SUNY Launches #ItsYourTurn COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Campaign Targeted at CSEA, PEF, and UUP-Backed SUNY Employees Now Eligible for Vaccine

March 17, 2021

Campaign Includes a New Series of Targeted PSAs and Direct and Consistent Email Outreach Outlining Benefits of Vaccines and Directions for Making an Appointment

Complements Recently Launched #KnowYourVax Education Campaign Designed to Raise Awareness Among Student Population

Watch the First #ItsYourTurn PSA online

Albany, NY – The State University of New York today launched a new #ItsYourTurn awareness campaign targeted at SUNY employees represented by the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF), and United University Professions (UUP) who recently became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The multipronged campaign will include a series of PSAs, as well as direct and repeated email outreach outlining the benefits of the FDA-approved Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and instructions for where and how to make an appointment.  

The comprehensive #ItsYourTurn outreach effort complements the recently launched #KnowYourVax campaign, a series of 26 PSAS designed to dispel misinformation and provide students with key facts as vaccine eligibility rapidly expands. The PSAs are in nine languages, including American Sign Language, Arabic, English, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Yiddish, to make sure that more New Yorkers understand the vaccine facts.

Amongst SUNY's system of 64 campuses, 35 are currently serving as active vaccination sites, some with multiple locations to provide safe spaces for more New Yorkers to be vaccinated. So far, more than 500,000 vaccines have been administered at SUNY campuses, with approximately 14,000 appointments scheduled each day as vaccine allotment continues to grow.

"Over the last year, our devoted faculty and staff at every level have made significant sacrifices to keep our campuses safe and our students learning," said Chancellor Malatras. "From building staff who worked extra hours to keep our academic buildings sanitized to faculty members who helped us relaunch in-person learning—these are without question SUNY’s unsung heroes. Now that it’s their turn to receive a COVID vaccine, it’s up to us to provide all the facts, direction, and assistance possible to protect them from this vicious virus and eventually restore normalcy on our campuses. I want to thank the leaders at CSEA, PEF, and UUP for partnering with SUNY on this campaign and for continuing to work collaboratively with us to keep campuses safe."

CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan said, "The decision on whether or not to get vaccinated is a very personal one, but CSEA wants union members to have all the facts to be able to make an informed choice. We encourage all members to seek out accurate information for their safety and protection. I got the vaccine, and I hope you will too."

UUP President Frederick E. Kowal said, "We applaud SUNY and Chancellor Jim Malatras for this comprehensive communications initiative, which will let SUNY employees know that they are eligible to be vaccinated, provide them with facts about the vaccines and answer questions they may have. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, UUP’s main concern has been keeping our members and our campus communities safe. We have worked closely with SUNY and our union colleagues on a telecommuting agreement, as well as mandatory COVID-19 testing procedures and expanded vaccine eligibility for on-campus employees. Now, as the vaccine becomes more widely available, we urge all SUNY employees to protect themselves and each other by getting the shot."

PEF President Wayne Spence said, "SUNY has been a reliable partner with PEF from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were among the first state institutions to provide free testing to our members and we're grateful that all members who work on campuses across the state are now vaccine-eligible. I encourage all PEF members working at SUNY to sign up for a shot as soon as they are able."

In recent months, SUNY has reached agreements with CSEA, PEF, and UUP, as well as the PBA and NYSCOPA, to provide mandatory, free, and consistent COVID-19 testing to all employees. Those agreements extend through June 30, 2021. SUNY colleges and universities are approaching 1.5 million COVID-19 tests since August of 2020, with a system-wide positivity rate of 0.50 percent.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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