Washington State University began providing COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible students this week on the Pullman campus.
More than 120 students received their first dose Thursday and more clinics are being planned.
Cougar Health Services, which operates WSU Pullman’s full-service student health clinic, received approval from the Washington Department of Health to serve as a COVID-19 vaccine provider. Currently, the number of students eligible under the state’s phased vaccination plan is believed to be relatively small but is expected to grow quickly in the coming weeks.
“This is a way for us to take care of our students and provide additional capacity to the community’s overall vaccination efforts,” said Cougar Health Executive Director Joel Schwartzkopf. “We anticipate eligibility will continue to broaden under Washington’s phased vaccination approach and we want to be there for them.”
For Thursday’s clinic, the University contacted students directly who were likely to be eligible based on their employment in campus jobs considered high-risk critical work under the state’s guidelines. Most are within the agricultural and food processing designations.
That eligibility is expected to expand again at the end of this month to include other occupations, such as restaurant and fast food workers.
Cougar Health Services is scheduling future clinics to align with increased eligibility, beginning March 31. Information about additional vaccination clinics including how eligible students can make an appointment, will be posted on the Cougar Health Services website early next week.
Students at this point are expected to first use the Washington Phase Finder to establish their vaccine eligibility status and must attest that they are symptom-free before entering any campus facilities, including the vaccine site. Explanations of the state’s eligibility tiers can be found on the Washington Department of Health website.
By May 1, all adults are expected to become eligible for the vaccine.
WSU is continuing to urge all faculty and staff to get the vaccine as soon as they’re eligible, and to use Phase Finder and other state resources to locate community vaccination sites.