UC Davis encourages students to report COVID-19 vaccination status on Health-e-Messaging portal

UC Davis encourages students to report COVID-19 vaccination status on Health-e-Messaging portal

The university has begun to collect data about the proportion of students who have received the vaccine

With more Californians receiving the COVID-19 vaccine than ever before, UC Davis is encouraging students to report their vaccination statuses on the Health-e-Messaging portal via the Student Health and Wellness Center site. 

As of April 15, all California adults ages 16 and older are now eligible for the vaccine as supply increases statewide. Previously, the state was impacted by vaccine shortages in some counties as well as confusion regarding eligibility. 

Approximately 33% of Yolo County residents have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 19.6% of individuals now fully vaccinated, according to the Sacramento Bee. Yolo County leads the Sacramento area in the number of people at least partially vaccinated. 

In addition to the campus vaccination site, UC Davis Health, Kaiser Permanente and pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid also offer the vaccine in Yolo County.

However, due to a vaccine shortage on the UC Davis campus, eligible student workers on campus have been encouraged to get their vaccine anywhere they can. According to campus officials, the demand for the vaccine far exceeds its supply. 

The university also recently moved its scheduling program to My Turn, a website used by the state for public vaccination scheduling.

Universities including UC Davis are working to gauge whether the vaccine should be mandatory for incoming and current students as they plan for in-person instruction this fall.

Universities including Cornell, Rutgers, Brown and Fort Lewis College have made the COVID-19 vaccine a requirement for students planning to return for in-person classes in the fall.

UC Davis has not yet decided whether the vaccine will be mandatory for incoming or current students, according to Dana Topousis, the chief marketing and communications officer at the university. None of the other UC campuses have made it a requirement at this time, according to Topousis. She indicated that a potential vaccine mandate is a matter for the University of California Office of the President (UCOP).

“Whatever they decide will set the policy for all 10 UC campuses, including ours, of course,” Topousis said via email. “I know there are discussions happening at the UC about this, but I don’t know when they’ll make a decision.”

According to Jennifer Butler, the university’s director of student affairs marketing and communications, UC Davis does not know what proportion of its student body has already been vaccinated.

“We have just begun this data collection process and do not have any numbers to share at this time,” Butler said via email. “It is also important to note that providing vaccination information to campus is not required at this time, so for the people who have been vaccinated, some of them may opt to not enter the information into Health-e-Messaging.” 

UC Davis is encouraging students to report their vaccination as they would any other illness.

“Vaccine status is critical to public health mitigation measures and best practices for the pandemic—for example, at our own university, knowing the vaccination status of our community will play an increasingly important part in our decision-making as we head toward fall and a return to in-person instruction,” wrote Chancellor Gary May in a March 29 update. 

The university anticipates that employees and students will want to have their vaccination status readily available in the future, according to the update.

“We are administering around 300 vaccines a day at our Vaccine Clinic at the ARC Ballroom,” said Margaret Trout, the executive director of student health and counseling services, via email. “We are excited that all students will be eligible for vaccination starting April 15 and encourage folks to check out My Turn for scheduling with us and other California locations.” 

Written by: Rebecca Bihn-Wallace — campus@theaggie.org