly Tartan Testing and practicing all mitigation protocols of wearing facial coverings, handwashing, physical distancing, and completing the daily self-assessment surveys are important tools to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in our community."