COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine

What CMU students, faculty and staff need to know

Central Michigan University students, faculty and staff have been working diligently since early 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19, and vaccines are the next step in this effort.

The goal at CMU is to facilitate and provide vaccination access to every student, faculty and staff member who wants a vaccine when it is their turn to receive it, as established by recommendations and guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

Below you will find answers to some questions you may have regarding availability, eligibility and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. New information will be posted to this webpage as it becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 vaccines at CMU

Updated January 7, 2021

Based on MDHHS guidance, vaccines will be distributed in four phases, each comprising various priority groups:

  • Phase 1A — this includes health care workers with direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials who are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.
  • Phase 1B — this includes frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure — this can be K-12 educators, emergency services, food service workers and others — as well as individuals 75 years of age or older.
  • Phase 1C — this includes people ages 18-64 at high risk for severe COVID-related illness due to underlying medical conditions, individuals 65-74 years of age and some other essential workers whose positions impact life, safety and protection during the COVID-19 response.
  • Phase 2 — individuals aged 16 years and older not covered in previous phases.

Vaccination will take place in different phases, which may overlap.

NOTE: In a Jan. 6 press conference, it was announced that by Jan. 11, all areas of the state may, as vaccine supplies are available, implement vaccination of people who are:

  • Health care workers or working or residing in long-term care facilities.
  • Age 65 years or older.
  • Frontline workers whose work role has frequent or intense exposure, and, due to the nature of the work, are not able to maintain social distance (including frontline responders, school and child care staff, or corrections staff).

The goal at CMU is to provide vaccination access on campus to every student, faculty and staff member who wants a vaccine when it is their turn to receive it, as established by recommendations and guidelines from the CDC and MDHHS.

CMU has applied to become a vaccination administration site. If approved, this would allow CMU to receive and administer vaccinations directly, though prioritization would still be a considerable factor given the limited supply of vaccines. We anticipate hearing about our application within the next month.

During Phase 1, CMU may, from time to time, have the opportunity to receive a small number of vaccines from our local health care partners. We may not be given much advance notification of vaccine availability, and we must be able to accept and administer them on a very tight timeline. In these instances, we will administer the vaccines to individuals identified as essential for health, safety and continuity of operations.

University leaders, together with the Emergency Management Team, are following the MDHHS prioritization schedule (see “Who will get vaccines first” above) for vaccination of our campus community.

CMU does not anticipate vaccines being widely available until spring for most faculty, staff or students — please see "Who will get vaccines first?" above.

In the case that CMU is approved as a vaccine site or receives limited numbers of vaccines to administer to our campus community, you will be contacted if you are eligible based on CDC and MDHHS prioritization guidance.

There is no plan to require students, faculty or staff to be vaccinated. However, based on guidance from our health department and College of Medicine leaders, CMU strongly recommends that every member of our community be vaccinated (excluding individuals who are pregnant).

Many of CMU’s frontline medical faculty and staff, including teams at CMU Health and third- and fourth-year medical students, have received their first dose of the vaccine. In the instances when CMU has been provided access to a small number of vaccines from our regional health departments or affiliated clinical partners, other individuals have been vaccinated according to the prioritization guidelines set forth by MDHSS and CMDHD.

Some members of the campus community also may receive their vaccine from a health care provider not affiliated with the university.

Yes. The vaccine is only one part of Central’s plan to slow the spread of COVID-19. Even after receiving a vaccine, you must continue to follow all university COVID-19 health and safety requirements, including:

  • Wearing a mask.
  • Practicing social distancing.
  • Using the health screening app every day you will be at CMU.

Yes. While you prepare to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please plan to get your flu shot to help protect yourself and our campus community. The flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccination shot must be taken at least 14 days apart. Call CMU Health to make an appointment for your flu shot at 989-774-6599.

Currently, two types of vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19, and three have large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials underway or are being planned. The two approved and recommended vaccines are the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for both vaccines, which have been shown to be safe and effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. These data demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with COVID-19.

CMU is prepared to receive and administer either or both of the FDA approved vaccines. More information on availability of each vaccine will be added here as it is available. Both vaccines require two doses and cannot be interchanged.

If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines that aren’t answered on this webpage, please email them to