Rutgers expects to soon have on-campus vaccination sites for students

Rutgers University expects to have vaccination sites available to students on all three of its campuses later this spring, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Antonio Calcado said in a video to the Rutgers community on Monday.

Calcado said information on the sites — and registration for them — will be released in an email shortly. He said the only delay is gaining a supply of the vaccine.

“We fully anticipate that we will be opening up our own PODs — points of dispensing — here on all of our campuses, where we will be able to dispense vaccine,” he said.

“I would encourage everyone to look for an email that’ll be coming out in the first week of April, that will outline a registration system. What we’re waiting for at this point in time, quite frankly, is supply.”

Calcado encouraged all students to register. And, while he said there were indications that the campus will get that supply in mid- to late April, he encouraged anyone who can get the vaccine earlier, from a different site, should do so.

“I don’t want anyone to wait for the Rutgers vaccine,” he said. “If you are eligible today, you should look for any place that you can be vaccinated.”

The announcement came during a six-minute message on Twitter that discussed the requirement that all students will need to be vaccinated to return to campus.

“We see this COVID vaccine as adding just one more vaccine to what is already required,” he said. “You will need to prove or show proof of vaccine before being able to come back to campus or to continue as a full-time or part-time student come the fall semester.”

Calcado said it is the “expectation” of the university that its faculty and staff also will get the vaccination. And, while Calcado said the school will “highly encourage” them to do so, he did not indicate it was mandatory.

Calcado said the announcement is being made earlier — more than four months before the start of the fall term — to give students time to process the request.

“We wanted to be fair about making sure you understood that whatever decision you (make), is a decision that we respect,” he said. “But we want you to know that we are creating a safe campus, we want you to come back to a safe campus, we want you to enjoy your college experience.”

That experience, he said, will be different.

“COVID-19 is not going away,” he said. “It’s, how do we mitigate? How do we employ strategies that we can live side by side in a safe manner, not to be afraid of it? And that’s what it is that we’re trying to do here.”