Rice receives approval to receive and distribute vaccines on campus for eligible individuals
Rice has been officially approved to order, store and distribute vaccines on campus, according to Kevin Kirby, chair of the crisis management advisory committee. In an email to the Rice community today, Kirby also wrote that Rice community members who received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on campus on Feb. 15 will likely receive the second dose on Mar. 22.
Kirby wrote that although Rice has been approved to distribute vaccines, they currently are allowed only to provide vaccines for community members who qualify as 1A or 1B.
"Last week, the Biden administration expanded vaccination availability to educators," Kirby wrote. "At this time, the state of Texas is only including primary and secondary education in this initiative, and has not expanded the directive to include higher education faculty or students who aren’t otherwise eligible for the 1A and 1B categories."
After approximately 800 Rice community members received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Feb. 15 during the recent winter storm, Kirby said that students have now been contacted about receiving the second dose.
"The faculty, staff and students who received the Moderna vaccines provided in the East Gym during the winter storm on Monday, Feb. 15, received an email last week from Rice with details about their upcoming second shots," Kirby wrote. "Delivering the vaccine to the campus will take a few days, but we anticipate distribution of the second dose to take place in the Grand Hall on Monday, March 22."
To prepare for ordering vaccines for the Rice community, Kirby requested for the community to fill out a form updating the crisis management team on current vaccine status. Community members are asked to update the form's response as their vaccine status changes.
In today's email, Kirby also announced that Rice has been working to provide vaccination opportunities to community members who qualify as 1A or 1B.
"Over the past six weeks, we have collaborated with our Texas Medical Center partners to provide vaccination opportunities for hundreds of our faculty, staff and students who have self-identified as meeting the state-developed 1A or 1B qualifications," Kirby wrote.
More from The Rice Thresher
All members of the Rice community are expected to return in person for the fall and all students who come to campus are expected to be fully vaccinated before the fall semester, President David Leebron announced in an email Friday. Students who receive a medical or religious waiver must continue to test weekly and wear a mask indoors, according to the email.
President David Leebron announced that he will be stepping down from his role after this coming academic year on June 30, 2022 in an email to the Rice community Tuesday morning. Next year will mark Leebron’s 18th year as president after taking on the position in 2004.
Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask indoors on Rice campus, Kevin Kirby, chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee, wrote in an email to the Rice community Monday afternoon. This announcement comes three weeks after Rice removed the outdoor mask requirement.