NEW ORLEANS — Tulane University will be receiving 5,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to distribute among students and staff.
According to an email sent out by the university, the vaccine will first go to faculty, students and staff at several of the university's medical schools who are doing healthcare-related work with the public in the New Orleans area.
Campus health staff, frontline employees such as food service workers or custodial workers, and employees over 70 are all expected to get the vaccine as well.
"We are honored that the state has chosen Tulane as a vaccine provider. As the largest private employer in New Orleans, allowing us to participate in the distribution of the vaccine helps to make the entire community safer," Tulane President Michael Fitts said in a statement. "We are committed to rapidly administering vaccines and will be prepared to support vaccinations for those in the Tulane community and beyond as more become available."
The shipment is expected to arrive next week, with another shipment coming soon after containing the follow-up doses for those 5,000 first administered.
Those eligible for the vaccine will receive an email from the school in the coming days to schedule an appointment, according to university officials.
"These inoculations are a milestone in our continued fight against COVID-19, an effort that has included researching new vaccines and treatments, caring for COVID-19 patients and operating one of the country's most rigorous testing, contact tracing and isolation/quarantine programs," said Dr. Lee Hamm, dean of the School of Medicine, when the university announced it would receive the vaccines.
Louisiana is still in the early stages of rolling out the coronavirus vaccines, prioritizing healthcare workers and the elderly. Because of limited supplies, the eligible pool of vaccine candidates has only recently widened to include graduate students, residents and staff of health and medical schools.
Here are the groups of people Tulane will vaccinate in their first wave:
- School of Medicine, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and School of Social Work faculty, staff and students who work directly with others in the New Orleans community
- Campus Health staff who work directly with infected students and employees and their close contacts
- Frontline food service and custodial/operations staff who engage directly with the student body in dining halls, residential facilities and elsewhere
- Employees over 70 years of age
The news comes even as Louisiana marked the second-deadliest day of the pandemic, with 105 new deaths recorded Friday. More than 7,000 people in Louisiana have died of coronavirus since the pandemic began in March.