Through employer-arranged clinics and direct appointments with the New River Health District (NRHD), other local health districts, and local pharmacies, a significant number of Virginia Tech employees are now fully or partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

Over the past three weeks, Virginia Tech partnered with NRHD and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to offer employees vaccination clinic appointments.

Clinics were held at the Dedmon Center on the campus of Radford University on March 30 through April 1, where 1,500 employees were vaccinated, and April 6 through 8, where approximately 3,000 employees received a vaccine.

In addition, approximately 2,500 employees were vaccinated over the past couple of months through Virginia Tech’s partnership with the NRHD and VDH. This partnership provided vaccines to employees in the 1a and 1b groups, which included employees in Schiffert Health Center, Dining Services, facilities, housekeeping, and other front-line workers. Carilion Clinic helped vaccinate university employees at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine starting in January 2021.

In accordance with instructions from the NRHD and VDH, university employees who are 65 and older and those who are 16 to 64 with certain health conditions have received vaccines through direct registration using the statewide vaccine preregistration survey. Further, employees have been vaccinated other ways, such as local pharmacies and through direct contact with the NRHD and other health districts in their localities across the commonwealth.

“We are thrilled with the success of employee vaccinations,” said Bryan Garey, vice president for human resources. “A cross-functional team that included representatives from Human Resources, Virginia Tech Emergency Management, Hokie Wellness, Student Affairs, University Relations, and others from our colleges and divisions have worked hard to provide employees multiple opportunities to receive the vaccine.

“The response we have seen – both through clinics and their own initiative – is a testament that our employees want to protect themselves and others in our community. This is an important accomplishment for Virginia Tech as we work toward providing as much of an in-person experience for our students as possible during the 2021-22 academic year.”

Virginia Tech has more than 12,400 employees, including approximately 8,100 full-time faculty and staff, approximately 1,300 part-time faculty and staff, and approximately 3,000 graduate assistants. The university is currently asking employees to participate in a voluntary vaccine reporting survey; vaccine reporting is confidential with only aggregate totals being reported.

In addition, there are approximately 3,500 undergraduate students who work in a variety of roles at the university. Undergraduate student employees were also offered the opportunity to participate in the NRHD vaccination clinics.

“Thank you to every employee who took advantage of a vaccination opportunity through Virginia Tech or sought another one. Our employees’ commitment to health and safety is clear. Through them, we have taken a tremendous step toward achieving herd immunity on our Blacksburg campus and other Virginia Tech locations,” said Mike Mulhare, assistant vice president for emergency management. “Next, with the NRHD moving into Phase 2, we will turn our attention to providing students vaccination opportunities.”

On April 8, the NRHD announced that it had moved into Phase 2, which means everyone age 16 and older who lives or works in the district will be eligible to get the vaccine. According to the NRHD press release, during the transition, the district is initially targeting college students, which was communicated to all Virginia Tech students on April 9. On April 15, a student vaccination clinic will be held at Lane Stadium, where 2,500 students will receive a vaccine. Appointments for this week's clinic are full.