February 01, 2021

UAB clarifies employee vaccination process

Written by Jim Bakken

covid vaccine illustration 492Knowing there would be great interest when the ADPH announced Jan. 29 that COVID-19 vaccination Phase 1B was opening up to the education sector, UAB officials worked quickly to provide a way for all UAB employees to register interest in a vaccine.

The email sent this past Friday links to a form that enables all UAB employees to register to receive a vaccine, essentially building a pool of those who then will be scheduled. Scheduling those who register interest is the next step.

UAB is not segmenting groups within the ADPH-approved “education sector” to register for a vaccine; the university needs to know now how many employees want to be vaccinated. When scheduling registered employees, however, UAB will continue to make an effort to identify groups to schedule first due to relative risk. For example, employees 65 years or older and employee groups who come in contact with more people than others. Factors such as these will be taken into account.

“Time is of the essence from a public health perspective, and we need to vaccinate as many people as quickly as we can.”

This is not an exact science, says Sarah Nafziger, M.D., vice president of Clinical Support Services and professor in the departments of Emergency Medicine and Neurology, but the goal is to strike the balance of vaccinating based on a population’s relative risk without unnecessarily slowing down the overall process.

“Time is of the essence from a public health perspective, and we need to vaccinate as many people as quickly as we can,” Nafziger said. “What we have seen across the nation is that, the more granular you get with teasing out individuals from groups to gauge relative risk, the longer it takes to schedule and vaccinate people. If that happens, fewer people get vaccinated. In the end, we will work to vaccinate as many eligible people as we can as quickly as we can.”

UAB employees who have not been vaccinated or do not already have a vaccine scheduled should

  • Register online (UAB employees only).
  • Look for an email from Employee Health and be responsive in scheduling your appointment.

Appointment emails will be sent starting this week and will continue as doses are available until all interested employees are vaccinated.

  • Be as flexible as possible when indicating your availability for a vaccine to avoid delays.
  • Once you are scheduled, please do everything you can to keep your scheduled appointment. If you must reschedule, alert employeehealth@uabmc.edu as soon as possible.

At this time, non-UAB employees eligible for vaccinations in Phase 1B should refer to health department guidance (e.g., Jefferson County residents can register interest in a vaccine online with JCDH; do not register more than once). UAB will offer vaccinations to the public at multiple sites and will coordinate with JCDH and other health officials.