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White House Challenge Urges Institutions to Help Vaccinate Their Communities

In a new COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge, the White House and U.S. Department of Education are asking higher ed institutions to make a commitment to help get their students and communities vaccinated. The initiative is part of President Biden's recently announced "National Month of Action," an effort to mobilize national organizations, local government leaders, community-based and faith-based partners, businesses, employers, social media influencers, celebrities, athletes, colleges, young people and volunteers to help get more people vaccinated by July 4.

By signing on to the challenge, institutions agree to take three actions:

  1. Engage every student, faculty and staff member. Institutions will make sure every member of the campus community knows they are eligible for a vaccine and has resources to find one.
  2. Organize the college community. Institutions will identify champions for vaccine efforts across campus and implementing a plan to get as many members of the college community vaccinated as possible.
  3. Deliver vaccine access for all. Institutions will bring vaccines on-site and make it easy for students, staff and faculty to get vaccinated at sites nearby them.

As part of the challenge, the Administration will "provide resources like training sessions, toolkits, and educational material to assist colleges and universities in vaccination efforts; facilitate on-site vaccinations at schools; and launch a student corps within the COVID-19 Community Corps to recognize and activate students across the country who are taking extraordinary efforts to draw young people out to get vaccinated and engage the youth community," a White House statement explained. Institutions are encouraged to publicize their efforts, track their progress and share their successes on social media with the hashtags #COVIDCollegeChallenge and #WeCanDoThis.

The current list of challenge participants numbers 588 institutions across 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit the White House site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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