Technician prepares COVID-19 vaccine shot at UTEP
Photo courtesy UTEP

UTEP begins COVID-19 Vaccination Program

The University of Texas at El Paso began administering doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Friday morning to current students, faculty and staff.

The vaccine has been allocated to UTEP by the State of Texas.

“We are fortunate to have talented students and faculty from the School of Pharmacy and the School of Nursing and College of Health Sciences who are able to immunize hundreds of people in a short time,” UTEP President Heather Wilson said. “We are also thankful that we have the research facilities that can handle the ultra-cold vaccines.”

UTEP officials share that the university will continue to administer the vaccines – 975 doses – through  Saturday, January 23, on the campus.

The vaccines are being used for faculty, staff and current students who are health care workers in clinical settings who work directly with COVID-19 positive patients or infectious materials, those who work in long-term care facilities, emergency medical teams, home health care providers, hospice workers, outpatient staff who work with symptomatic patients, community pharmacy staff, public health workers, people involved in COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs, school nurses and those who work in mortuaries.

Faculty, staff and current students who pre-registered are being contacted by UTEP and scheduled for their vaccination. There will be no walk-in vaccinations at UTEP.

If there are any doses remaining after the highest priority group has been vaccinated, the University will contact faculty, staff and current students who are ages 65 and older or 18 and older who have one of the health conditions that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19 and who have pre-registered with UTEP for vaccination.

The vaccinations are being administered in UTEP’s new Interdisciplinary Research Building. Officials with the University’s vaccination program expected to administer about 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on the program’s first day.

“It was immensely important for me to get vaccinated,” said Valerie Perez, a second professional year student at UTEP’s School of Pharmacy and one of the first people to receive the vaccine through UTEP’s vaccination program. “I want to protect not only my family and myself, but also other people in our community. It’s an enormous first step in our path back to a life in which we can gather with our friends and family members.”

UTEP has requested additional vaccines from the state to administer to high-risk UTEP students, faculty, and staff next week. Once the shipment of that new allocation is confirmed, the University will schedule another vaccination clinic.

Photo gallery courtesy UTEP