By Sarah Mountain and Brady Talbert
Troy University will begin receiving doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week, according to an email sent to Troy faculty and staff Thursday afternoon.
Dean of Student Services Herb Reeves said the university does not yet know how many doses it will receive, but the campus health center will be ready to begin distribution within 24 hours of receiving the vaccine.
While Wednesday the Tropolitan spoke with Dr. Lance Tatum, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and chair of Troy’s Coronavirus Task Force, who said the school was slated to receive the vaccine in April, Thursday brought the news that Troy will receive the vaccine as early as next week.
The University of Alabama received 3,500 doses of the vaccination the first week in January. Auburn University received its first doses the same week and now reports on its website the school has 7,000 doses.
According to the email sent to Troy University employees on Thursday on behalf of Tatum, the university will follow the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) guidelines in order to determine who will get the vaccine first.
The state is currently in phase 1B of distribution so top priority will go to those ages 75 and older, then health care workers and first responders, according to Tatum.
The email said Troy faculty and staff will receive information regarding when they are eligible and can schedule a time to receive the vaccine. There is no information, yet, on distribution to the student population.
Tatum said Troy is in daily contact with the ADPH to stay up to date with the latest information.
The news of next week’s delivery of the vaccine comes less than a day after the Tropolitan reported Auburn University confirmed it was using an “Auburn-specific strategy that delineated first prioritization by age and medical condition among the university’s community.”
“Auburn is currently operating under Phase 1C of the university’s internal prioritization plan in the effort to vaccinate its faculty, staff and students,” Auburn University said in a statement on Jan. 27.
Auburn University said it “implemented a phased approach to vaccine distribution” that “heeded state and federal guidelines.”
However, Auburn applied the state guidelines merely to its own employees and students as the university confirmed the vaccine was not for distribution for the city, only the campus.
The Tropolitan has yet to receive answers posed to Gov. Kay Ivy’s office, or the Alabama Department of Public Health, even after multiple attempts, which began Monday. However, Dothan television station WDHN read the Tropolitan’s report and reached out to the ADPH and was granted a response the student newspaper was not.
The ADPH told WDHN that it would be looking into Auburn’s use of the vaccine.
Follow the Tropolitan on social media at @tropolitan and check Tropnews.com for updates.