Update on COVID-19 vaccination distribution

To: UC Santa Cruz faculty and staff

From: Sarah Latham, Vice Chancellor, Business Administrative Services

COVID-19 vaccine planning continues to be a concentrated focus for our campus. This message updates where we are with campus vaccinations and also provides the latest information we have on the rapidly changing framework and vaccine-distribution model that the state of California is implementing.

As of Feb. 12, our campus has provided first-dose COVID-19 vaccinations to 600 individuals. Approximately 200 of those people (primarily our health-care workers, who are in what the state refers to as the Phase 1A category) have received a second dose. We will be vaccinating another 200 individuals this Friday, bringing the total number of those who have received first doses from campus to 800.

As you can see in the table below, we have now reached the point where we have opened up appointments for all onsite employees in Group 3. If you are in this category, you should have received an emailed vaccination appointment invitation from Student Health Services to your UC Santa Cruz account. The email contains all of the information you need to make your appointment. Appointment times have filled quickly. As not everyone who is invited to receive a vaccine chooses to get one, and some get them through another provider, the number of invites must be larger than the number of appointment slots. While we understand that there are not enough slots to accommodate all eligible Phase IB Group 3 employees at this time, we will add slots based on the number of doses we receive. As we shared in our prior vaccine updates, the number of campus affiliates who fall into Groups 1-3 in the table below is more than 2,000. Please continue to monitor the online appointment system for available openings. Our Student Health Center team members are working diligently to support our campus community.

CA vaccine distribution phases
California Covid-19 vaccine distribution phases

As stated at our COVID-19 information forum on Friday, Feb. 12, a video of which is available online, the state guidelines related to vaccine eligibility and distribution processes continue to change. Since Friday, the state has rolled out additional changes to its vaccination framework by incorporating a series of health-related factors into the eligibility considerations. The state has also released more details on the third-party administrator, by posting the Blue Shield contract online. Blue Shield will manage vaccine distribution for the state moving forward.

As the state distribution model is implemented through this arrangement with Blue Shield, the role that UC Santa Cruz plays as a vaccine clinic for our own population will change. More information will be shared as details become available.

In the meantime, and contingent upon our ability to receive doses for allocation, we continue to provide vaccines through our campus clinic to the members of our campus community who meet the state and UC Office of the President eligibility criteria. Though we originally anticipated receiving 200 doses each week for the next two weeks, changes to state distribution guidelines now make that uncertain. Looking further out, we are not sure whether we will remain an eligible vaccination site or what our dose allocation will be.

Though we are optimistic as more vaccines enter the supply chain in our state, we recognize that the continual modifications in eligibility criteria and distribution process can cause uncertainty, concern and stress. We continue to encourage everyone to get the vaccine through the earliest option provided to you through community clinics. All of these clinics still can be impacted by dose shortages, including issues arising this week due to the inclement weather across the country. You can use the state’s MyTurn application to check your vaccine eligibility. If you are in Santa Cruz County, you can access the county’s vaccine webpage for additional information on local options for vaccine clinics.

Thank you for your continued patience as we all navigate the rapidly changing vaccination landscape in our state and community. You can find additional information on our vaccine distribution at the Student Health Center COVID-19 vaccine website.