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In the interest of protecting front-line healthcare employees, UCR’s Student Health Services (SHS) received a 100 dose shipment of the Moderna vaccine via Riverside County. According to William Rall, senior administrative officer of SHS, administration of the vaccine began on Wednesday, Jan. 6. 

The California Department of Public Health’s vaccination plan prioritizes healthcare workers who operate in direct contact with COVID-19, and especially in those areas of the state that are highly impacted, like all counties in the southern region. Because of this, as well as the help of colleagues, Rall informed The Highlander that the process of applying and receiving the vital vaccine was thankfully straightforward. 

“It’s important to have this opportunity for front-line essential workers to be protected … The SHS has been open since the campus has been closed. It’s an added barrier of protection,” stated Rall.

UCR Health is also in the midst of receiving vaccinations for their eligible employees. According to Dr. Andres Gonzalez, chief medical officer of UCR Health, their faculty and staff are getting their first doses at either UC Irvine, UC San Diego or at the affiliated hospitals where they work. Vaccination opportunities have also been made available for them through the Riverside County Medical Association

Gonzalez emphasized the importance of vaccine distribution in combating the widespread effects of the virus. “Currently available vaccines have demonstrated efficacy between 94-95% … They are one of the best tools in our fight against COVID-19.”