COVID-19 Vaccination at Columbia University Irving Medical Center

CUIMC COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassadors

January 15, 2021

The arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses on our campus last month was a historic moment for our community and for the patients and communities we serve. Since that time, approximately 38,000 staff at NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell, and Columbia have been vaccinated. More than 16,300 individuals at NYP's Columbia campus who work in patient care areas—including more than 6,900 Columbia employees and students—have received their first doses. More than 9,700 second doses have been administered.

Since early 2020, CUIMC faculty and staff have served on the front lines of the COVID pandemic and have borne witness to its devasting toll. Many are sharing their own personal reasons for getting vaccinated and why vaccination is critical to ending the pandemic and its suffering.


"I'm very optimistic. I recommend this vaccine to my family, to my patients, to my friends, to all my coworkers," said Rafael Lantigua, MD, professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and associate dean for community service. "Let's do it together, and we're going to be healthy together."

"The one way for us to further the Black Lives Matter agenda—for us to literally save Black lives, who are dying disproportionately from this disease—is for us to take the vaccine," says Olajide Williams, MD, MS, professor and chief of staff in the Department of Neurology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

If you are interested in sharing why you were vaccinated or will get vaccinated, please email