Interim Guidance for COVID-19 Vaccination: Don't Delay the First Dose

April 21, 2021

Across the nation, everyone 16 years of age and older is now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. With the end of the spring semester, millions of students will soon be leaving campus for their other destinations, and it is important to recognize that campuses and universities play an important role in ensuring that our students don’t spread SARS-CoV-2.

While the CDC/FDA recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may have impacted your on-campus efforts, widespread vaccination continues to be a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Many campuses have expressed concern about second vaccine dose scheduling for the mRNA vaccines. The American College Health Association urges college students to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and not to delay initiation until they reach their summer destination. Many retail pharmacies and mass vaccination sites are now able to accommodate people who require only a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, and those sites that do not do so now may be more accommodating as vaccine supply increases.

Please urge college students who have not yet initiated the COVID-19 vaccine series to:

  1. Schedule their first vaccination appointment as soon as possible.
  2. Make a plan for their second dose at the same time.
  3. Protect and duplicate vaccine documentation cards.

Please share with your student these resources for locating a vaccination appointment:

  • Visit to find vaccination providers near you. In some states, information may be limited while more vaccination providers and pharmacies are being added.
  • Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination appointments are available. Find out which pharmacies are participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
  • Contact your state health department to find additional vaccination locations in the area.

Source: How Do I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine (

Additional ACHA statements and guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccination for fall 2021 are forthcoming.