Dear RVU Family:
As suspected, COVID-19 cases continue to surge nationwide and unfortunately at RVU as well. Confirmed COVID-19 cases at RVU since December 1 include 14 students (8 in CO & 6 UT) and 4 employees (2 each in CO & UT) for a cumulative total of 82 positive cases to date.
Updates for this week include:
- How are we Doing? Results from the recent employee Gallup Survey revealed that employees strongly agree that “RVU cares about my safety while on campus” (4.52 out of 5.00) and were very satisfied (4.41 out of 5.00) with the CRT’s management of this pandemic. Additionally, 88% of the respondents stated they would like to continue to see the CRT email updates once a week. A survey sent to students in mid-October revealed a preference for continued once a week communication as well. The majority of student respondents (59%) rated the communication content as either “good” or “excellent.”
The Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine was recommended for Emergency Authorization Use approval by the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee yesterday. It is expected that the FDA will approve the committee’s recommendation.
The novel mRNA vaccine is a two dose regimen given 21 days apart. Efficacy after the first dose was 52% after 2 weeks. Overall efficacy was 95% after 3 weeks of receiving the second dose. Safety data from approximately 38,000 participants demonstrate that having a serious adverse event was low at 0.0% to 4.6% of participants. The most common adverse reactions were injection site reactions (84.1%), fatigue (62.9%), headache (55.1%), muscle pain (38.3%), chills (31.9%), joint pain (23.6%), fever (14.2%). For more information, click here to read the full FDA briefing document.
Upon final FDA approval, the vaccine will be made available across the nation with each state determining its own roll out plan for the distribution of the vaccine. The first phase of vaccine administration will be prioritized to healthcare personnel and people in long-term care facilities. The CDC defines healthcare personnel as paid and unpaid people serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.
The CRT is monitoring the CO and UT vaccine roll out plans closely to determine when and how RVU students and employees may receive the vaccine. Updates will be shared with the RVU community once we have solid information. As always, the health and safety of our employees and students are always at the forefront of all our efforts.
Please continue to use good judgement to protect yourself and those you care about, especially as you make plans for celebration during the holiday season. Take care of yourself. Take care of each other.
COVID-19 Response Team