COVID-19 vaccine, CARES Act funding soon to be available for University of Iowa campus

Students will eventually be able to receive a vaccine for the virus through UI Student Health and apply for relief funding.


Jenna Galligan

The Old Capitol is seen on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

COVID-19 vaccinations will eventually be available for students through University of Iowa Student Health, according to a mass email from the University of Iowa, though details on how or when remain unclear.

According to a campus-wide update sent on Monday, Johnson County Public Health has shared population data with the state to ensure there are enough vaccines to cover university students. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Public Health are still focusing on distributing the vaccine to health care workers and those who live and work in long-term care facilities, the update said. 

The UI Hospitals and Clinics was one of the first institutions in the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and has inoculated 8,065 staff members with the first shot. At the hospital, 750 workers have received a second and final shot. UIHC employs about 15,000 people according to its information hub

The UI also is expecting additional funding to be available for students through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund from the recently passed federal second stimulus package, according to the update. Applications for 2021 relief funding will not open for students until funding has been distributed and information is shared by the U.S. Department of Education, according to the campus email. In an email to The Daily Iowan, UI spokesperson Anne Bassett referred back to the update when asked about further details of how much money was available and logistics of applying.

In July, the UI said in a COVID-19 update that the UI Office of Financial Aid had distributed $8.086 million in relief funding for UI students, which was the minimum allocation of funds to be awarded to students. The total amount of funding the UI received from the CARES Act, passed by Congress, was $16,171,354. 

To be eligible for 2020 funding, students had to meet Title IV eligibility requirements, demonstrate financial hardships from COVID-19, and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

As of July, 85 percent of the recipients for financial aid through the CARES act were undergraduate students. Professional students made up 10 percent, and 5 percent were graduate students.

The UI also reported new COVID-19 cases on campus. As of Jan. 7, eight students and one employee have self-reported testing positive for the virus. On Sunday, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics was treating 28 COVID-19 patients, down from high hospitalization rates in November and December. Statewide, hospitalizations peaked in the 1,300s per day in mid-November, and have since fallen to 555 on Jan. 10, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The student semester-to-date total for COVID-19 cases is 2,852 and the employee semester-to-date total is 377.

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