Campus COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative (CoVAC)

The Campus COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative (CoVAC) is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cooperative Agreement CDC-RFA-CK20-2003.

ACHA's Campus COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative (CoVAC) will build vaccine confidence, increase vaccination visibility, and combat vaccine misinformation in college campus communities. This important project will include the development and dissemination of a vaccine confidence toolkit for faculty and staff, a social media toolkit, and a national student social media campaign.

ACHA seeks to build trust in students and other campus stakeholders by providing them with relevant, credible, accurate information on the importance of getting vaccinated, vaccine safety, and where to get vaccinated. The initiative will include student leaders, influencers, and other trusted sources, leveraging existing relationships to reach all those on campus who may be considering forgoing vaccination against COVID-19.

This initiative is in the formative stages and will continue to grow as the needs of campus communities evolve. The following resources and tools are currently in development:

  • Data collection, analysis, and visualization
  • Vaccine confidence toolkit
  • Student engagement campaigns

CoVAC Webinars and Other Events

Vaccine Information Series

These webinars feature representatives from the manufacturers of the three available vaccines. The webinars will provide information specific to each vaccine.

Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine: Information for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine

Every business day through April 30th (times vary)
Register here.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Q&A Session

Wednesday, April 7 at 12:00-1:00 pm ET
 View the recorded event here.

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Q&A Session

Wednesday, April 14 at 12:00-1:00 pm ET
Register here to receive an invitation from Pfizer.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Faculty and Staff: What Higher Ed Employers Need to Know

Wednesday, April 7 at 1:00-2:00 pm ET
Presented by CUPA-HR in partnership with ACHA
Register here.

Save the Date! Post-Pandemic Campus Well-Being

Monday, May 5 at 2:00-3:00 pm ET
ACHA is a sponsor for this virtual event hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education. More details coming soon.

Steering Committee

A growing list of partner organizations includes:

  • American Council on Education (ACE)
  • Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education (ACSLHE)
  • Association of College Unions International (ACUI)
  • Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisers (AFA)
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
  • Clinton Foundation
  • College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)
  • Immunization Action Coalition
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Sports Science Institute
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Vaccinate Your Family

American College Health Association Staff

  • Robyn Buchsbaum, MHS, Director of Strategic Initiatives
  • Claudia Trevor-Wright, MA, JD, MCHES, Project Director
  • Sara Couppas, Student Engagement Program Manager
  • Mary Hoban, PhD, MCHES, Chief Research Officer

Steering Committee Leadership Team

Co-Chairs

Giang T. Nguyen, MD, MPH, MSCE, FAAFP
Executive Director, Health Services
Henry K. Oliver Chair of Hygiene
Harvard University

Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, FACHA
Associate Vice Provost for Student Health, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health
Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, Division Head, College Health, Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

Deputy Chair

Jessica Greher Traue, EdM
Director, Wellness & Prevention
Office of Violence Against Women Campus Grant Project Director
Bentley University

Higher Education Partners

  • David M. Arnold, Assistant Vice President for Health, Safety, and Well-being Initiatives, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA)
  • Cynthia Burwell, EdD, MCHES, RKT, Professor, Director, Norfolk State University Center of Excellence in Minority Health Disparities
  • Malini Cadambi Daniel, Director of Higher Education Organizing, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Jean E. Chin, MD, MBA, FACP, FACHA, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Executive Director Emeritus, University Health Center, University of Georgia
  • Anjali Da Victoria Lobo, Director, Property Services Division, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Thomas Diaz, PharmD Candidate, Class of 2024 President, University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy
  • Goulda Downer, PhD, RD, LN, CNS, FAND, Principal Investigator/Project Director & Associate Professor, Howard University College of Medicine
  • Umailla Fatima, BS, Neurobiology & Physiology, BA, Public Policy, expected 2022, University of Maryland; Research Assistant, Children's National Hospital; Intern, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Rose Francois, MA, Chair, Knowledge Community for International Student and Scholar Services, Association of International Educators (NAFSA)
  • Zebediah Hall, MBA, Board Member, Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), and Director of Student Disability Services, Cornell Health
  • Monique Luisi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication, Missouri School of Journalism
  • Peter MacKinnon, President SEIU Local 509 (MA), Chair of Higher Education Council
  • Rev. Jacquelina (Jackie) Marquez, MDiv, MAPC, Board Member, Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education (ACSLHE), and Dean of Religious & Spiritual Life, Wellesley College
  • Sharon McMullen, RN, MPH, FACHA, Assistant Vice President of Student & Campus Life for Health and Wellbeing, Cornell Health
  • Amy Sauls, PharmD, CPP, BCACP, Director of Pharmacy and Professional Services, University of North Carolina Student Health
  • Rob Shomaker, Senior Vice President, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR)
  • Jessica Wagner, MPH, RN, Associate Director of Prevention & Health Promotion, National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Sports Science Institute

Partners Outside of Higher Education

  • Megan Affrunti, MPH, LMSW, Director of Substance Use Disorders and Recovery, Clinton Health Matters Initiative, The Clinton Foundation
  • Michelle Cantu, Director, Infectious Disease and Immunization, National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • Gary Langer, President, Langer Research Associates
  • Kelly Moore, MD, MPH, Deputy Director, Immunization Action Coalition
  • Amy Pisani, MS, Executive Director, Vaccinate Your Family
  • Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)

CoVAC Initiative Health Equity Statement

This statement is based upon materials from the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,< and the American College Health Association.*

The Campus COVID-19 Vaccine (CoVAC) Initiative is a project of the American College Health Association (ACHA), funded by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CoVAC Initiative will be guided by the following existing ACHA, CDC, and World Health Organization (WHO) definitions and positions on health equity.

The WHO states the “overarching goal is for COVID-19 vaccines to contribute significantly to the equitable protection and promotion of human well-being among all people of the world” and calls for “equity in vaccine access and benefit within countries for groups experiencing greater burdens from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

CDC defines health equity in the context of COVID-19 as follows:

Health equity is when everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.

To stop the spread of COVID-19 and move toward greater health equity, we must work together to ensure resources are available to maintain and manage physical and mental health, including easy access to information, affordable testing, and medical and mental health care.

ACHA’s Non-Discrimination Policyaffirms that a campus climate guided by the values of inclusion, respect, equality and equity is essential to college health.

ACHA’s Statement in Support of Vaccine Use to Promote Health and Prevent Disease strongly supports the use of vaccines to protect the health of our individual students and our campus communities.

ACHA recognizes that systems of oppression such as racism, cissexism, heterosexism, sexism, and ableism directly cause poor health outcomes and contribute to community distrust of public health institutions that prevents access to critical resources. The CoVAC Initiative endeavors to recognize the impact of systemic inequities on the populations we serve, advance equitable policies and practices, and empower campus community members to take action within their organizations and fields to eliminate those inequities wherever they may be found.

*Sources:

World Health Organization: WHO SAGE values framework for the allocation and prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination (Sep. 14, 2020)

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19: Community, Work & School -- Health Equity (accessed 3/11/21)

ACHA Non-Discrimination Policy

ACHA Statement in Support of Vaccine Use to Promote Health and Prevent Disease

ACHA Implementation Guide for Sexual Health Best Practices in College Health Settings (accessed 3/11/21)