Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community,
As a follow-up to my March 4 message, I am writing today to provide guidelines for fully vaccinated community members and updates about the local rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated Community Members
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. A person is considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series (Moderna or Pfizer) or a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).
The guidance is an encouraging first step toward returning to everyday activities, but it remains critically important for everyone on campus and students living near campus, even those who have received the vaccine, to continue to practice ALL University public health measures.
The new guidelines about small gatherings without the need for protective measures are applicable ONLY to indoor activities among those who are fully vaccinated and do not permit the mixing of multiple households. In addition, the CDC did not change any of the travel quarantine guidance, even for those who are fully vaccinated.
While the vaccines are effective in providing protection from moderate or severe COVID-19 (the disease), and in preventing hospitalizations and deaths, it is as yet unclear whether they prevent infection with the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the disease, the transmission of the virus from one person to another, or are as effective against the new variants.
Further, at this time, the District of Columbia has not updated its standing orders requiring masks to exempt those who may have received the vaccine and, accordingly, we will continue to enforce this requirement.
Vaccines Rollout in DC, Maryland and Virginia (DMV)
Beginning March 10, the DC government started using a pre-registration system for making vaccination appointments via a pre-registration website. Virginia now has a similar statewide pre-registration system as well (except for Fairfax County, which is managing its own registration system). I encourage members of our community who live or work in DC or Virginia to pre-register.
As appointments are made available in DC or Virginia, individuals who have pre-registered and are currently eligible to be vaccinated will receive an email, phone call or text message alerting them that they have an opportunity to make an appointment. In DC, you will be given a 48-hour window to book an appointment and, if you do not do so within that window, you will need to wait until the next time you are selected by the system. Georgetown employees should bring their GOCard to their appointment to verify their employment.
Students, faculty, and staff who live in Maryland should refer to Maryland’s state vaccination website and their local county’s vaccination website to determine eligibility and, if eligible, to pre-register or schedule an appointment.
If you are a patient of a local health care system, you may also be able to make a vaccination appointment through your primary or other health care provider. Please visit their website for instructions on how to register for an available appointment. DC’s vaccination website has a list of hospital websites, and Maryland’s vaccination website helps you find a vaccination clinic near you.
You can refer to the University’s COVID-19 Vaccines webpage and answers to frequently asked questions for more information. As a reminder, the University does not have its own supply or allotment of vaccines.
I encourage all members of our community, when you become eligible, to get whichever vaccine is provided by your health care provider, or state or local government. All three authorized vaccines are safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.
The best way to protect yourself and one another is for as many eligible people to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience as we work toward that goal together.
Ranit Mishori, M.D., MHS, FAAFP
Professor of Family Medicine, Interim Chief Public Health Officer