SDSU approved to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines starting next week

by Brenden Tuccinardi, Editor in Chief

Eligible San Diego State students, faculty and staff won’t have to go very far to get vaccinated for COVID-19. 

In a University Senate meeting on Tuesday, SDSU President Adela de la Torre announced that the university received approval from the state of California and San Diego County to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the campus community. 

“We have lost too many lives and too many have become ill due to this virus,” de la Torre said. “Getting vaccinated when your time comes will help keep you, your family and your community healthy and safe.”

Student Health Services received 300 doses of the Moderna vaccine and will begin opening up appointments to eligible faculty, staff and students in the coming days. The university has already submitted requests for additional doses. Vaccine eligibility at SDSU will mirror San Diego County’s phases, Student Health Services Director Libby Skiles told the Senate.

Although the university is partnering with San Diego County, SDSU is not a vaccination superstation site, like Petco Park or Cal State San Marcos. Only those within the campus community who are eligible will receive vaccines at SDSU. 

The county is now administering inoculations to individuals in all tiers of Phase 1A (primarily healthcare and essential workers) and residents 65 or older.

SDSU community members 65 or older can expect an email to their official SDSU account within the next 48 hours outlining the scheduling process, a campus-wide email said. 

Looking forward, Phase 1B expands eligibility to residents at risk of exposure to COVID-19 working in the education sector. According to the San Diego County website, this includes institutions of higher education.

Michael Workman, a spokesperson for the county, said that there is no estimate as to when the county would move forward into Tier 1B, only that “we will get to 1B when we get further through 1A.”

The primary obstacle is vaccine supply, he said. According to the county’s vaccine dashboard, more than 525,000 doses of the vaccine have shipped, and 343,470 doses have been administered. 

President de la Torre said the university would not require the COVID-19 vaccine since it’s under emergency use approval. However, according to Skiles, SDSU is planning to continue “non-pharmaceutical interventions” such as facial coverings and surveillance testing to prevent the spread of the virus among populations who choose not to or cannot receive the vaccine when repopulating campus. 

“We realize many of you will continue to have questions and are looking for greater clarity on the phased roll out plan and what that means for you,” de la Torre wrote in a campus wide email sent Tuesday evening. “We are committed to keeping you informed and will share information about our vaccination capacity, prioritization guidance and other requirements as those details become available.”

This story was updated Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. to include information from a campus-wide email.