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Program to vaccinate SUNY residential students announced

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(WBNG) -- SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced Tuesday morning a program that aims to begin vaccinating SUNY residential students before the end of the spring semester.

In a news release, SUNY says its reserved its first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to inoculate students before the summer break. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose shot and because of that, it can vaccinate tens of thousands of students before they go back to their communities, SUNY says.

The SUNY Chancellor's Office says 18,600 Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be distributed to 34 SUNY campuses. SUNY says its working with New York State to acquire more doses to be reserved for SUNY residential students. Those will be distributed to more campuses in weekly installments over the next several weeks, SUNY says.

The Chancellor's Office says more than 350,000 students are being emailed to remind them of their eligibility. As of April 6, all New Yorkers age 16 or older are eligible to receive the vaccine.

In a statement, SUNY Chancellor Malatras said:

“SUNY has vigorously advocated on behalf of our students, faculty, and staff to make sure they were eligible for the COVID vaccine and we have worked diligently for months to prepare for this moment. Giving residential students the one-shot option helps clear a crucial logistical hurdle in the race to get people fully vaccinated before they leave campus and return to their hometown communities. We strongly encourage all students to schedule their appointments as soon as they can; to do their part in protecting themselves, their families, and their communities; and to help spread the word about the many benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines. Our students have been unsung heroes since the beginning of this health crisis, and with the pandemic’s finish line firmly in sight, we expect them to play a pivotal role in finally putting COVID-19 behind us. I want to thank our New York State partners who helped secure these vaccines, as well as the dedicated teams and volunteers on the county and campus level that are working swiftly to set up student-specific points of distribution.”

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