Dear USF students,
As COVID-19 vaccine eligibility continues to expand in the State of Florida, USF strongly encourages anyone who is eligible to sign up as soon as possible to receive the vaccine. Each of the available vaccines is extremely effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death. By getting vaccinated, you are doing your part to help protect our community and bring the pandemic to an end.
Effective Monday, April 5, anyone age 18 and up is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida.
While USF has received limited quantities of this vaccine over the past few months for selected age groups, it is unclear when USF might receive enough vaccines to provide widespread vaccination to all our students. Therefore, it is recommended that you utilize community resources such as pharmacies, including CVS, Publix and Walgreens, health department sites, Federally Qualified Health Centers (Tampa Family Health Centers) and the FEMA vaccine administration site located in Hillsborough County until the university receives a larger supply of vaccine. Even if you are not an official Florida resident, you are encouraged to seek vaccination as soon as you can in Florida, as there may be different age requirements for vaccination in different states.
Florida Vaccine site: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/
Vaccine Finder: https://vaccinefinder.org/
Submit vaccine-related questions via email to email@example.com.
Once vaccinated, you will receive a CDC vaccination card. It is essential to keep this card for future verification of receiving the vaccine. We strongly recommend that you take a photo of this card and store it securely, or send a photo to a parent or caregiver for them to store, as well.
Vaccines – facts and myths
- Vaccines DO introduce your immune system to non-dangerous components of the virus, such as the well-known “spike” of the coronavirus, so it will recognize it later and prevent the virus from spreading and causing illness.
- All current vaccines DO show effective protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death.
- Coronavirus research ISN’T new; coronavirus has been studied for several decades.
- mRNA technology ISN’T new; the science of mRNA has been studied for more than a decade.
- mRNA vaccines DON’T contain a live virus and DON’T carry a risk of causing disease in the vaccinated person.
- mRNA from the vaccine NEVER enters the nucleus of the cell and DOESN’T affect or interact with a person’s DNA.
- Vaccines DON’T interfere with testing for COVID-19.
After you’re vaccinated
- Keep up with public health guidelines: Continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance. Why? A vaccine can prevent you from getting sick from the virus, but you can still carry the virus and potentially spread it to other people.
- It can take two weeks after your last vaccination dose for your body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19.
- You could still get COVID-19 before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. You will most likely experience mild symptoms or asymptomatic infection. This is why masking and physical distancing are still very important.
- You are considered fully protected two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson / Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.
- Although COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting sick, scientists are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms. Early data show the vaccines do help keep people with no symptoms from spreading COVID-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated.
- So far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize known variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway.
- We’re also still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines protect people.
Continue public health measures
- Until we know more, people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should keep taking precautions in public places.
- Continued efforts to follow public health mitigation strategies (vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and isolation and quarantine) are essential to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and protect public health.