Sac State begins administering COVID-19 vaccines to students on campus

COVID-19 vaccine mandate under consideration by the CSU system

Madelaine Church

Gerardo Zavala

The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that arrived at Sacramento State went to nursing students, healthcare staff and members of the community 65 years or older. Now, four months later and with one-fifth of the nation’s population fully vaccinated, Sac State has started vaccinating all students. 

Sac State sent out an email Tuesday with three available days this week for students to sign up for a dose of the Pfizer vaccine. However, only 20 to 30 students were able to sign up for Wednesday due to the shortage of vaccines caused by the temporary suspension of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, according to Vice President of Student Affairs Ed Mills. 

Abigail Bussey, 21, is a nursing student at Sac State and has been distributing COVID-19 vaccines this semester. 

“Just seeing the people’s excitement when you’re giving them their vaccination,” Bussey began. “You can just tell people are ready for this and they’re really excited.”

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccinations for Sac State students begins on campus Wednesday

Open appointments for Thursday and Friday were not impacted by the shortage, according to Mills. 

“There were many sites around the area that were not able to accommodate the appointments that they had, so many of those individuals were sent out here,” Mills said. 

Rosemary David, 21, is a liberal studies major at Sac State and was among the first students to get the vaccine on campus Thursday. 

“I was excited about it because I didn’t think I would get the opportunity this early,” David said. “I was looking into other places, but once I heard we’d be getting the opportunity, I signed up.”

Noah Ramos, 20, is a health science major at Sac State. He said it felt good being able to get the vaccine since he has been trying to get one at other clinics. 

“I was luckily on my phone at the time I got the email, so it was pretty fast,” Ramos said. 

RELATED: Sac State will not require COVID-19 vaccine — student, faculty react

Mills said that incoming students will be able to get vaccinated starting this summer. Orientation will still be virtual this summer. 

Mills said although students are now able to get the vaccine, Sac State will not be requiring students be vaccinated to come on campus next semester. 

“The vaccine continues to be highly encouraged,” Mills said. “The decision to require the vaccine is being considered right now throughout the whole CSU system.” 

Sac State President Robert Nelsen said during Congresswoman Doris Matsui’s visit to the vaccination clinic on Feb. 16 that Sac State is currently not requiring the vaccine for students to be able to come back on campus because the vaccines cannot be legally mandated until it is no longer under emergency use and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration

Emergency use authorization allows medical measures such as vaccines to be used before they normally would be authorized during public health crises, according to the FDA.

David and Ramos both believe students should be able to come back on campus next semester if they have not gotten the vaccine as long as they use masks and follow COVID-19 precautions. 

“As long there are precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing, it should be fine,” David said. “Ultimately, it’s up to the person if they want to get it.”

New vaccination appointments for next week will be available for students this weekend, according to Mills.