The White House and the U.S. Department of Education are inviting colleges and universities to join the Covid-19 College Vaccine Challenge, an initiative that shares information and access to the vaccine with younger Americans who lag behind in overall vaccination numbers. Worcester State is one of more than 200 colleges and university from across the nation that has signed up for the challenge.
According to the website , the Challenge comes on the heels of the federal effort announced in early May to make it easier and more accessible for Americans to get vaccinated by increasing walk-in vaccination access at neighbor pharmacies, increasing pop-up vaccination clinics and mobile vaccine units, and to provide support to community-based organizations to hire staff needed to increase vaccine access, among other things. The Challenge also supports President Biden’s goal to as many Americans vaccinated by July 4 in order to enjoy a more normal holiday with family and friends.
“Everyone has a role to play in ending the pandemic, including every college and university,” President Biden said in a statement on the White House Covid-19 College Challenge  website.
Participating colleges commit to taking three actions to help their campus community get the vaccine: engage every student, faculty and staff member; organize their campus community; and deliver vaccine access to all. In February, Worcester State University partnered with Saint Vincent Hospital and Commonwealth Medicine, the consulting and operations division of UMass School of Medicine, to operate a large-scale vaccination clinic on the Worcester State campus. As vaccine phases by demographic (age) opened up in the commonwealth, eligible faculty, staff and students had access to the vaccine. To date, 308 Worcester State students have self-reported as being fully vaccinated.