University of Maine System commits to deploying healthcare programs and expertise, facilities, and resources to the work of distributing approved COVID-19 vaccines
Orono, Maine — University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy is appointing a Vaccine Planning and Partnership Task Force to coordinate and report on the work underway across the campuses to plan for and support the distribution of vaccines for COVID-19. The task force is charged with expanding and facilitating the use of university resources to assist with vaccine distribution, recommending needed changes to UMS immunization requirements, and contributing to student and public awareness about the efficacy and safety of FDA-approved vaccines.
The Chancellor’s Task Force on Vaccine Planning and Partnership will brief the Board of Trustees Finance, Facilities, and Technology Committee at its Jan. 6, 2021 meeting and issue a report and work plan to the full Board on Jan. 25, 2021. The task force will be led by:
- University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Chair
- UMS Chief of Staff and General Counsel James Thelen
- UMS Chief Facilities Management and General Services Officer Chip Gavin
- UMS Executive Director of Public Affairs Dan Demeritt
The task force will engage with university scientists, nursing and public health program leaders, academic and student affairs leadership, communicators, and facilities and emergency response team members.
The University of Maine System has been monitoring and planning for the distribution of vaccines for COVID-19 throughout the public health crisis. This has included providing input to various distribution plan discussions, offering state partners an inventory of 220 cubic feet of ultracold storage space available throughout the state to support vaccine distribution and a survey of UMS nursing programs to identify individuals for surge staffing and other healthcare delivery opportunities.
“The most ambitious vaccination campaign in the history of the world is now underway,” said Chancellor Malloy. “FDA-approved vaccines for COVID-19 will end the pandemic and restore normalcy if enough people choose to be immunized. With lives in the balance, Maine’s public universities will be doing all we can to support the distribution of the vaccine and promote immunization as the smart and responsible choice for our students, faculty and staff, and Maine citizens.”
“Now is a critical time in the fight against COVID-19,” said UMaine President Ferrini-Mundy, chair of the UMS Scientific Advisory Committee. “In record time, science has delivered a safe, effective vaccine for a disease that has infected millions and upended life across the planet. As challenging as 2020 has been, we can be proud that Maine has led one nation’s most successful, science-based public health campaigns in response to the pandemic. In the new year, Maine’s research university will be working with UMS institutions and public educators across the state to create awareness about the efficacy and safety of FDA-approved vaccines, and support an efficient and statewide distribution of the vaccine.”