7,500 University of Michigan students will be able to receive Johnson & Johnson/Janssen one-shot COVID-19 vaccines in the next two weeks through the University at no cost, University President Mark Schlissel announced in a Wednesday morning email.
“Getting vaccinated will keep you healthy, help us all get back to the activities we love, and reduce our need for as many public health measures in time for the fall semester,” Schlissel wrote. “Imagine a semester with the freedom to hold in-person meetings or events, or even attend games in the Big House.”
All students 18 years and older can make appointments here. The University will administer the shots at the Meijer on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. on April 15 and 16; Michigan Stadium April 17-20; and in pop-up clinics at UM-Dearborn April 16 and UM-Flint April 14-15.
Students are expected to receive invitations via the University’s Blue Queue system once they register. Those who have completed registration and expressed interest in receiving a vaccine through Blue Queue are already eligible to be invited, Schlissel wrote. The first random wave of invitations will be sent as early as tomorrow.
Students who have previously had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated unless they tested positive less than 10 days ago, according to Schlissel.
While the 7,500 doses available so far are not enough to vaccinate the entire 40,000 student population, Schlissel wrote that the state of Michigan has promised the University additional supply in upcoming weeks if the federal government delivers on its shipments. According to the Campus Blueprint website, “vaccination supply continues to change weekly,” making it necessary for students who want the vaccine to register as quickly as possible.
Schlissel wrote that the University sought the J&J vaccine because its one-dose delivery makes it easier to administer to students leaving U-M campuses at the end of the semester.
“One and done,” Schlissel wrote.
Schlissel also emphasized the effectiveness of the J&J vaccine.
“The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine is highly effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19,” Schlissel wrote. “There is also accumulating evidence that vaccination prevents infection and transmission of COVID-19 to others. It has already been administered to nearly 4 million people and is very safe.”
The increase in supply comes as the state of Michigan is experiencing the country’s most pronounced COVID-19 outbreak, likely driven by variants and rushed reopening. On March 30, the University identified a “noticeable uptick” in COVID-19 cases related to the U-M community and those numbers continue to rise, making up 16% of the cases in Washtenaw County as of April 6.
Schlissel’s announcement follows Tuesday evening’s Central Student Government meeting, at which University Regents Jordan Acker (D) and Denise Ilitch (D) spoke about “dramatically increasing” vaccine availability on-campus within the next two to three weeks.
“We heard from President Schlissel privately (Tuesday) morning that over the next two to three weeks, the supply given to University, to the UMich Hospital, to on-campus vaccines is going to start increasing dramatically, so that’s my expectation,” Acker told CSG. “If you can’t get a vaccine where you live at home, you should be able to get one on campus. And my hope is that it will be well in advance … of the fall semester.”
Many U-M students had already been at least partially vaccinated ahead of the state’s April 5 universal adult eligibility date, either by crossing state lines, qualifying for the vaccine through risk factors or receiving extra doses from areas with low demand.
The increased vaccine supply announcement comes after Schlissel told The Michigan Daily in January that it was “rather unlikely” the University would be vaccinating students before the end of the semester.
“I would love to be proven wrong,” Schlissel said.