Vaccines now eligible to CSUMB faculty

Battling the high demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, the Monterey County Health Department made progress in flattening the curve when announcing certain locals aged 65 or older are now eligible to schedule an appointment to receive their round of the vaccine. 

These individuals included agricultural workers, education and childcare workers, emergency service workers and those with high levels of need in the age range of 65 or above. The Monterey County Health Department also said all education and childcare workers, regardless of their age, can schedule vaccination appointments starting on March 3. 

The announcement benefits employees of California State University, Monterey Bay CSUMB), who can now receive the mRNA vaccine if they choose to do so.

CSUMB’s campus communication department sent all the university’s employees an email relaying the announcement as requested by the Monterey County Health Department on Feb. 12. According to the department’s website, this puts the county in Phase 1B of its current vaccination schedule and roughly 54,000 vaccines have been shipped to medical facilities in the area.

The CSUMB email disclosed that for one to schedule a vaccination appointment, that individual must live in a zip code that resides in North County, Peninsula and Big Sur, Salinas or South county as well as meet the age and industry requirements. 

“CSUMB works with the Monterey County Health Department to communicate vaccine phase progression and promote their website,” said Public Information Officer of CSUMB Walter Ryce. “The decisions related to the phased approach and vaccine availability are outside of the control of CSUMB.”

As CSUMB’s next semester is set to run in-person, community accessibility to the mRNA vaccine is indeed a plus. The faculty, staff and students who will potentially return to campus in Fall 2021 may feel comforted knowing the two organizations have a healthy partnership. 

During CSUMB’s most recent staff and faculty town hall meeting, the university’s President Eduardo Ochoa announced he has received the first round of the vaccine. He also wrote in an email sent to CSUMB faculty and staff that “most university employees presently performing duties in remote modality should continue this practice and expect a repopulation date no earlier than Aug. 1, 2021” with only select employees returning sooner to prepare for the return of students. 

To address concerns about the anticipated return to in-person classes, Ryce said the university invites all students to attend President Ochoa’s office hours on March 2 at 12:30 p.m on Zoom and Facebook “where they may learn more about the university’s Fall 2021 semester plans.”

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