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MCPHS student giving a COVID-19 vaccine. Graphic with Vaccine Champion University.

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Joins the COVID-19 College Challenge

  • In an effort to get as many people vaccinated as possible, the White House set up a COVID-19 vaccination challenge for colleges across the United States.

    As a nation, we have come a long way on the COVID-19 vaccination front. In April, many people were anxiously awaiting their eligibility to make a vaccine appointment; by May, walk-in appointments became available as did selectivity of vaccines at some pharmacies. But the work is not over. Despite the ease of securing a vaccine, the rate of vaccinations has slowed significantly. The rush to produce vaccines fast enough for every eligible individual has morphed into a rush to recruit remaining individuals to get their vaccinations. With more than half of the United States population unvaccinated, and the highly contagious Delta variant on the rise, small- and large-scale initiatives have sprung up to encourage people to get their vaccines as quickly as possible. Certain states have gone so far as to create lotteries with substantial cash prizes for vaccine recipients.

    In a monumental effort to achieve national herd immunity, the White House and Department of Education created the COVID-19 College Challenge, a pledge for colleges nationwide to commit to taking three actions toward vaccinating their communities. The Challenge follows an announcement President Biden made on May 11, 2021, introducing a program to aid high-enrollment community colleges with vaccination opportunities.

    MCPHS is joining in the Challenge alongside the other Colleges of the Fenway. The University has already made it a requirement for MCPHS students to be fully vaccinated to attend campus in the fall 2021 semester and hopes that joining the Challenge will encourage even more faculty and staff to get vaccinated as well. As a healthcare university, MCPHS shares in the values of this public health mission. Three key actions comprise the COVID-19 College Challenge:

    • engaging students, faculty, and staff in vaccine eligibility and resources;
    • organizing the college community with recognition for “vaccine champions” and operations for the vaccination of more members;
    • delivering vaccine access to all by bringing vaccines to campus.

    Further information on the COVID-19 College Challenge can be found in the official press briefing.