The University of Hawaiʻi is encouraging students, faculty and staff of the 10-campus system to “Get Vaccinated UH!” The awareness campaign includes regular messaging and testimonials on social media, as well as campus signage featuring students, faculty, researchers, staff and UH leadership. UH community members are urging their peers to get vaccinated for their campus and community, and encouraging them that we can beat COVID-19 together.
“Widespread vaccination is the best way to end the COVID-19 pandemic and allow us to safely reopen our campuses with more in-person instruction and on-campus activities,” said UH President David Lassner in a Friday, March 5 message to the 10-campus system. “Recognizing the importance of higher education, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health has categorized UH employees as essential workers, which should enable our employees, who are willing, to be vaccinated well before the start of the fall 2021 semester.”
More than 5,000 UH employees received their first dose by the end of February, and many of them have received their second and final dose. Just about every employee, including student employees, who expressed willingness to be vaccinated should be contacted to schedule their first dose appointment by mid-March.
There is positive news for UH students, who fall in the Phase 2 group, the last population group scheduled to receive the vaccine.
“The approval of a third vaccine for use in the U.S., along with a new manufacturing agreement to boost production, prompted President Biden to announce this week that there will be enough supply to vaccinate the entire adult population of our country by the end of May,” said Lassner.
The “Get Vaccinated UH!” campaign is a call to action and not meant to single out those who may choose to not get vaccinated.
“We also ask that you be mindful and respectful of those in our community who may have preexisting or underlying health conditions that may prevent them from getting vaccinated, and others who may have concerns about vaccines and vaccination,” said Lassner.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory, and vaccination status is considered sensitive health information. No one should be forced to disclose their vaccination decision or status by their supervisors, coworkers, instructors or fellow students. Anyone who has questions about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine can find more information on the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.
“In the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives. Now, we have a chance to help bring the pandemic to an end and return to some semblance of normalcy,” said Lassner. “There is much to be hopeful about in the coming months. We can beat COVID-19 together. Get Vaccinated UH!”