Category: Messages to the Community

Title: Public Health Alert: Update Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccines    

Date Published: January 8, 2021

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community,  

As you know, in December the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in the United States and a number of other vaccines are currently in Phase-3 clinical trials. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DC Health guidelines, vaccinations have begun for those on the frontlines of the pandemic, including many members of the Georgetown medical community.

While the new vaccines help prevent individuals from getting sick with COVID-19, research is still underway to understand if a vaccinated individual can transmit the virus to others. For these reasons, everyone, even those who have been vaccinated, must continue to be vigilant in following all public health and safety measures. 

If you have been vaccinated, it is important for you to continue to abide by all of Georgetown’s public health guidance, including wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and continuing to be tested if you are currently part of Georgetown’s testing protocols. We have received a number of questions about COVID-19 vaccine distribution and its implications for our public health and safety measures and have updated FAQs. Please note, Georgetown University does not have its own supply or allotment of vaccines, which will be administered through providers authorized by the DC Department of Health. You can find helpful information at the MedStar Health COVID-19 Vaccine Information website

The DC Government has announced that District of Columbia residents who are age 65 and older will be able to schedule a vaccine appointment starting the week of January 11. DC Health has set up a portal for those who are eligible to sign-up for vaccination beginning on Monday. I urge any member of the Georgetown community who is eligible to take advantage of this opportunity.

You can find more information about the portal and submit your email address or mobile phone number to receive an email or text message when the registry opens to additional populations at vaccinate.dc.gov. Maryland residents can find COVID-19 vaccine information on the state’s COVID-19 website and Virginia residents can find information Virginia Department of Health site.

I recognize that there are still many unanswered questions regarding the distribution and timing of the vaccine. We continue to coordinate closely with DC Health and our partners at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on vaccine planning and will provide more information as it becomes available. In addition, we are establishing a COVID-19 vaccine working group that includes faculty members and representatives from across the University to consider the many issues related to the vaccine, such as issues of equity and impact on our community.

With a surge of COVID-19 around the country and flu season, it is critical that Every Hoya Everywhere do their part to contain the spread. This includes wearing a mask, minimizing interactions with people outside your household, getting a flu vaccine, maintaining physical distancing from others, washing your hands regularly, and following other guidance from federal, local and University public health authorities.

Sincerely,

Ranit Mishori, M.D., MHS, FAAFP

Professor of Family Medicine, Interim Chief Public Health Officer