COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, in partnership with the CDC, are rolling out vaccine distribution in a phased approach. The Food and Drug Administration is currently authorizing COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use only; however, experts expect the FDA to approve the COVID-19 vaccines for regular use once it has more data over the next few months.

Thus, it could still be months before enough vaccine is available for many members of the general population to start getting shots.

The university has formed a subcommittee of our COVID-19 response team to actively monitor federal and state vaccine distribution plans and coordinate with state and local health experts in preparation for any expanded vaccine distribution that might include the UC campus. The UC subcommittee includes representation from the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Health Departments as well as expert consultants from the College of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases and the UC Health COVID-19 core team. 

Additional information is available on the Ohio Department of Health website:

Additional information is available from Hamilton County Test and Protect
 

Also, watch this town hall titled “COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Should Know” presented by the UC Alumni Association and featuring UC Health clinicians and UC faculty. UC alumni and members of the campus community submitted questions to the medical panel. See the vaccine FAQ from those submitted questions and responses.  

The town hall was moderated by Christopher Lewis, M.D., professor of family and community medicine, and features 

  • Carl J. Fichtenbaum, M.D., professor of clinical medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, principal investigator for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial at UC / UC Health
  • Robert W. Frenck, Jr., MD, FAAP, professor of pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, principal investigator for Pfizer and Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccines at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital 
  • Sharice Wood, MD, MPH, UC Health combined internal medicine & pediatrics physician, assistant professor of medicine, participant in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial at UC / UC Health

Vaccine FAQs

At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is available in very limited quantities. Prioritization of who receives the vaccine first is guided by federal and state governments. Governmental guidelines for immunization of the general population are currently under development.

The university has formed a subcommittee of our COVID-19 Response Team to actively monitor federal and state vaccine distribution plans and coordinate with state and local health experts in preparation for any expanded vaccine distribution that might include the UC campus.  

See more in this February 1 message to faculty and staff.

See this State of Ohio FAQ on the COVID-19 vaccine, including its distribution. 

There is no cost to university employees or students currently receiving the vaccine through their association with UC Health.

At this time, there is no firm timeline for mass distribution. See the information available from state, county or UC Health soruces for more. Aslo see the February 1 message to faculty and staff.

See Current State of Ohio Vaccine Planning.

The State of Ohio has control and oversight of all vaccination activities within the state. ODH determines the priority and specifics of how vaccines are administered and by whom, and has elected to currently distribute vaccines to the following entities that, in turn, are required to follow state-mandated distribution protocols;  

Since the current distribution model may change in the future, we will continue to plan at the university level to become part of the solution, working in partnership with Governor Mike DeWine as well as state and local health experts, if and when institutions of higher education are tapped as part of the distribution model. The university’s COVID Response Team has a physician-led subcommittee working on logistics planning around distribution if UC is allocated vaccine doses at some future point.

The infectious disease experts in UC’s Academic Health Center recommend that students who have received a COVID-19 vaccine still participate in required testing. Thus, COVID-19 vaccination status cannot serve to exempt students from required testing. This is due to the following:

  • Vaccine efficacy was studied for prevention of disease only, not infection or viral transmission after infection.
  • Thus, it is still an unknown as to whether a vaccinated individual can still be infected and asymptomatic, and if so, be infectious.
  • There here is no cross-reactivity between vaccine and a PCR test, i.e. being vaccinated cannot lead to a false positive COVID-19 test by PCR. (It can by some antibody tests.)

The university will continue to require quarantine of vaccinated individuals after exposure.

As more research and studies regarding vaccination and post-vaccination infection are addressed, the Academic Health Center infectious disease may revisit this recommendation.

See Current State of Ohio Vaccine Planning.

Vaccine distribution in the U.S. is controlled at the state level. At this moment, the university does not currently have nor control any vaccine doses. Ohio has currently elected to distribute vaccines to the following entities that, in turn, are required to follow state-mandated distribution protocols:   

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  is currently authorizing COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use only. However, experts expect the FDA to approve the COVID-19 vaccines for regular use once it has more data over the next few months. At this time, vaccines are not a condition of enrollment.

At UC, any future determinations will be consistent with ODH guidance and federal requirements. To date, the university’s COVID response has consistently taken a science-based, step-wise approach based on what is most effective in terms of public health tools/results and adapting to the growing body of knowledge and recommendations as provided by the CDC, ODH, and the local health departments, entities with which we work closely.  

The FDA is currently authorizing COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use only. However, experts expect the FDA to approve the COVID-19 vaccines for regular use once it has more data over the next few months. At this time, vaccines are not a condition of enrollment.

At UC, any future determinations will be consistent with ODH guidance and federal requirements. To date, the university’s COVID-19 response has consistently taken a science-based, step-wise approach based on what is most effective in terms of public health tools/results and adapting to the growing body of knowledge and recommendations as provided by the CDC, ODH, and the local health departments, entities with which we work closely.