David May, interim president of Eastern Washington University, brought together campus experts to answer questions about the COVID-19 response and vaccine in a virtual town hall on Thursday. Katie Taylor, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise science and David Line, PhD, the program director of EWU’s Public Health Program answered questions submitted by campus community members. The town hall was focused on the vaccine rollout and highlighting the importance of mental health and continuing to stick together during this tough time.

The president opened the town hall by noting that Jan. 21, 2021 is the one year anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Washington state. Following his remarks, Taylor discussed the uncertainty surrounding the vaccine and made her position clear. “The COVID-19 vaccine is a wonderful example of science when people come together,” she said.

The overwhelming theme of the town hall was community and how important it is as we continue to work our way through this virus. Taylor added, “It will take all of us collaboratively working together to maintain the safety of our campus.”

Line echoed a similar message.

“Now is the time to be courageous and reach out to others with kind words,” he said. “Now is the time to be Eastern courageous.” 

Additional takeaways from the town hall:

  • There is currently no phase for students, faculty or staff to begin receiving the vaccine in Washington. While the Eastern experts are hopeful that will change soon, they encourage community members to visit the Washington State Department of Health website to complete the vaccine phase finder survey to see when you are eligible to receive the vaccine.
  • Line and Taylor also reminded students and employees that it is important to take care of your self. The university has great mental health resources available to students through CAPS. Employees are encouraged to utilize the EAP benefits.
  • To stay up to date on Eastern’s response to the pandemic and resources available to you, visit the EWU Coronavirus webpage. A recording of Thursday’s town hall is also available below.


To learn more about the science behind the COVID-19 vaccine, you’re invited to join the the Biology Seminar Series for a round table discussion with EWU biologists Jason Ashley, Krisztian Magori, Luis Matos and Javier Ochoa-Reparaz.

Date: Friday, Jan. 29
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Zoom Link