COVID-19 vaccines available to individuals in phase 1A and phase 1B, tier 1

COVID-19 vaccines available to individuals in phase 1A and phase 1B, tier 1

Photo Credits: Katherine Hung / Aggie

It is unclear when students and employees in phase 2 will be able to access the vaccine

UC Davis laid out a tiered system of eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine through the Campus Ready COVID-19 Vaccine Program. While some students and staff have already gained access as part of the first wave, it is unknown when Phase 2 will begin.

“We can truly make a difference in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Davis by working together and by advocating for all of our community members,” said Cindy Schorzman, medical director of the Student Health and Counseling Services, via email. 

According to Schorzman, both phase 1A and phase 1B, Tier 1 are currently open for appointments.

Phase 1A consists of Aggie Public Health Ambassadors, CARE Advocacy staff, UC Davis healthcare workers and employees who work directly with COVID-19 exposed patients such as: COVID-19 researchers, student and occupational health employees and Housing and Dining workers in the campus quarantine and isolation unit.

Sarika Sethi, a second-year biotechnology major, was recently vaccinated through the program. Sethi is a housing employee at the Tercero Service Desk and qualified as part of phase 1A. 

“Once we got the notification that our tier was eligible for the vaccine our staff made appointments through Health-e-Messaging and were vaccinated at the ARC,” Sethi said. 

Sethi said her side effects were mild and suggests if anyone has a chance to receive the vaccine, to take it. 

“I have received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, and I had a sore arm and felt a little tired, but overall the experience was very manageable,” Sethi said. “I decided to get vaccinated because, although I am in a population where the chance of adverse health risks for me are very low, I also know that I could accidentally spread [it] to other more at risk populations if I were to contract the virus.”

Phase 1B, Tier 1 includes employees and students over the age of 65 and individuals who can be exposed to COVID-19 due to their job requirements.

An Pham, a second-year neurobiology, physiology and biology major said she likes the way UC Davis was handling the situation.

“it puts me at ease to see that they are providing COVID-19 testing and access to vaccinations,” Pham said. 

The next stage, Phase 1C, involves providing vaccinations for individuals between the ages of 16 to 64 years old who have underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to severe symptoms of COVID-19. This group includes workers in water, waste, energy, chemical, hazardous materials, communications, IT and financial services workers, administrators on campus and individuals partaking in contact tracing and COVID-19 case investigation according to the Campus Ready website. 

After all three phases of Tier 1 are complete, UC Davis will extend students and employees as permitted by local and state public health officials and the California Office of the President (UCOP), according to the UC Davis rollout plan on their website.

“We do not have an anticipated timeline of when additional tiers will become eligible as it depends on the amount of vaccine that we receive,” Schorzman said. 

Pham said that and that she looks forward to seeing how they will be distributing the vaccination in the near future. 

“Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is one of my top priorities,” Pham said. “I’m glad that UC Davis has this option for me, to ensure that we stop the spread of the virus.”

The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Feb. 1, the same day the campus vaccine clinic started. Receiving the vaccine is free for employees and students

“Our goals are to use every dose that we receive to help protect our UC Davis community, to continue to advocate for increased vaccine supply for our campus community and to continue to expand our delivery system as increased doses become available,” Schorzman said. 

With the help of the UCOP Office of Emergency Management, UC Davis receives its vaccine from the California Department of Health. 

Schorzman said frequent updating of their website helps to prevent the spread of misinformation related to the vaccination process.

“Students are sent weekly updates via text messaging,” Schorzman said. “Our Aggie Public Health Ambassadors do an outstanding job of delivering updated information about COVID-19 and current public health measures.”

At this time, it is strongly encouraged, but not required for employees to receive the vaccine. If an employee declines, for any reason—whether it be religious or medical—they must wear protective equipment

“The hard work and collaboration by a group of individuals who never would have otherwise come together has made a real and measurable difference, and has made me so proud to be an Aggie,” Schorzman said. 

Written by: Aarya Gupta — campus@theaggie.org 

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