UCR vaccinates frontline health care workers for COVID-19

The first on-campus doses were provided to Student Health Services employees

January 13, 2021
Author: Imran Ghori
January 13, 2021

UC Riverside has vaccinated 100 frontline health care workers at Student Health Services for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the first on-campus vaccine distribution.

Student Health Services applied through Riverside County six weeks earlier to inoculate its workers and was notified Jan. 7 that it would receive a shipment of 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine, said William Rall, senior administrative director for the office. 

Vaccine allocation is determined primarily by counties. Under the California Department of Public Health vaccination protocol, employees in contact with patients are a high priority.

The office began vaccinating its employees as soon as the dosages were received, Rall said.

It put together a list of employees, as well as a standby list, so that each unthawed vial containing 10 doses was administered to an available worker. Over the course of the following days, almost all the office’s employees who serve students across a variety of capacities were inoculated.

“It was a big, big deal,” Rall said. “There was a lot of excitement.”

The health office’s employees have continued to work on campus regularly during the pandemic. The vaccinations provide some peace of mind that they can protect themselves and their families from the coronavirus, Rall said.

The vaccine requires a second shot, which will be administered to employees 28 days later.

School of Medicine and UCR Health clinical faculty and frontline staff members are also in the process of being vaccinated. 

UCR Health arranged for faculty and staff members to get vaccinated at UC Irvine and UC San Diego while others have been vaccinated at the affiliated hospitals where they work, including Riverside University Health System, Riverside Community Hospital, and Dignity St. Bernardine Medical Center, said Linda Reimann, chief of staff and assistant dean at the School of Medicine.

In a message to the campus, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said he was pleased that frontline health care workers are receiving vaccinations.

“UCR and UCR Health continue to monitor and manage this extraordinarily difficult challenge and look forward to taking part in the national effort toward recovery,” Wilcox said.