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Latest on Covid-19 and campus operations

COO Larry Sampler provides details on vaccine verification and exemption and talks with a campus health expert.

By Larry Sampler, chief operating officer

June 3, 2021

Larry SamplerDear Roadrunners,

You may have read in yesterday’s Early Bird that Metropolitan State University of Denver has begun a vaccine verification and exemption process for our students.

All registered students should have received an email Tuesday from Will Simpkins, Ed.D., vice president for Student Affairs, containing instructions on how to verify their vaccination status or request an exemption. Emails contain a unique, personalized link for the brief vaccine-verification or -exemption form, which does not require citizenship or health-insurance information.

Gathering this vaccine information is critical to our ability to plan for the fall semester. I encourage all faculty and staff members to support this effort by talking with your students and reminding them to submit their vaccine information as soon as possible.

More verification and exemption information will follow soon for faculty and staff members.

How to access a vaccine

As a reminder, all Roadrunners are encouraged to complete their first vaccine dose (if you opt for a two-dose vaccine) no later than July 1.

Students who have not yet been vaccinated can visit the 5th Street Garage (650 Walnut St., Denver, CO 80204) drive-thru site, which offers vaccines free of charge to anyone ages 12 and older. Proof of citizenship or health insurance is not required to receive the vaccine. Scheduling an appointment is preferred, but walk-ups will be accommodated.

Addressing vaccine hesitancy

For Roadrunners who are still hesitant to get the vaccine, Erin Seedorf, Dr.PH, assistant professor in the Department of Health Professions, provided some insight into what we know about vaccines and what health experts are still determining. Per Seedorf:

Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

  • Several studies have shown that all three Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing recipients from getting Covid-19, and if you do happen to get Covid-19, the vaccines will prevent you from getting seriously ill. Also, these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Millions of people in the United States have safely received the Covid-19 vaccines. 

You should continue to be vigilant until you are fully vaccinated.

  • It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes Covid-19. Covid-19 vaccines are designed to teach our immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes Covid-19. You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine. It is possible to get sick with Covid-19 right after you have been vaccinated because the body has not had enough time to build the protection needed to fight off the virus.

Scientists are still investigating how well vaccines prevent you from spreading Covid-19.

  • We know that vaccines are effective at preventing people from getting sick from Covid-19, but we are still learning how well vaccines prevent people from spreading the virus, particularly when they are not showing any symptoms. Early studies are showing that vaccines help keep people with no symptoms from spreading Covid-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated.

Scientists are still investigating how long the Covid-19 vaccines protect people.

  • Studies will continue to investigate the length of time protections will last for these vaccines. The more people who get vaccinated and the more time we have, the more we will learn about the length of effectiveness and possible need for vaccine boosters.

Scientists are still investigating how effective the vaccines are against new and developing variants of Covid-19.

  • New variants of the virus that causes Covid-19 are spreading in the United States. Early data suggest that Covid-19 vaccines offer protection against most variants in the U.S.; however, some variants circulating in communities might cause symptoms or illness in some people even after they are fully vaccinated.

Employee wellness

While summer remains a busy time of year for many MSU Denver employees, I hope you can each take time this season to rest, relax and enjoy your vacation days. You have earned them.

Additionally, faculty and staff members are invited to attend Managing the Social Stressors Associated With a Return to Campus, hosted by the Roadrunners Safe Return Wellness Committee.

Drawing on the knowledge and insights of MSU Denver experts, the Wednesday panel discussion will explore the types of social stress and anxiety that employees may experience as we approach the full return to on-campus operations. Strategies for managing stress, anxiety or conflict will be discussed.

Managing the Social Stressors Associated With a Return to Campus


2-3 p.m.

Attend via Zoom.

Attendees are invited to submit questions in advance or to pose questions to panelists during the event.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about our Safe Return to Campus, please reach out through this form or via email at


Larry Sampler

Vice president for Administration, Finance and Facilities and chief operating officer

Topics: Administration, Health, Safety

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