RICHMOND, Va. -- Beginning Tuesday, VCU says medical students who have direct contact with patients can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The university says the next phase of their vaccine rollout plan comes after more than 8,600 health care workers were vaccinated over the course of four weeks.
"Developing a plan for vaccinating students engaged in clinical care, with input from their deans, have been underway since mid-December," said a VCU spokesperson. "In the last few days, VCU Health received enough additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to start vaccinating students on a voluntary basis, using a tiered approach based upon their clinical work and patient exposure."
This also comes after a CBS Problem Solver Investigation where medical students at VCU expressed concerns about vaccine prioritization. Students said they were pulled out of clinical duties and not prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
With guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, VCU’s deans have identified about 2,100 clinical students who qualify for vaccination.
The group includes students in patient-facing environments from VCU’s health sciences schools and the College of Health Professions, VCU School of Social Work, and a few students from the Departments of Psychology, Kinesiology and Health Sciences in VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences.
Some VCU faculty and staff who work as campus health care providers also qualify for vaccination under the new phase of the vaccine rollout plan.
"Schools and colleges with eligible students, faculty and staff will provide additional information today to notify those who qualify how to make a vaccination appointment," said the spokesperson in a release.
VCU says they are working with the VDH on a timeline for vaccine availability for all students, faculty and staff. That will be released once its available.
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