Fairmont State University distributed its first round of COVID-19 vaccines to members of the campus community Wednesday as part of a statewide effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and fight the ongoing pandemic.
The West Virginia COVID-19 Joint Interagency Task Force for Vaccinations, which is comprised of representatives of the West Virginia National Guard, Department of Health and Human Resources, Higher Education Policy Commission and other key partners, provided the University with 80 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has undergone months of clinical trials and received FDA Emergency Use Authorization after meeting rigorous and scientific standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
“The Falcon Family really pulled together to overcome the challenges this pandemic presented,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “And now our teamwork, grit and patience are paying off as we begin the vaccination process. I want to urge everyone to continue doing those things we know slow the spread of COVID: social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands. We’ll hopefully have the entire campus community vaccinated soon and take another step towards returning to something resembling ‘normal.’”
Last month, campus-wide communications surveyed employee interest in receiving the vaccine. From the pool of individuals who indicated their interest and were available during the scheduled testing dates, the University followed state guidelines. Employees who received the first dose of the vaccine were automatically registered to be administered the second dose four weeks later.
In addition to distributing its initial allotment of vaccines, the University is implementing a phased return to campus plan for the upcoming spring semester which includes mandatory COVID-19 testing for all students, staff and faculty who take classes or work on site. Safety protocols such as wearing masks and physical distancing will continue to be enforced.
Fairmont State Police Chief Matt Swain said that as more vaccines are provided by the state, the University will move swiftly in distributing them to additional members of the campus population.
“We are working closely with the state to continue to do everything we can to keep our institution as safe as possible,” Swain said. “As more vaccines become available, we will release that information to our University community in a timely manner so that we can ensure the health of our Falcon Family and help save lives.”