Vaccine supplies remain extremely limited. UI Health Care has a plan in place to proactively contact students and employees who are eligible for vaccination as vaccines become available. You do not need to sign a waiting list. Please do not call pharmacies or health care providers at this time.

General Information

COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool to help us stop this pandemic. Vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19 and immunity from the vaccine far outweighs natural immunity from infection, which includes the risk of severe illness or death.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for two COVID-19 vaccines, which have been shown to be safe and effective. These vaccines were carefully evaluated in clinical trials, including one at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, and underwent the same authorization process as any other vaccine. Although vaccine doses are currently limited, this is an exciting step towards ending the pandemic. 

Planning for Campus

COVID-19 vaccines are being made available in phases, based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health. The CDC has placed first priority on health care workers and those who live and work in long-term care facilities, followed by frontline essential workers.

The University of Iowa must follow the Iowa Department of Public Health’s guidelines for administering the COVID-19 vaccine, which establish an order of priority. The university will vaccinate faculty and staff who, based on their employment duties at the UI, are identified as a priority population under IDPH’s guidelines (for example, faculty and staff who provide clinical patient care and first responders). Students in priority groups may also receive a vaccination through the university. This may take several weeks or even months, so we ask for your patience.

Most UI employees, however, will receive their vaccine through their primary care provider or pharmacy. The university will not be hosting 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

Vaccination Plan for Main Campus

Phase 1A

The University of Iowa is following the Iowa Department of Public Health’s guidelines for providing the COVID-19 vaccine for priority populations. Based on the recommendations of the Iowa Infectious Disease Advisory Committee, Phase 1A includes:

  • Health care personnel (HCP) with direct patient contact; and
  • Residents and HCP working in residential care or long-term care facilities.

At Iowa, that includes individuals who provide clinical patient care in the following colleges and departments:

  • Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
  • College of Dentistry
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Public Health
  • College of Nursing
  • Belin Blank Center
  • Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center
  • Student Health
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

These colleges and departments have provided a list of faculty, staff, and students who currently provide clinical care and are therefore eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1A. We will use ReadySet to track COVID-19 vaccinations for employees, much like the annual employee flu vaccination campaign. Eligible students will be contacted by Student Health.

Phase 1B

The Iowa Department of Public Health on Jan. 21 shared updated recommendations for who should receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1B, including:  

  • People age 65 years and older,
  • First Responders (firefighters, police officers, and child and welfare social workers)
  • PK-12 staff, early childhood education, childcare workers
  • Frontline essential workers in food, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors who live or work in non-social distanced settings
  • Individuals with disabilities living in home settings and their direct care staff
  • Staff and individuals living in congregate settings (does not include college residence halls)
  • Government officials, including staff, engaged in business at the State Capitol
  • Inspectors responsible for health, life, and safety
  • Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated

The university is preparing to vaccinate select students and employees who are eligible under IDPH's 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.

We continue to ask for your patience and support as we work through the process. The university is moving as quickly as the supply allows, but does not control when or how many doses it receives.

Common Questions

How soon can I expect notification?

Vaccinations have begun, but it could take several weeks to vaccinate everyone who is eligible in Phase 1A. We are moving as quickly as we can through the supply, but we cannot control when and how many doses we receive. We respectfully ask for your patience and support.

Where will I get vaccinated?

  • Eligible employees will be vaccinated at UI Hospitals & Clinics
  • Eligible students will be vaccinated at Student Health

Will I have to pay for the vaccination?

No, the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided free of charge.

Am I required to be vaccinated?

No. You are encouraged to receive the vaccine as soon as you are eligible, in consultation with your healthcare provider, but it will not be mandatory.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and safety, see this detailed FAQ from UI Health Care.

Student Vaccination

Johnson County Public Health has shared population data with the state to ensure that the county receives enough vaccine to cover University of Iowa students. The timing of when the vaccine is made available for each population may impact where students choose to receive their vaccination, but the vaccine eventually will be available through Student Health.

Staying Healthy

It will take time for everyone who wants to be vaccinated to receive the required doses so, until then, all of us must continue to take the steps necessary to protect ourselves and our community. You should continue to wear a face mask, avoid large gatherings, maintain social distance, and frequently wash your hands.