1,550 UC Berkeley community members vaccinated by UHS since January

Image of a woman being vaccinated
Matt Gibson/Staff
To increase the availability of vaccines to the UC Berkeley community, University Health Services expanded its vaccine operations by moving into the Pauley Ballroom inside the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union Building.

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Since UC Berkeley’s vaccine clinic began operations Jan. 12, 1,550 vaccine doses for COVID-19 have been administered by University Health Services, or UHS.

The Tang Center served as campus’s initial vaccine clinic and was open two days a week, according to UHS spokesperson Tami Cate.

UHS moved its vaccine operations, however, into the Pauley Ballroom on Wednesday inside the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union Building and increased the number of days they are open from two to three.

The new clinic is more spacious than the Tang Center, enabling UHS to expand its operations in preparation for when vaccine supply improves, Cate added.

“We think it is going well,” Cate said in an email. “We have a solid plan for rolling out vaccines across the campus populations and are currently vaccinating those in Phase 1B and starting to give second doses to those that got their first dose in mid-January when we started our vaccine clinics.”

In the coming weeks, campus employees and students 65 years or older and essential infrastructure frontline staff can expect to receive personal email invitations from eTang as part of campus’ Phase 1B expansion. This includes custodial, dining, facilities and early childhood care staff who are at high risk of exposure and transmission to others.

Campus’ efforts to increase the availability of vaccines for eligible members of the UC Berkeley community comes on the heels of news in late January that 57 students tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier this month, campus also recorded its first case of the COVID-19 variant strain from the United Kingdom.

ASUC President Victoria Vera said the student union serves as a good Southside location for the vaccine clinic. Vera received her first dose of the vaccine at the new location and said since then, many of her COVID-19 related anxieties have been alleviated.

Besides having a sore arm for a few days, Vera said the process was pain-free. When she went in for her shot, Vera added she did not have to wait in a long line, the staff was friendly and she felt people were adequately distancing themselves inside of the clinic.

ASUC Executive Vice President Melvin Tangonan said the Pauley Ballroom serves as a good central hub for vaccinations due to its location and accessibility.

“It’s good we are having it, as long as we prioritize the safety of students and those working the vaccination site,” Tangonan said.

Tangonan added that students should be cognizant about how in addition to the vaccination site, individual workrooms, classrooms, food pantry and grocery distribution are still operating out of the student union.

Tangonan believes it is important for students to know where the vaccination site is and when they are eligible to receive their shot and continue to get tested.

“We are constantly looking at our vaccine operations and will expand as we know more about vaccine availability and can adjust our operations accordingly,” Cate said in an email.

Contact Kaleo Mark at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @kaleomark_dc.