Birzeit University begins vaccination campaign for students, employees

University staff are cooperating with health officials to distribute vaccines on campus
  • Dr. Mai al-Kaila, right, at the university's vaccination center

Students, faculty, and staff members are rolling their sleeves today for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a university-wide vaccination drive organized by Birzeit University together with the Palestinian Ministry of Health. 

With the launch of the vaccination drive, the university established a vaccination center at the Said Khoury Building for Development Studies, where teams of government health workers supported by university staff vaccinated students, employees, and service providers. 

This is the first vaccination campaign at Birzeit University that particularly targets students. Previous vaccination rollouts, in May and June, were aimed at faculty and staff members and were also carried out in cooperation with Palestinian health officials. 

Dr. Mai al-Kaila, the Palestinian health minister, applauded the vaccination drive at the university, saying that the cooperation between Birzeit University administrators and health officials will encourage students, in particular, to receive the vaccine and protect themselves and their families. 

Getting the two vaccination jabs, added al-Kaila, will ensure that the Palestinian community as a whole can avoid a possible fourth wave of COVID-19, and it will allow universities to return to face-to-face teaching and learning. 

Anan Atteereh, the acting dean of student affairs at Birzeit University, said that the university’s administration took the decision to arrange for on-campus vaccinations to provide the best protection for students, faculty, and staff members as well as the broader community. 

“We miss seeing students roaming hallways and moving around the campus,” said Atteereh. “We want our campus to return to life, just as much as students themselves, but the only way for that to happen is to have everyone vaccinated as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Atteereh noted that a return to in-person teaching and learning is the ultimate goal of the university’s current measures and initiatives, which include the vaccination drive, but she cautioned that the decision to fully return to campus will depend on several factors, only one of which is whether a majority of students have been vaccinated.