Soon after I took office on May 28, we received the great news we had all been waiting for: the launch of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) workplace vaccination program by the government. This allows companies and universities to offer vaccinations to their employees and students. Therefore, at Keio University, we will first establish a venue for vaccination on Mita Campus where 1,000 people or more can be vaccinated every day starting from June 21, the earliest schedule the government will approve, and initially, we plan to secure vaccines for a total of 50,000 people. I will now explain why we want vaccines for 50,000 people. There are about 3,000* faculty and staff members at Keio University, including those at the affiliated schools, and we have around 34,000 students at our undergraduate faculties and graduate schools, totaling 37,000 people. This means that vaccines for 13,000 people will be left, but we plan to make these available to part-time lecturers, project faculty members, researchers, part-time staff members, and those who are not employed by the university but work on campus, such as staff members of cleaning companies, workers at the co-ops, and security guards. In short, we will make every effort to achieve herd immunity on campus, and through this, we intend to fully restore campus life, which has been greatly restricted since April last year. It means reviving the classroom and research environments as well as all extracurricular activities, and we will also begin promoting study abroad again. The vaccines we will be provided with this time is manufactured by Moderna, Inc., and it is approved for use on people who are 18 years of age or older. Therefore, only undergraduate and graduate students are eligible, and senior high school students and younger at our affiliated schools will not be able to receive the vaccine at this time. However, the teachers and staff members at the affiliated schools are eligible to receive the vaccine.
To establish a venue for vaccination, there are many conditions that must be met. In addition to the people who will administer the vaccine, to ensure an efficient vaccination process, there is a need to have pharmacists who will accurately fill the syringes with the correct amount of the vaccine, doctors who will conduct pre-vaccination interviews, doctors who will observe those who have just received a vaccine, and we must also have a medical and nursing care system in place at the vaccination venue in case there are people who show side effects to the vaccine. Keio University, which is a comprehensive university with a hospital, School of Medicine, Faculty of Nursing and Medical Care, Faculty of Pharmacy, and Health Centers, can manage this. However, as the Keio University Hospital is located next to the Japan National Stadium, the main stadium for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we need to prepare our medical staff to help out with issues that may arise during the games, and due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they are also very busy taking care of patients infected with COVID-19. Even in this tight situation, the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and staff members of the hospital will support this program. Furthermore, alumni of the School of Medicine, Faculty of Nursing and Medical Care, and Faculty of Pharmacy (including the Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy), have shown their support saying that "if it's for Keio students," they will gladly cooperate with the administering of vaccines at Keio University. I have been moved by the generosity and actions of our alumni, and I have nothing but gratitude for them. I hope that all of you who will get the vaccine will come to the venue with a sense of gratitude to those who are providing medical care at Keio and to our alumni.
Of course, vaccination is voluntary and only those wishing to receive it have to apply, but I hope that Keio students will actively get vaccinated. You may be worried about side effects. In fact, the younger you are, the greater the side effects tends to be, but you will also produce more antibodies. And most of all, you will be able to re-experience the campus life that you have been wishing for, and study abroad will also become a possibility. Please get vaccinated not only for yourself, but also to re-establish campus life at Keio and to eliminate COVID-19 from Japan.
Regarding extracurricular activities, with the start of vaccinations, we are aiming for the fair and equal resumption of activities of all officially authorized student clubs at Keio, regardless of whether they are part of the Athletic Association, or other clubs and societies. Over the summer vacation, during which vaccination for students will not have finished, we are considering the use of PCR tests to monitor students so that you will be able to start taking part in extracurricular activities during the holidays. We are also thinking about having each student club prepare and submit its own infection prevention measures, and only permit the resumption of activities after these measures have been fully implemented. We ask for your patience for a little longer.
Finally, I would like to say something very important. Please listen carefully. As I mentioned earlier, establishing a venue for vaccination at a company or university is not an easy thing to do. This means that the students, faculty, and staff members at Keio University will be vaccinated before the rest of the public. The purpose of this is to create a safe environment for learning, research, extracurricular activities, and study abroad, and under no circumstances should it be taken to mean that you are in a position to resume eating and drinking out in groups, holding parties, or taking trips as before. If you go eating and drinking in groups, hold parties, or take trips, and then get carried away and become disorderly at restaurants or in areas around Mita, Hiyoshi, or Shonandai, or cause trouble while traveling, you will be leading society in a damaging direction and going against Keio's mission of "creating leaders of society." Please keep in mind Keio's ideal that calls on its members to serve as a source of honorable character, that is, being a source from which dignity overflows, and act in a respectful manner until vaccines have been provided to the entire nation and society as a whole feels safe.
About the message: This message is the text version of the video message recorded on Monday, June 7 2021.
About the vaccination: Vaccination is optional and you will not be forced to get it. There will be no restrictions on classes, extracurricular activities, research activities, etc., just because you did not get vaccinated.
*We wish to make a correction on this number. There are approximately 5,900 faculty and staff members at Keio (including tenured and non-tenured faculty members), and the number of vaccines available to those who are not undergraduate or graduate students or faculty and staff members at Keio (including tenured and non-tenured faculty members) is approximately 10,000.
Workplace Vaccinations for COVID-19 for Students, Faculty, and Staff Members