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Sunday, September 19, 2021

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Pfizer Vaccine Now Available to SDSU Community

Students, faculty and staff are now able to access all three available COVID-19 vaccines while on campus.
By SDSU News Team
 

San Diego State University is expanding its on-campus COVID-19 vaccine access to students, faculty and staff with the availability of the Pfizer vaccine. 

On Tuesday, July 20, Student Health Services will begin offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to members of the university’s community, who can still also access the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on campus. 

“The addition of the Pfizer vaccine was a key priority for us to better serve our campus community, especially as we are preparing for an in-person fall,” said Libby Skiles, the director of Student Health Services. “Our priority is to ensure a majority of students, faculty and staff get vaccinated before the first day of instruction, and we are well on that path.” 

This is what students, faculty and staff should know: 
  • To schedule an appointment to receive the Pfizer or the two other COVID-19 vaccines at Student Health Services, sign in through HealtheConnect, the secure online health portal.
  • Appointments are available for all three vaccines each day, Monday through Friday, for services at the Calpulli Center, conveniently located on campus.  
  • SDSU Imperial Valley students, faculty and staff visiting San Diego are able to schedule an appointment and get vaccinated at Student Health Services. 
  • SDSU’s international students, who will begin arriving in San Diego later this month, will also be able to receive a Pfizer vaccine on campus. 
  • No matter where the vaccination occurs, faculty and staff are encouraged to fill out the university’s self-attestation form; students should submit their vaccination records as soon as possible via HealtheConnect
  • SDSU also recently shared an updated facial covering policy for all those who will be on campus this fall, and for any reason — whether it be for work, classes, campus events, meetings or any other activities. The policy allows individuals who are vaccinated and show a record of their vaccine to go unmasked in most campus settings. 
As the California State University system and University of California shared in a joint announcement on April 22, students, faculty and staff will be required to have a COVID-19 vaccine to be able to access campus facilities this fall. Details on the requirement, which SDSU will be adhering to, can be found on the CSU website.

Student Health Services has been offering the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines since February 2021, and the team has provided more than 2,100 vaccines to the SDSU community since. 

By expanding to now offer all three COVID-19 vaccines that have Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, the Student Health Services team is continuing with efforts to vaccinate students, faculty, and staff before the upcoming academic year commences.
 
“Our partners at San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency were primarily offering Pfizer at the Viejas Arena site, and we knew many of our community members had received their first dose there and would benefit from being able to conveniently access their second dose here on campus,” Skiles said. 

The Viejas Arena site closed on June 30 after providing more than 32,000 vaccines to San Diego County residents.
 
The addition of the Pfizer vaccine comes after SDSU pledged participation in the White House COVID-19 College Challenge, one aimed at helping to end the pandemic. 

Participating colleges commit to three actions: engaging every student, faculty and staff member; organize campus communities around vaccine efforts; and deliver vaccine access for all.

SDSU has introduced a number of other efforts to increase vaccine awareness and to encourage that students, faculty and staff get vaccinated, including the following: 
  • Launched the Doing Our Part awareness campaign and sustaining ongoing efforts to share information through meetings, training sessions, email communications, video content and SDSU social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In addition to providing direction about ways to get vaccinated, the university has shared information about vaccine efficacy and addressed misinformation.  
  • Incentivized students with gift cards during a week-long campaign during the first week in June when they showed proof of getting vaccinated. 
  • Running monthly drawings to provide students with $50 gifts when they upload their vaccine records to HealtheConnect.
“Getting vaccinated remains safe and free, and is increasingly accessible,” said Skiles, one of those managing the vaccine effort at SDSU in partnership with the county. 

“We also are seeing greater access to provide vaccines through general care, allowing people to more readily access the vaccine through their primary care physicians,” Skiles said. “These are among the many signals that pandemic conditions are not only changing, but that the pandemic is becoming far more controlled.”