Vaccination appointments available to university community across Champaign County

Earlier this week, Champaign County entered vaccination phase 2 allowing anyone aged 16 and over to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

At the University of Illinois, Chancellor Robert J. Jones has sent continued messages by email to the university community urging anyone who wishes to be vaccinated a chance to sign up for an appointment.

“We will be allocated a certain number of vaccinations,” said Jones. “And it’s gonna be critically important that we play a role in using whatever that capacity is.”

Many students spoke with UI7 who have already received at least one vaccination dose, were fully vaccinated, or have scheduled an appointment. Some community members who do not wish to be vaccinated declined to speak on record about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I mean, I guess, if you’re not doing it for yourself, do it for the people around you if you care about other people,” said Uche Nwasi, an acting major who has received the vaccine. “And if you don’t, then wear a mask — keep wearing a mask — and keep social distancing I guess.”

In addition to vaccination opportunities throughout Champaign County, one site is conducting a research study to track the spread of COVID-19 among vaccinated individuals. At the iHotel, the University of Illinois is one of 27 universities nationwide that is conducting this research study in accordance with the National Health Institute.

“We are following undergraduate students who get routinely tested for COVID and we’re vaccinating them and asking them to do daily nasal swabs so that we understand if the virus — if they catch the virus — how much it replicates,” said Joanna Shisler, professor in microbiology and member of the research study. “And then, we can do contact tracing to find out if they can spread the virus to other unvaccinated people.”