COVID-19 Vaccinations Now Available to Students at RIMAC

CampusCoronavirusNews

Kristina Stahl / The Triton

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UC San Diego announced that students will be eligible to receive their vaccination at the Recreation, Intramural, and Athletic Complex (RIMAC) starting April 15. Students are also invited to participate in the PreventCOVIDU Study aimed to test the Moderna vaccines’ efficiency in college-aged students.

UCSD Health Promotion Services notified students that they can schedule their first dose appointment on MyStudentChart. Alternatively, students can check RIMAC’s self-scheduling tool or visit the CA MyTurn website and the CDC’s VaccineFinder for more availability. The university advises students not to delay scheduling their appointment. 

However, appointment availability is still contingent on vaccine supply. According to the Return to Learn website, UCSD acknowledges that it “does not control allocation of the vaccines.” Only the state and county can make the proper allocations based on CDC guidelines and nationwide vaccine availability.

The California Department of Public Health and County of San Diego initially released vaccinations based on a tiered system. Now, all individuals in California above the age of 16 are eligible.

Director of Medical Services for UCSD’s Student Health Services (SHS), Dr. Stacie San Miguel, reminds students that “the situation [vaccination availability] is very fluid.”

Miguel encourages students to visit the Return to Learn website for updates and more information about the vaccine. If they have specific concerns or questions, students and staff can contact the Return to Learn team directly on the website.

UCSD Student Health and Well-Being also informed via email that students may be eligible to participate in the PreventCOVIDU Study. The purpose of the study is to evaluate if the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine can effectively protect people from SARS-CoV2 infection. More specifically, the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), the group of experts charged to conduct this study, aspires to understand if the vaccine can also prevent transmission of the virus through shedding via the nose and mouth.

This study is being conducted across the nation in 20 universities, including Northwestern University, University of Arizona, Columbia University, and New York University. UCSD is the only UC campus participating.

To partake in the study, students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be between 18-26 years old
  • Live on or near the UCSD campus from now through August 2021
  • Be willing to participate in the UCSD Return to Learn COVID-19 testing program
  • No previous vaccination for COVID-19
  • No positive test result for COVID-19

Participants will be divided into two groups: the first will immediately receive the vaccine,the second will wait four months to be vaccinated. Students are expected to complete daily questionnaires, provide blood samples, undergo daily nasal swabs, and follow their university’s COVID testing program. They will also be asked to identify their “close contacts” who will be invited to enroll in the study and follow similar procedures.

All participants will be compensated, although the “amount varies depending on how long the visit is and procedures that take place.”

Students can visit the study’s website or email the study’s UCSD contact.

UCSD has made plans to return fully in-person for Fall 2021. As many universities across the nation make COVID-19 vaccinations a requirement for the 2021-2022 school year, it remains to be seen when the UC’s proposal to mandate vaccines will become official.

Alba Reyes is a staff writer for The Triton.