April 13: MSU now offering students two-dose Pfizer vaccine instead of Johnson & Johnson

MSU Faculty and Staff,

We wanted to make you aware of the message below that is being sent to all MSU students. Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, today we switched the type of vaccine offered to students to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. All appointments previously made by students will be honored.

Thank you for the support of this effort. The more individuals who receive a vaccination, the safer our campus will be for everyone this fall.


This morning, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine.

The recommended pause comes as the FDA and CDC are reviewing cases of extremely rare blood clots. It is important to note that there have been six reported cases in the U.S., all among women, out of nearly 7 million administered doses. Scientists with both agencies now will examine whether there is any possible link between the vaccine and the clotting disorder.

Out of an abundance of caution and following federal and state guidance, MSU today switched the type of vaccine offered to students from the one-dose J&J vaccine to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. All appointments previously made by students will be honored and we will continue making available additional appointments over the next few weeks. This change in vaccine type was made possible by MSU’s partnership with the Ingham County Health Department, and we are very grateful for their support.

Anyone who has received the J&J vaccine and develops a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should immediately contact their health care provider. The type of blood clot seen in these six cases (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) is extremely rare and requires different treatment. For more information, please visit the FDA news page.

While this development is unfortunate, and it may cause distress, we must keep it in perspective. Stringent processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine authorized for use, which is why the FDA and CDC made this recommendation. The chances of developing any severe side effect to one of the COVID-19 vaccines are extremely rare.

With the switch to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, any student receiving the vaccine will be asked to return to the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education after three weeks for their second dose or set up a second dose at another location. One shot does not provide adequate protection from COVID-19. We have information on the Together We Will website, where you can register for an appointment with other providers in the state.

Students can select an appointment to receive the Pfizer vaccine at the MSU Pavilion. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please check the appointment link often; new appointments are added regularly.

A few things to remember:

  • On the day of your vaccination, bring a valid MSU student ID. If you don’t have a physical ID, a virtual ID is available using the MSU app. A valid state ID, passport or driver’s license also is acceptable.
  • Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your appointment. Wear short-sleeve clothing and do not fast before your appointment.
  • If you need transportation to your appointment, the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) is providing free transportation to and from appointments seven days a week to this and other vaccine locations throughout Ingham County. Call 517-394-2282 to schedule your trip, which must be scheduled at least 24 hours before your appointment. CATA also is running a regular route to the MSU Pavilion (Route 32) through May 10, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It is important to remember that, after being fully vaccinated, it is vital that you keep wearing a face covering and practice all COVID-19 safety measures, as it will take many months before everyone is protected.


Vennie Gore
Senior Vice President for Hospitality Services and Auxiliary Enterprises  
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Services

Lt. Dave Oslund
Emergency Management Coordinator