This message was shared with the students, faculty and staff of the 10-campus University of Hawaiʻi system on March 5, 2021.
Aloha UH ʻohana,
As COVID-19 vaccines become more readily available, we are encouraging everyone at our 10 campuses to “Get Vaccinated UH!”
Widespread vaccination is the best way to end the COVID-19 pandemic and allow us to safely reopen our campuses with more in-person instruction and on-campus activities. Recognizing the importance of higher education, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health has categorized UH employees as essential workers, which should enable our employees, who are willing, to be vaccinated well before the start of the fall 2021 semester. The approval of a third vaccine for use in the U.S., along with a new manufacturing agreement to boost production, prompted President Biden to announce this week that there will be enough supply to vaccinate the entire adult population of our country by the end of May.
Many UH faculty and staff have already received or scheduled their first dose. Please continue to monitor your UH email and UHNews.org for more information. When you are offered an opportunity to get vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to rearrange your schedule to do so, as we cannot guarantee you another opportunity as an essential worker through UH.
We also ask that you be mindful and respectful of those in our community who may have preexisting or underlying health conditions that may prevent them from getting vaccinated, and others who may have concerns about vaccines and vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory, and getting vaccinated is a personal and private decision. Vaccination status is considered sensitive health information, and no one should be forced to disclose their decision or status by their supervisors, coworkers, instructors or fellow students.
If you do have concerns about the vaccines, here are some excellent resources from our state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have any questions specific to UH and the COVID-19 vaccine, please email COVID19@hawaii.edu.
In the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives. Now, we have a chance to help bring the pandemic to an end and return to some semblance of normalcy. We strongly encourage members of our UH community to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect yourself, your family, your campus and your community. This is our best defense against the virus.
We appreciate your continuing patience and cooperation. There is much to be hopeful about in the coming months. We can beat COVID-19 together. Get Vaccinated UH!
E mālama pono,