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Duke University will open COVID-19 vaccine appointments to their undergraduate and graduate students on Apr. 1. (Brian Carlson | CC BY-SA 2.0)

Starting April 1, Duke University will open COVID-19 vaccine appointments to all enrolled undergraduate and graduate students in the Durham area.

On March 25, North Carolina announced that eligibility for the vaccine would be expanded to all college students, effective March 31. The state will provide single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines to Duke Health, The Chronicle reported.

According to an email from Duke administrators, Duke Health expects to receive sufficient vaccine supply to provide doses to all Durham undergraduate and graduate students. Beginning April 1, students will be invited to schedule a vaccination appointment through Duke Health. 

Due to the “uncertainties in the supply chain,” administrators also encouraged students to explore vaccination opportunities outside the University. Students are not required to get vaccinated, but are encouraged to do so, according to a separate email sent to faculty and staff.

After receiving the vaccine, students will still need to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, according to the email.

“Since the vaccine does not reach its full strength until two weeks after it is administered, and because it’s possible that vaccinated persons may still transmit the virus to others, all students must continue to follow Duke Compact and behavioral guidelines for the remainder of the semester,” the email stated.

Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé told The Daily Pennsylvanian on Tuesday that the City of Philadelphia has approved the University as an official COVID-19 vaccination site, allowing the University to launch an on-campus vaccination campaign in the coming weeks.

Penn will likely receive its first allotment of doses from the city in mid-April and will begin vaccinating community members who qualify to receive the vaccine under Phases 1A and 1B of the city's vaccination rollout plan as soon as the shipment arrives. The majority of students, however, will not qualify to receive the COVID-19 vaccine until May 1, when the city plans to shift to Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout.