COVID-19 vaccine update for employees

Thank you to everyone who completed the COVID-19 vaccine interest survey last week.

We are aware the short turn-around for the requested information caused some employees to miss the opportunity to complete the survey. We were informed late last Thursday morning that higher education institutions would be receiving vaccines and were given only until Friday afternoon to survey our employees and provide the State with an estimate of the vaccine we would need.

It is, however, the university’s intention to provide vaccines for all employees who want them, regardless of whether the employee completed the initial survey or not. Once we receive more information about how many vaccines we will be receiving and when, we anticipate sending a second survey to give employees another opportunity and additional lead time to respond.

Yesterday afternoon, an Ad Hoc Vaccine Advisory Group, appointed by President Gilbert and with guidance provided by Health Sciences personnel at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, met to help provide input and oversight as plans to administer the vaccine at Marshall are developed. Members of the advisory group include the following:

  • Bruce Felder, Director of Human Resource Services
  • Philippe Georgel, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences (representing Faculty Senate)
  • Jerry Gilbert, President
  • Carol Hurula, Manager of Business Operations, Academic Affairs (representing Classified Staff Council)
  • Brandi Jacobs-Jones, Senior Vice President for Operations/Chief of Staff
  • Ginny Painter, Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing
  • Daniel Persinger, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
  • Tracy Smith, Director of Environmental Health and Safety

In prioritizing employees for receiving the vaccine, advisory group members decided to take into account both the timing of response to the survey and the following categories, in order of priority:

  1. 65 years old and older with CDC-defined underlying medical conditions
  2. 65 years old and older without those underlying medical conditions and 50-64 years old with CDC-defined underlying medical conditions
  3. 50-64 years old without those underlying medical conditions
  4. Health sciences faculty with direct patient contact
  5. On-campus personnel who have direct contact with the public
  6. All other employees working on-site
  7. All remaining employees

We anticipate the first date for giving vaccines to our employees will be Tuesday, Dec. 29, and will continue through January and February. Once all the scheduling details are finalized and the university has submitted that information, employees who have indicated they are willing to get the vaccine will receive an e-mail from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control with their assigned vaccination date and other instructions.

Employees who have completed the first survey do not need to respond to the second survey, even if they fall within the 50-64 years of age category. In most cases, the Marshall ID numbers on the first surveys have been cross-matched with university records to obtain ages, and employees will be placed in the appropriate priority age grouping. If the advisory group needs to confirm your birth date, you will be contacted today via e-mail.

We were informed yesterday afternoon that we will be receiving the Moderna vaccine, although that is subject to change.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation in what remains a very fluid process. We are receiving new vaccination distribution information and instructions on a nearly hourly basis, and will do our best to keep the university community informed.

Please address any questions to