VUMC to begin vaccination of eligible students March 8, as Nashville moves into Phase 1c

This phase opens vaccine eligibility to those 16 years old and older who have certain high-risk medical conditions.

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Photo of Vanderbilt Medical Center (Hustler Multimedia/Hallie Williams)

Charlotte Mauger, Deputy News Editor

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will start vaccinating eligible individuals who meet the new Phase 1c criteria March 8, which includes some students, per a March 5 email from the Dean of Students’ office.

The email emphasized that vaccination distribution would be determined by VUMC, not Vanderbilt University or Student Health Services.

Phase 1c opens vaccine eligibility to those 16 years old and older who have certain high-risk health conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to: Chronic Renal Disease, moderate-severe asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, obesity, cardiomyopathy, sickle cell anemia, liver disease, diabetes and other individuals with immunocompromised conditions. 

The VUMC vaccination plan follows the Nashville Metro Health Department’s shift into Phase 1c of the distribution plan effective March 8. 

Current junior and VUMC patient Corinne Smith was informed by her endocrinologist that this new phase would make her eligible for a vaccine

“I have type one diabetes and a couple other autoimmune diseases, so I’m immunocompromised,  so I qualify for Phase 1c,” Smith said. 

She received notice from VUMC that they will send her a link on Monday to sign up for a time slot to be vaccinated and she hopes to do so soon.

“I’m excited. It will be less stressful going out into society with the vaccine,” Smith said. 

The email informed students that if they meet the high-risk criteria and have been seen at VUMC or Student Health in the past three years, they should have already received a message through the My Health At Vanderbilt portal.

If students have not been seen at VUMC or Student Health in the past three years but have one of the high-risk medical conditions, the email suggests that they should email Student Health for further evaluation. 

“When you are eligible to receive the vaccine, we strongly urge you to explore every option available, including the local health department and other community providers, to get it—not just to protect yourself, but to help achieve a broad level of immunity in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19,” the email said.