UMC offers limited supply of vaccines to student workers

As Alabama expands vaccine eligibility, the University is urging students to schedule appointments wherever they can. 


Keely Brewer | @keelykbrewer, News Editor

The Alabama Department of Public Health and Governor Kay Ivey expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include those aged 16 years or older beginning April 5. The University plans to offer vaccines to students, but supply is very limited. 

About 1,400 students have been sent invitations to schedule a vaccine this week, with student workers among the first to receive access to vaccines through University Medical Center (UMC). The University will continue to extend invitations to student workers before offering them to the general student population. 

The University has not disclosed the number of vaccines left or the number of student workers who are still waiting for one, and will not disclose any additional information about current vaccine supply. 

“Due to the instability of the vaccine allocation process, we cannot speculate about how much vaccine we will receive or when,” said Monica Watts, associate vice president for communications. “We will continue to send vaccination invitations as supply is made available to UMC.” 

Eligible students will receive an email with instructions to schedule an appointment as vaccines become available. The University urges every student to schedule an appointment at the first available opportunity, including at off-campus locations. 

Students can receive a vaccine off campus at Druid City Hospital, Walmart, CVS, Crimson Care or the Tuscaloosa County Health Department. All available locations can be found here

Currently, the University does not plan to require vaccination for enrollment in the fall semester. 

The University’s vaccine distribution has been coordinated through UMC. In early January, UMC began distributing the two-part Moderna vaccine to healthcare providers, first responders and other vulnerable populations. 

By mid-January, UMC expanded access to individuals aged 75 years or older who are UMC patients, UA retirees or UA emeritus faculty, among others in this age group. About 90% of the University’s first doses had been distributed by late February. All faculty and staff have received an invitation. 

The University began offering vaccines to student workers with high levels of face-to-face interaction by March 12 – including teaching assistants, resident assistants and orientation staff – and continues to extend invitations to this group. 

Now, the University has announced plans to extend invitations to the general student population, but has not disclosed the number of vaccines available or the timeline for notification.