May 21, 2021
Dear Fellow Public Healthers,
I write to share with you that I am personally delighted to see this decision by President Paxson. Having a safe community where we can work on pressing public health issues is critically important, and ensuring everyone is vaccinated is critical. I also know many of you had questions regarding vaccination status and verification at our recent AMAs, and this announcement should provide further guidance.
All three authorized COVID vaccines are remarkably safe and effective, and by getting vaccinated, we protect ourselves and our loved ones. But it goes beyond that. There are members of our community who are immunocompromised or otherwise may not be fully protected by the vaccines. For them, ensuring that everyone else is vaccinated is critical. They count on all of us to protect them. By getting vaccinated, you are helping your fellow public health colleagues, as well.
I know many of you have gotten vaccinated (thank you) and others are still on the fence. If there is anything I can personally do to answer questions or otherwise be helpful, please let me know. There are plenty of vaccines now available in Rhode Island, so getting vaccinated has become easier. But there may be other barriers people face, and if we can help reduce those barriers, please let us know.
Thank you again for everything you do for public health. It is an honor to be a part of this wonderful community, and I look forward to seeing many of you in person in the upcoming weeks and months.
Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
Dean, School of Public Health
Professor of Health Services, Policy & Practice