UAB among first colleges and universities in White House vaccine challenge

Student vaccination efforts are underway at UAB to help campus return to normal.  

Female student is wearing a face mask while getting vaccinated against COVID-19 by a health care worker at Bartow Arena, May 18, 2021.Photography: Andrea MabryThe University of Alabama at Birmingham has joined the White House, United States Department of Education, and colleges and universities across the country to end the pandemic by encouraging vaccines among students.

The COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge is a commitment to taking three key actions to help get UAB’s campus communities vaccinated: engaging every student, faculty and staff member; organizing their college communities; and delivering vaccine access for all. 

“It is a priority for our campus to be vaccinated so that we can end the pandemic and return to as much of a sense of normal as possible,” said John R. Jones, III, Ph.D., vice president of UAB Student Affairs. “Joining this initiative shows our continued commitment to the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, patients and other visitors to UAB’s campus.”

According to a press release from the White House, President Joe Biden wants as many Americans as possible to get vaccinated. Doing so is critical to saving lives and helping our country return to normal.

UAB is fulfilling the challenge and its three key commitments by continuing to engage and offer the vaccine to those who qualify, including patients, faculty, staff and students. Many UAB students have engaged in sharing their commitment to UAB’s getting back to normal by getting vaccinated on social media, particularly student testimonials shared on UAB’s Instagram Reels. Key initiatives around student vaccines include pop-up vaccine clinics and vaccine appointments through UAB Student Health Services.


Videography: Andrea Reiber

About the White House’s COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge

While a significant portion of older generations have received the shot, younger Americans lag behind. It is time for younger generations to get their shot. We are all in this together: Ensuring that young people join their parents and grandparents and get vaccinated will not only keep them safe, but also protect their families and communities by reducing the risk of giving the virus to someone else.

This effort will build on the program announced by President Biden on May 11 that matches certain high-enrollment community colleges with partners in the federal pharmacy program to provide vaccination opportunities to students and their communities.

The Challenge also comes on the heels of new federal efforts announced in early May that make it easier and more accessible for Americans across the country to get vaccinated by increasing walk-in vaccinations at local pharmacies; supporting smaller pop-up vaccination clinics and mobile units; providing support for community-based organizations to hire the staff needed to increase vaccine access; investing in education efforts about the vaccine in underserved communities, as well as state and local vaccine outreach efforts; increasing vaccine availability and outreach efforts, as well as testing and mitigation, in rural communities; and launching a plan to reach newly eligible individuals age 12-15.

Everyone has a role to play in ending this pandemic, including colleges and universities. As President Biden stated in looking ahead to July 4, “In two months, let’s celebrate our independence as a nation, and our independence of this virus. We can do this. We will do this.”