Section 4: Vaccination Information for the U of A Community

Vaccination Overview

The Arkansas Department of Health is guiding the implementation of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan. Because vaccine supplies are limited, distribution is being managed in phases.

Most University Employees Are Eligible for Vaccination

University of Arkansas faculty, staff and graduate assistants who are required to physically report to campus are now eligible for the vaccine as a part of Phase 1-B. Those in a completely remote status will not be eligible for the vaccine during this phase.

Individual letters have been emailed to eligible university employees. The individualized letters serve as documentation of employees’ affiliation with the university for purposes of the COVID-19 vaccination process.

Vaccination Not Required, But Strongly Encouraged

While the university does not require COVID-19 vaccination at this time, it is strongly encouraged that each employee consider receiving the vaccine as a part of efforts to enhance the safety of the campus work and learning environment.

Remember, COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory at this time for university employees, so please respect any private medical decisions of your fellow employees.

If you choose to be vaccinated, it will be provided to you with no out-of-pocket cost. The U.S. government is providing the vaccine to all states at no cost, including Arkansas. So, the cost of the vaccine will not be billed. However, the vaccine provider may bill your insurance for the vaccine administration fee to cover their cost of giving the vaccine to you. If you have no health insurance, you will not be billed for the administration fee.

Where Can I Be Vaccinated?

Pat Walker Health Center has received approval to be a COVID-19 vaccination provider but vaccine shipments have not arrived yet. Until then, eligible employees can check with area pharmacies to see if they are accepting vaccination reservations or take advantage of opportunities provided by the university.

The ADH provides a map and searchable list of pharmacies providing vaccinations across the state.

As other opportunities for vaccination are made available to the university, those will be shared with our community via email from U of A Emergency Management.

How Soon Can I Expect To Be Vaccinated?

It will likely take several weeks to vaccinate all those who are eligible and wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a part of Phase 1-B of the state’s vaccination plan as there isn’t currently enough vaccine available for all who want to receive it.

While eligible University of Arkansas employees can seek to be vaccinated at any participating pharmacy or provider, the university is working to help vaccinate as many eligible employees as quickly as possible by hosting mass vaccination clinics on campus as well as seeking other vaccination opportunities for employees.

Prioritization Process

How Does the Process Work?

Following Arkansas Department of Health guidance to prioritize the order of who should receive the limited number of vaccines, the university is reaching out to eligible employees in a prioritized manner based on the individual's age and/or other factors to determine interest in being vaccinated. The university relays contact information for those eligible employees who want to be vaccinated to the pharmacy conducting the vaccination clinics on campus and other providers offering vaccination opportunities to university employees in order to facilitate appointment scheduling.

How Did the University Initially Prioritize Employees For Vaccination?

For the initial mass vaccination clinics on campus and other opportunities made available through the university, access to appointment scheduling information was provided in a tiered manner, starting with those in the 70 and over population, working down to those aged 50 or more, then to employees with essential job responsibilities, and on to employees in the 40-plus and 30-plus populations.

Most Employees Over 30 Years of Age Have Been Offered At Least One Vaccination Opportunity

Most university employees over the age of 30 have now been contacted at least once about an opportunity to be vaccinated. While outreach continues to employees of all ages who previously confirmed their interest in being vaccinated (or have yet to respond to vaccine interest surveys) as a part of Phase 1-B of the state's vaccination plan, employees under 30 years of age are now being notified of appointment availabilities as well.

More Than 3,500 U of A Employees Vaccinated

More than 3,500 University of Arkansas employees will have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by March 2, when another in a series of mass vaccination clinics concludes. More than 1,500 U of A employees have already received both doses of the vaccine through opportunities offered by the university.

These numbers only include those who received the vaccine through an opportunity coordinated by the university, but other employees are securing appointments on their own, so the total number of employees who have been vaccinated is likely much higher.

Still Want To Be Vaccinated?

We know there are many employees who still want to be vaccinated including those who haven't received a notification about an appointment opportunity yet, and others who either couldn't make it to a previous opportunity, or simply missed their invitation.

If you still want to be vaccinated, please be on the lookout for a two-question survey that will be delivered via email Wednesday, March 3, from U of A Emergency Management directly to employees who previously confirmed their interest in being vaccinated as well as others who may still be interested. 

When you receive the email with the survey link, please complete the survey (even if you completed a vaccination survey from the university previously). The information will be used to calculate the remaining vaccine need in our community and guide future vaccination opportunities provided by the university. This information is helpful given we don't know how many employees may have been vaccinated outside of one of the opportunities offered through the U of A. 

What Can I Expect Next?

  • Please continue to exercise patience while we methodically work through the various groups of eligible employees.
  • When you are contacted by Emergency Management about your interest in receiving a vaccine, please respond to the survey as quickly as possible. A deadline will be provided.
  • Then, when selected for an appointment, you will receive a second email from Emergency Management OR from a local pharmacy or provider (Colliers, Washington Regional Medical Center, Mercy).
  • Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate changes to appointment assignments.

Vaccination Appointments

Who Will Contact Me Regarding Appointments?

U of A Emergency Management is reaching out to eligible employees via email.

When you receive a vaccination invitation, it is meant only for you, so please do not forward to others.

Then, when selected for an actual appointment, you will receive a second email from Emergency Management OR from a local pharmacy or provider (Colliers, Washington Regional Medical Center, Mercy).

Please respond as quickly as possible as opportunities are being filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If I Haven’t Been Offered an Appointment Yet, Will There Be Other Opportunities?

Yes. The university is actively working with community providers to offer vaccination opportunities for employees as well as planning additional mass vaccination opportunities on campus. Appointment details will be communicated directly to those invited as soon as they are finalized. Scheduling clinics and other opportunities are contingent on vaccine supply.

Please remain patient as it will likely take several weeks to vaccinate all those who are eligible and wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a part of Phase 1-B of the state's vaccination plan.

How Do I Get My Second Dose of the Vaccine?

When you receive your first dose, information about when you will receive your second vaccine dose will be provided to you at that time.

Additional details will be communicated directly to you closer to the actual date of additional vaccination opportunities as some dates, times and specific appointments have not been set at this time.

What Do I Need to Take to a Vaccination Appointment?

Those with appointments to receive the vaccine from eligible providers, including mass vaccination clinics, must bringthe following for verification (those without an appointment will be turned away):

  • University photo identification
  • Insurance card (only required if you have insurance)
  • Driver's license or other form of photo identification
  • The individualized letter from the university recently emailed to employees
  • First dose confirmation card (if receiving your second dose).

IMPORTANT: If you have lost your card, then you are responsible for contacting the pharmacy/provider directly for a replacement. The university does not have access to this record.

If I Have an Appointment, Can I Also Bring Family Members?

No. Only eligible, active employees with appointments may receive the vaccine on campus at this time. Retirees and family members of employees are not eligible for vaccination opportunities offered through the university.

Will Pat Walker Health Center Provide COVID-19 Vaccinations at Some Point?

Pat Walker Health Center has received approval to be a COVID-19 vaccination provider but vaccine shipments have not yet arrived. Until then, eligible employees can check with area pharmacies and providers to see if they are accepting vaccination reservations or take advantage of vaccination opportunities provided by the university by appointment only.

Who Do I Ask if I have Questions About This Process?

If you have questions or need further information regarding the vaccination process or anything pertaining to COVID response, please contact hrassist@uark.edu.