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LMU rolls out COVID vaccinations for its students

LMU rolls out COVID vaccinations for its students

The LMU Vaccination Center has now opened appointment time slots for LMU undergraduate and graduate students to receive vaccinations. On April 15, the California Department of Public Health will open vaccine eligibility to all adults 18+, marking the first day that LMU students may receive their initial dose at the vaccination clinic. 

“We have been established as a vaccine clinic for L.A. County…so they are working with us every day,” said Erin Bossen, Senior Director of Public and Media Relations at LMU. “I have my fingers crossed that those doses will increase as we get closer to summer and get closer to welcoming students back to campus which is our goal.” 

Registration for appointments is on a first-come, first-serve basis and once full, students will be added to a standby list following vaccine availability. The appointments will be available on April 15 and April 22 and students may return for the second dose on May 13 or May 20 accordingly after the 28-day waiting period between doses. 

The vaccine cannot be taken if any flu-like symptoms are present as it can weaken the efficacy of the vaccine dose’s elicited immune response. LMU has also coordinated a survey for students to measure the level of interest in receiving the vaccine to plan accordingly for vaccine distribution from L.A County. The deadline to complete the vaccine survey is April 7 at 5 pm. 

As L.A. County begins the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, LMU has opened an on-campus vaccination center to streamline the process for staff, faculty, and students as vaccine doses become increasingly available. 

The University received approval from The California Department of Public Health on March 1 to open the vaccination clinic located in the Burns Recreational Center’s basketball court, alongside the COVID-19 testing center. 

Faculty and staff were among the first to receive the vaccine in the clinic upon its official opening and are encouraged to receive the vaccine at other locations if they are eligible.  

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for government systems states that non-imunocompromised college students without specific preexisting conditions are to be included in Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. 

State public health officials determine when to proceed with the next phases based on vaccine availability, which determines student eligibility. Presently, students who are eligible will receive an email invitation to sign up for a vaccination appointment based on their standing according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health. 

The first students eligible are those requiring campus access for instruction or approved visitation, those with high exposure risk related to campus activity, and/or those with on-campus residency. 

“I can not wait to get it,” said Gordon Duddy, a junior attending LMU. “I think that it’s morally imperative for everyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine to protect those that can’t be vaccinated.” 

The clinic is also opening as part of a partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to administer vaccines for others included in the education sector, such as K-12 Catholic school teachers and staff. 

Vaccines allotted for the clinic’s use are in conjunction with the archdiocese, restricting availability to the LMU community due to limited dosages supplied by L.A. County. 

“LMU is pleased to provide this service to our local teachers, and help fast-track their return to the classroom,” said Christina Gustafson, communications manager for Public Safety. “Administrators continue to work with the state and county to obtain greater quantities of vaccine doses to help expand the service to more members of the LMU community.”

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On March 1, Phase 1B in L.A. County began with vaccine availability for California residents over the age of 65 and the education sector. All teachers in the country are now eligible to receive the vaccine as well. 

L.A. County is providing doses to LMU based on availability, presently the Moderna vaccine is being distributed for staff, faculty, and student worker distribution. LMU recommends anyone eligible to receive the vaccine schedule an appointment with to receive the first dose. 

On Jan. 18, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, projected otherwise healthy college students to receive the vaccine around May. This update comes after Fauci’s prior timeline projection of April. 

“The Johnson &Johnson vaccine… will not have significant quantities until likely May and June so I have to modify that estimate,” said Fauci during a community conversation with William & Mary University. 

Governor Gavin Newsom announced that L.A. County has already begun Phase 1A of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, prioritizing healthcare workers with exposure risks to the virus, patients, and/or infectious materials. Included in this phase are LMU healthcare workers who have already begun the vaccination process.

“I’m very proud of LMU for stepping up to be a vaccination center,” said Duddy. “If they can actually pull it off, I can absolutely see our return in the fall.” 

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