Many of you have asked questions about the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and when it might be available to you. We are writing to summarize what we know about vaccinations in the Lehigh Valley and the possible timing for faculty and staff vaccinations.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has established a website to provide information about the interim vaccine plan for Commonwealth. Pennsylvania is currently in Phase 1A of the plan; as shared in a message to Lehigh students and families earlier, we began to see the rollout for healthcare workers and first responders on campus in this phase. Phase 1B includes education workers, which we interpret as including most Lehigh faculty and staff. Phase 2 will include members of the general public over the age of 16.
We have been in contact with the Bethlehem Health Bureau and the local health care systems. However, at this time, we do not yet know how the vaccine will be distributed to Lehigh employees. If Lehigh is asked to prioritize vaccine distribution, faculty and staff working on campus with a high level of intersection with students will be the highest priority.
As we await further information, we encourage you to register with your personal healthcare provider to indicate your interest in receiving the vaccine. If you do not have a personal provider, you can pre-register with Lehigh Valley Health Network by setting up a MyLVHN account. From there you can provide information about preexisting conditions and indicate your work in higher education. Those who have pre-registered will receive a notification to schedule a vaccine appointment when it becomes available.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, you can call the PA Health Hotline at 1-877-724-3258. The Commonwealth is releasing information by phase, and we will keep the community informed of any major updates.
Please remember that although the increasing availability of a vaccine gives us great hope for the months ahead, we must remain vigilant in our everyday decisions and habits to prevent further spread of the virus within our community. As we begin a new semester, please review the health and safety information and protocols provided on Lehigh’s COVID-19 Information Center.
Thank you for all you do and all you have done to care for yourself and others throughout this pandemic. Stay well.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Associate Vice President for Human Resources