Update: April 14, 2021 12:50 p.m.
An original version of this article stated that students would be administered COVID-19 vaccinations at Sacramento State beginning Wednesday, April 14, 2021. The State Hornet has since learned appointments for students to be vaccinated have been limited Wednesday due to needed assistance from Sacramento County for the university’s vaccination site after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was temporarily suspended for use. We have updated this article to reflect that information.
Sacramento State students have begun to receive email invitations to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at the university’s vaccination site in the University Union, according to Sac State officials.
Vaccination invitations will be delivered to students’ Sac State emails. Students whose addresses listed in their Student Center are located in Sacramento County will be the first group to receive an invitation from Sac State, according to an email from Sac State public information officer Anita Fitzhugh.
Story continues below the map.
The vaccination site is located in the Brown Bag room in the University Union building at Sac State. Although an option for appointments on Wednesday were provided in the immediate email invitations to students, the appointments for that date were all booked before the email invitation went out to students, according to Pharmacist in Charge Janet Dumonchelle.
“Sacramento County needed our assistance with a group of appointments that were canceled due to the J&J vaccine being temporarily suspended for use,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Ed Mills. “Accommodating those appointments limited the number of appointments available for students today.”
On Tuesday, the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was temporarily suspended for use in the U.S. after rare blood clots were reported in six recipients. According to a joint statement by the CDC and FDA, “these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”
More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S. as of April 12, the federal health agencies said.
Open appointments for April 15-16 will not be affected, according to Mills.
“At some point, we are going to be transitioning to the ‘My turn’ system for California Blue Shield, but that won’t happen for another week or maybe two,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Ed Mills. “And so at the moment, we are continuing to send out the direct invitations the way we did to faculty and staff.”
“My turn” is the California Department of Public Health’s system to vaccinate California residents. The system is designed to inform residents when they are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and where they can get vaccinated.
According to Fitzhugh, invitations to students living outside of Sacramento County will be delivered each week as quickly as possible. She said students who wish to be vaccinated at Sac State sooner but live outside of Sacramento County may fill out a short survey to be registered.
“Let’s say there’s somebody living in Vacaville that really wants to be vaccinated faster, they can respond to that survey, and I’ll also be using that survey to try to get invitations out,” Mills said.
According to Mills, Sac State’s vaccination supply will remain in the same quantity as before. Sac State will also continue to distribute the Pfizer vaccine for all future appointments.
“Pfizer has been pretty stable for us, so we’re expecting to continue to receive the same amount every week, but we do recognize that the supply to the state could change,” Mills said. “If it does, then we’ll have to reach out and tell everybody right away. I’m hoping that does not happen, and that we just keep moving forward.”
As of now, it is unclear if Sac State will mandate that Sac State students and faculty returning to campus in fall 2021 receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Right now, that’s something that’s still being discussed in under consideration if that could happen, and if so which groups? Or how would it work?” Mills said. “There isn’t a decision on that, but it is something that I know that President Nelsen is engaged in right now.”
Mills added Sac State President Robert Nelsen is working with his colleagues, the presidents at the other CSU campuses and Sac State’s system staff at the chancellor’s office to consider a COVID-19 vaccination mandate. He said Nelsen or CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro will make some decisions soon.