The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the first COVID-19 vaccines for use in the United States in mid-December, and institutions across the country, including Penn, began the process of vaccinating health care workers, first responders, and those individuals most at risk shortly after.
Penn opened the Penn Cares COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on Wednesday, April 14, and began administering vaccines to eligible faculty, staff, and postdoctoral trainees. This phased approach is consistent with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) guidelines.
Jack Heuer, vice president of the Division of Human Resources (HR), offers some takeaways on how the University prepared for the arrival of vaccine, what to expect in the process of vaccinating the Penn community, eligibility guidelines, and why it’s so important for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Planning and collaborating
Penn started planning even before the Philadelphia Department of Public Health approved Penn Wellness as a vaccine provider. Once the approval was provided, the Penn team took immediate action.
The vaccine clinic, like many other initiatives Penn has undertaken, is the result of people working in collaboration with one another across the University. Wellness, the Department of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics, ISC [Information Systems & Computing], HR, and handfuls of volunteers were essential to this project. Penn Medicine provided constant support, knowledge, and resource sharing for this important endeavor.
What to expect
We encourage participation. We all have a collective responsibility to keep the entire Penn community a healthy and safe environment. When it’s your turn, get your shot to provide protection for yourself and others against the pandemic.
Be prepared for the day of your appointment. Have your PennCard and Green PennOpen Pass ready. If you can’t find your PennCard or don’t have a Penn ID yet because you are a new employee, please bring another form of photo ID. It is helpful if you know your Penn ID number.
How to prepare
Educate yourself about vaccines. Visit the Vaccinations website for a list of resources about how vaccines work.
Explore all options available to receive a vaccine. Penn Cares COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic is just one avenue to get vaccinated. For more options, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccine Finder.
What comes next
Check appointments regularly as we will release appointments as vaccines become available. Penn receives allocations of vaccine from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health throughout the week.
Once getting fully vaccinated, continue to follow Penn’s public health guidance. Wear a mask, wash your hands, test, and complete your daily PennOpen Pass.
In the first week, we expect to provide vaccinations to over 1,000 individuals.