PULLMAN, WASH – COVID-19 vaccinations are well under way and many folks are acquiring eligibility to receive the first few rounds of the vaccine, but there is one major group of people that have been left off this list.
University professors were left off the latest list of folks eligible to receive the vaccine. This has led many Washington State University professors, like Communications professor Matthew Loveless to wonder why they were left off the list.
“My thing is mostly just a curiosity. I wanted to know when we were going to be talked about. Not necessarily that I wanted to cut in line in front of anyone else who needed the vaccine…but at no point did we get any sort of outward public acknowledgment that we were still in classrooms teaching,” says Loveless.
Folks above the age of sixty (professors included) and teachers who teach at a lower level than college were the most recent group to become eligible for the vaccine.
On several occasions, Loveless attempted to get on a wait list for the vaccine, but he was repeatedly given the runaround by health clinics.
Loveless said that he was told to call multiple different places, where he was inevitably rejected. He says he made over seven phone calls to different departments.
Eventually, Loveless and other WSU faculty were able to get on a “no-waste” list at the Schweitzer Engineering Laboratory in Pullman, where they received their vaccine.
Many folks are wondering if the WSU senate is doing anything to try and get professors eligible for the vaccine.
WSU senate faculty member, Lisa Waananen-Jones said she isn’t aware of any efforts by the WSU senate to target faculty members who are not eligible for the vaccine. She said that there isn’t a lot the university can do at this point to get professors eligible. She did say that she is hopeful that being a part of such a large university and community will help get the vaccine rolled out quickly once it is more widely available.
As of Wednesday, an announcement was made stating that everyone ages 16 and over will be eligible for the vaccine on April 18.
This announcement gives university faculty hope, as this means the date in which professors can become eligible to receive the vaccine moves up.