PHILIPPI, W.Va.—February 4, 2021—With the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine underway in West Virginia and across the nation, Alderson Broaddus University continues efforts to advance the state’s vaccine rollout plan with the administration of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to faculty and staff members on Thursday, January 28.
Alderson Broaddus began inoculating an initial group of 30 employees against COVID-19 with the mRNA-1273 vaccine, more commonly known as the Moderna vaccine, during the last week of December, and arrangements were underway to complete entrance testing ahead of the start of spring semester courses.
Undergraduate students were welcomed back to campus and face-to-face instruction on Wednesday, January 13. Upon arrival, all faculty, staff, and students were required to complete a saliva-based test to identify any positive cases before returning to in-classroom learning.
Of the nearly 900 members of the campus community who completed the entrance testing, less than three percent returned a positive result. All positive cases gleaned from the entrance testing completed their quarantine and isolation protocols.
“The safety and well-being of our entire campus community is our highest priority,” said Bruce Blankenship, COVID-19 response manager. “Individually and collectively, we have the personal and shared responsibility for keeping our community safe. Our commitment will enable all of us to enjoy a successful semester together.”
Testing efforts and a phased vaccination distribution are part of the plan developed by the West Virginia Joint Interagency Task Force in collaboration with the Higher Education Policy Commission. Employees over the age of 65 received priority, followed by those aged 50 and older and those in close contact with the public. Students in the health science field who work closely with patients in clinical settings have also been deemed a high priority.
All employees who requested to receive the vaccine will have been inoculated with their first dose by February 3, and vaccination efforts for eligible health science students have begun and will continue weekly.
Blankenship, alongside university officials, is reminding the campus community to remain vigilant. “At this time, we are still urging members of the AB community to continue to follow our existing guidelines and recommended health and safety measures.”
About Alderson Broaddus University
Alderson Broaddus University is an independent institution of higher learning, committed to serving the region as an academic, cultural, and religious resource, with programs based on a liberal arts foundation.
The mission of AB is to provide students with the highest quality education, striving to prepare students to succeed in their chosen disciplines and to fulfill their roles in a diverse society as well-rounded and responsible citizens.
Since its founding in 1871, AB has been a leader and innovator in higher education, with accolades in the health and natural sciences. Alderson Broaddus University stands out as one of the most innovative health education providers in Appalachia, pioneering the nation’s first baccalaureate physician assistant program of its kind in 1968, a post-baccalaureate physician assistant master’s degree program in 1993, and West Virginia’s first baccalaureate nursing program in 1945.
AB is located on a historic hilltop in Barbour County in Philippi, West Virginia. The University is rooted in historic and continuing relationships with the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the West Virginia Baptist Convention.
For more information about AB, visit www.ab.edu.