Dean Hess encourages patience and vigilance as COVID-19 vaccinations begin this week

December 17, 2020

Editor’s note: The following message was sent by IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, to the IU School of Medicine community on Wednesday, December 16.

Dear Colleagues,

It is an exciting time in the fight against COVID-19, as vaccines roll into the State of Indiana this week.

My sincerest thanks go to all who have been caring for patients since the beginning of the pandemic. Because of your tireless and courageous work, we’ve now reached this pivotal moment.

Some of you have already received word from our health system partners that you are eligible for the first round of vaccines. Those emails were sent to frontline workers—a group that includes doctors, nurses, students and staff—who are all exposed to COVID-19 patients and/or infectious materials in their work.

This is just the start of a long and complicated roll-out process over the coming months. Our experts are working to identify those who are most in need of the vaccine, and as those lists are compiled you will be notified when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.

I’m very grateful for the more than 430 IU medical students who have volunteered and undergone training to administer COVID-19 vaccines. I look forward to working alongside them. Logistics aside, a big part of the work ahead is to reassure everyone that the vaccine is safe and effective—and that getting vaccinated along with continuing our public health measures is our only way out of this crisis.

While we can see the light at the end of this tunnel, COVID numbers are surging to record levels here in Indiana. Supplies of the vaccine are limited and getting vaccine to everyone will take time. This makes it all the more important during the holiday season that we remain vigilant and patient, as we wait our turn to receive the vaccine.

Thank you. Stay safe and my very best wishes for a better 2021.


Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA
Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs
Dean of the School of Medicine
Indiana University