Anna Harte, medical director of University Health Services and Guy Nicolette, assistant vice chancellor of University Health Services, issued the following message on Tuesday:
We write to provide an update on our campus COVID-19 vaccination plan. The first shipment of vaccine arrived at University Health Services today and we are ready and very excited to start vaccinations at clinics on Thursday and Friday at the Tang Center.
UC Berkeley receives its vaccine directly from the California Department of Health, through the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) Office of Emergency Management. As such, our 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. All vaccine allocation prioritization in the state is based on California’s Three Phased Planning Approach, which in turn, is based on CDC/ACIP (Center for Disease Control and Prevention/ Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) Guidance.
With our first vaccine shipment of the Moderna vaccine, we hope to be able to vaccinate all Phase 1a UC Berkeley staff, students, and faculty who are interested within the next two weeks.
We are also continuing our planning and preparation for Phase 1b, which is expected to include many more frontline staff at high risk of exposure as well as UC Berkeley faculty, staff, students, and emeriti ages 65 and over.
Campus individuals will be contacted and offered vaccination as supply becomes available, according to the priority groups within the UC Berkeley and UCOP Plan, still in development for Phase 1b. If and when you are identified as eligible for the vaccine, you will receive email instructions on how to make an appointment for a vaccination with UHS at the Tang Center.
We are asking that department managers and supervisors review our draft Phase 1a and 1b as well as the California Phase Guidelines by Tuesday, Jan. 19, and to let UHS know by submitting this form if you believe you have staff whose roles make them eligible for either of these phases (age will be considered separately). We will consider all input carefully and may reach out for further information.
We are committed to offering the vaccine to all members of the UC Berkeley community as soon as possible, however, the details remain fluid as the vaccine (both type and quantity) is allocated to us from UCOP on a rolling basis one week at a time, vaccine supplies are limited, and prioritization guidance and requirements continue to evolve. Our vaccine webpage will be updated regularly as we get more information and details about our vaccine allotment.
In the meantime, COVID-19 cases continue to surge in California and across the country, and ICU (intensive care unit) capacity in the Bay Area is now less than 1%. Now more than ever, we need to continue to follow all public health guidelines, including most importantly limiting gathering with people outside your household, wearing face coverings, and maintaining 6 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.
Knowing how challenging the last year has been, the arrival of the vaccine to our campus brings hope after this long pandemic journey.