Dr. Anthony Fauci once referred to April as “open season” for COVID-19 vaccinations. These words couldn’t be truer on the College Park campus of the University of Maryland.
Beginning April 12, all Marylanders, 16 years or older, became eligible to receive a vaccine. The University of Maryland Health Center has developed a strategy for students, faculty and staff to receive their vaccine, according to the UMD COVID-19 Vaccine Information website.
The strategy consists of “University Days.” These are designated dates made in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Health that guarantees direct access to COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the various mass-vaccination sites around the state.
“The process of getting a vaccine at UMD was super smooth,” said junior journalism major Michael Purdie. “The moment they announced that they were offering the vaccine to all students, I went onto the university health portal and registered… Then, on the day of the vaccine, I went to the Riggs Alumni Center.”
Purdie received the Pfizer vaccine and developed no side-effects besides a sore arm. He called the experience “great” and received an email from the school notifying him that his second dose would be given on April 30.
“I think due to the campus vaccine mandate we should be basically back to normal next semester,” said freshman finance major Thomas Garda. “But due to the general public not being back [to normal] 100%, maybe we won't be entirely normal until one or two semesters after that.”
Garda received the Pfizer vaccine through the University of Maryland. He called the whole process “very simple” and believes as many people should be vaccinated as possible.
On April 23, it was announced that proof of vaccination for students will be a requirement for entry to all University System of Maryland campuses this fall, according to an email from University President Darryll Pines.
In a sign that the country is turning the corner of the pandemic, masks are no longer required outdoors unless in crowded spaces and COVID-19 testing will not be a requirement for students staying in College Park over the summer, according to the vaccine information website.
But for now, students are still in the “open season” to receive their COVID-19 vaccine through UMD.