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Miami University receives Pfizer vaccine for distribution

<p>Miami announced a change in their mask policy on Wednesday, March 4, loosening restrictions on where students are required to wear masks on campus. </p>

Miami announced a change in their mask policy on Wednesday, March 4, loosening restrictions on where students are required to wear masks on campus.

In an email sent to the Miami University community on Monday, April 5, Miami announced the distribution of 3,500 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to students starting April 10.

The email details eight dates for the first and second doses of the vaccine. Eligible students received invitation emails to the vaccine clinic, which is being held in the Dolibois Room of the Shriver Center.

The eligibility for vaccines will open up to on-campus students first, then students who take in-person or hybrid classes. If there are available appointments, they will then be opened up to the rest of the Miami community. 

Carole Johnson, associate director of university news and communications, wrote in an email to The Miami Student that the Inter-University Council, which represents Ohio’s public institutions, worked closely with Gov. Mike DeWine on the decision. 

“Vaccination is one of the most important tools we have to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” Johnson wrote. “Don’t wait for Miami to get the vaccine. If you have an opportunity to get the vaccine, go ahead and get it.”

Johnson wrote the decision to offer the vaccine to on-campus students had to do with the population density of students on campus.

“This decision was made to prioritize student populations living in close proximity with a large number of people, such as our residence halls,” Johnson wrote. 

Vathsa Yarramsetty, a junior finance and accounting major, said it’s a good thing that Miami got the vaccines. 

“I think it’s great,” Yarramsetty said. “The only problem I see is [that] its toward the end of the semester.”

Yarramsetty said a lot of his friends live in Chicago and California and couldn’t stay to get both doses of the vaccine.

“If they don’t sign up quick enough, then they’re not going to get it here,” Yarramsetty said. “[They] can’t wait here for the additional three or four weeks to get it.”

Jenna Kriegel, a sophomore international studies and economics double major, got her first dose of the Moderna vaccine after someone sent information about Butler County vaccine appointments in the Miami parents Facebook group. 

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Kriegel said she was excited to hear that Miami received the Pfizer vaccines. 

“I was so happy,” Kriegel said. “I definitely would have gotten it, but I figured they weren’t going to get it in time from what was said about the Johnson & Johnson [vaccine].”

Kriegel said she already knows two friends who signed up to go to the clinics.

Johnson wrote that the university anticipates receiving doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but is unsure when they would be available. Additionally, the university does not know if there will be enough doses to vaccinate off-campus students, but it will offer them to all Miami University students if clinic appointments do not get filled.

“We intend and hope to offer limited vaccine clinics this summer and fall,” Johnson wrote, “assuming we will have access to doses of the vaccine from the state of Ohio.”

Additional reporting by Senior Campus & Community Editor David Kwiatkowski.