Friday, January 29, 2021

Vaccine update

Graphic that describes Tiers 1 through 5 of Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccination

The University of Iowa continues to successfully vaccinate faculty, staff, and students in Phase 1A who provide clinical patient care and are therefore vulnerable to high risk of exposure.

The university also is preparing to vaccinate select students and employees who are eligible under the Iowa Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) recommendations for Phase 1B, Tier 1. This includes College of Education students and faculty completing a field experience in a preK-12 classroom and first responders in the Department of Public safety. If you are eligible, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment. You can find more information about the university’s implementation plans on

Guidance for campus

The university will vaccinate faculty and staff who, based on their employment duties at the UI, are identified as a priority population under IDPH guidelines (for example, faculty and staff who provide clinical patient care and first responders). Students in priority groups also may receive a vaccination through the university.

Most UI employees will receive their vaccine through their primary care provider or pharmacy. The university will not be hosting employee vaccination clinics on the main campus for several reasons, including:

  • Requirement to follow state guidelines for priority populations
  • Limited supply of the vaccine
  • Cold storage requirements for the Pfizer vaccine
  • Enhanced record keeping required by the state
  • Additional scheduling and logistics required for two doses

Vaccines at UI Health Care

UI Health Care will begin offering COVID‑19 vaccinations to eligible patients and members of the community in early February, as supplies permit. Eligible patients will be contacted directly by UI Health Care staff through the electronic health record system, MyChart, or by phone when an appointment is available. All vaccinations will be pre-scheduled and by appointment only.

Shortage continues

Although Phase 1B eligibility begins on Feb. 1, vaccine supplies remain extremely limited. IDPH has issued a Vaccine Shortage Order, so it is expected to take several weeks, even months, before everyone who wants to be vaccinated can be. Here are some tips from Johnson County Public Health:

  • You don’t need to sign a waiting list
  • Johnson County or your health care provider will contact you
  • Please do NOT call pharmacies or health care providers at this time.

The good news is there is strong interest in the vaccine, which will benefit our community as a whole. In the meantime, we can continue to protect ourselves by wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance from others, washing our hands frequently, and avoiding indoor gatherings with others outside our household. Thank you for your patience and support. We are all in this together.

New MyChart feature will make scheduling a COVID-19 test easier

If you are experiencing symptoms that make you wonder if you have COVID-19 (including fever of 100° F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, or loss of taste), or have been around someone who has a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, it will soon be easier to schedule a test using MyChart.

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 55, the new Symptom Checker service can help you quickly determine if you need to schedule a COVID-19 test or a telehealth video visit.

Here’s how it works:

  • Log into MyChart.
  • Click “symptom checker” under the left-hand menu.
  • Answer a brief set of questions.
  • Based on your answers you’ll be directed to the next step.

Not a MyChart member? Learn more or sign up today by visiting

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since Jan. 27, 2021.

The University of Iowa has published an updated snapshot of self-reported positive COVID-19 tests from faculty, staff, and students.

Number of self-reported cases of COVID-19


  • New cases: 8
  • Total cases: 2,913


  • New cases: 11
  • Total cases: 418

These numbers reflect only self-reported positive or presumed positive COVID-19 tests from UI faculty, staff, and students on the academic campus since Aug. 18, 2020. These data will not match data reported by UI Hospitals & Clinics or by the Iowa Department of Public Health for several reasons, including different testing time intervals and geographic scope. Students who also are employees of the university are only reported in the student number to avoid double counting. The UI has more than 30,000 students and nearly 30,000 employees. Many employees continue to work remotely but have self-reported to authorize sick leave.

Number of residence hall students in quarantine: 1*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 0**

*Quarantine: Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.

**Self-isolation: Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are symptomatic and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected.