Morgan State changes course on vaccine verification submissions

The university is verifying vaccination statuses through its health center, rather than using an outside firm as originally planned.


Courtesy of Instagram

Holmes Hall overlooks main campus of Morgan State University.

Jah’I Selassie, Contributing Writer

With the fall semester quickly approaching, Morgan State University is in the process of verifying individuals’ COVID-19 vaccination statuses as the vaccine is required to return to campus.

University officials originally planned to use an outside verification firm to confirm vaccination statues, but according to the Baltimore Sun, officials are no longer considering an outside firm.

Instead, Morgan will use its Student Health Portal to verify COVID-19 vaccination cards.

Ruth Agwuna, director of the Student Health Center, said the decision to verify vaccine cards using the health portal is because of the shortage of time and the surplus of student familiarity.

“Students have always submitted their health forms through our portal,” she said.

Students are required to upload their vaccination cards through Point and Click, an electronic health record system used as a health provider for hundreds of colleges and universities across the country.

“The submission to Point and Click is basically through the same portal,” said Agwuna. “We are working on differentiating it to make it easier to report our numbers to the University and state.”

The university will also use CRISP, a health information exchange organization, to receive guidance on verifications.

“If we have any doubt about the vaccinations, we have the possibility of checking with CRISP; this is the company that we use to verify,” said Agwuna.

Many students have voiced concerns about the university requiring students to upload a picture of their vaccination cards through the Student Health Portal.

Kobe Johnson, junior finance major, said he worries that students that are not fully vaccinated will submit falsified information.

“Without using an outside entity, just by using the portal to submit pictures of your card, anybody could just write down that they got those shots,” said Johnson.

Johnson is not alone in his wariness. Azundah Akarolo, sophomore nursing major, feels that the university will not spot possible fraudulent vaccine cards.

“The university’s decision to submit vaccination cards this way will definitely cause me to be more cautious and keep my own social distancing rules,” said Akarolo.

Akarolo added that although he is vaccinated, he fears for the safety of other students and staff on campus.

Updated Mask Mandate at Morgan

On Aug. 5, Brandon M. Scott, Mayor of Baltimore, announced that the city would reimplement mask mandates indoors for all Baltimore City vaccinated and unvaccinated residents beginning Aug. 9.

This decision came as a preventive measure to help curb the spread of the new Delta variant of COVID-19.

In his address to the university, President David Wilson said Morgan plans to reinstate their mask mandate for all individuals indoors.

Larry Jones, assistant vice president of public relations, said the university plans to provide more insight on Morgan’s plans to stay in compliance with Baltimore’s reinstated mask mandate.

“The safety of our Morgan community is a top priority,” said Jones, “and President Wilson will be issuing a campus-wide communication regarding how the University will respond to this new development.”