Kent State uses vaccine committee to create vaccine distribution plan

The different phases Ohio is going through to supply the vaccine.

Alexandra Golden Reporter

The Vaccine Committee formed at Kent State to help with the university’s strategy for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. 

Kent State is working with the Kent City Health Department and the Portage County Combined General Health District. The committee consists of several people with various areas of expertise, including:

  • Kent City Health Commissioner Joan Seidel

  • Portage County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Robert Walker

  • Interim Chief University Physician Dr. Lisa Dannemiller

  • University Health Services Director Julie Volcheck

  • Members of the Kent State Police Department Bill Buckbee and Shandra DeVoe 

Seidel acts as a consultant for the committee: “I’m not going to be making decisions for Kent State University, I will be contributing information and sharing information.” 

The committee meets once a week because “there’s a lot of groundwork that has to be done,” Seidel said. “There’s a lot of things that you have to have in place and of course the foremost one is making sure you have that ability to keep the vaccine safe.” 

The committee is working on the current tiers and the ones yet to open. “You have to be looking at what’s coming down the road because you can’t wait until that tier group opens up,” Seidel said. “At the same time you have to be doing the current work at hand and finishing up the previous tiers to make sure that they’re complete and done.” 

Kent State University nor the Kent City Health Department have a vaccine providership; they have to work independently to get it. “I am working on getting that providership in line so I can start to help out the Kent City jurisdiction,” Seidel said. Portage County is the only agency along with pharmacies to have their own vaccine providership

“It’s great to have a safe and effective vaccine, which we do, but people need to know about it,” Seidel said. “They need to know that this is safe and effective and they should get it when it is offered to them.”

Alexandra Golden is a COVID-19 reporter. Contact her at [email protected]