UC Berkeley to administer COVID-19 vaccine to campus community

Photo of someone holding a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine
U.S. Secretary of Defense/Creative Commons
The first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine, which arrived Tuesday, includes the Moderna vaccine. As supply becomes available, campus community members will be contacted and offered vaccination, and the vaccine in type and quantity will be allocated to the campus on a rolling basis. (Photo by U.S. Secretary of Defense under CC BY 2.0).

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University Health Services, or UHS, administrators announced Tuesday the arrival of the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines that will be administered starting this week.

The shipment arrived Tuesday and includes the Moderna vaccine, according to an email from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Within the next two weeks, UHS hopes to vaccinate all “Phase 1a” campus staff, students and faculty who express interest in being vaccinated. Vaccinations will start Thursday at the Tang Center clinics.

The campus receives vaccines from the California Department of Public Health through the UC Office of the President, or UCOP, Office of Emergency Management, according to the email. The email noted campus’ planning is subject to the UCOP distribution plan.

“The UC Berkeley COVID-19 Task Force is committed to interpreting and applying this plan in an equitable and transparent way that considers the incredible diversity of roles and risks within the campus population,” the email reads.

Campus will continue to prepare for “Phase 1b” of vaccination distribution. According to the email, this phase includes more frontline staff in addition to faculty, staff, students and emeriti ages 65 and older.

As supply becomes available, campus community members will be contacted and offered vaccination, the email adds. Eligible campus community members will receive instructions over email on how to make an appointment with UHS.

The vaccine in type and quantity is allocated to the campus on a rolling basis once per week, according to the email. While vaccine supplies are limited, prioritization guidance and requirements will continue to be updated, and information will be provided on the UHS website.

Anne Harte, UHS medical director, and Guy Nicolette, UHS assistant vice chancellor, noted in the email the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases in California and the Bay Area’s reduction in intensive care unit capacity.

Harte and Nicolette encouraged campus community members to continue to follow public health guidelines, including limiting gathering with people outside of their household, wearing face coverings and maintaining six feet of physical distance from others.

“This is the time to rally our courage and commitment to our community so that we can make it through what we believe may be the final stretch,” the email reads. “Knowing how challenging the last year has been, the arrival of the vaccine to our campus brings hope after this long pandemic journey.”

Thao Nguyen is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @tnguyen_dc.