Cal States prepare to administer vaccinations amid surging LA county cases

By Lauren Muttram, Jan. 26, 2021

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Los Angeles County and vaccines become more readily available to the public, the California State University is selecting campuses to be utilized as potential vaccination distribution centers.

Cal Poly Pomona’s Safer Return Task Force announced via a campus-wide email that the campus had petitioned the California Office of Emergency Services to serve as a vaccination distribution site.

In an emailed statement, Kaiser Permanente told The Poly Post they are looking at many locations to safely distribute as many vaccinations as possible, including the CPP campus.

“Cal Poly Pomona is one location identified as a potential mass vaccination site. We are committed to sharing information broadly about these sites as more information is available,” according to the statement.

With more than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in LA as of Jan. 22, CPP hopes to join the additional 190 vaccination distribution centers in the county to administer vaccinations to residents.

“There’s a real national and statewide effort to get our communities vaccinated and understand the seriousness of being able to administer all these vaccines,” said Francis Teves, assistant vice president for the Office of Government and External Affairs and lead of the Safer Return Task Force.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated that 85% of the country must be vaccinated in order to contain the virus.

“We are working in a good faith effort with a local health provider to set up a vaccination center on our campus,” said Teves who could not disclose any details regarding the vaccination proposal at this time.

Both Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Northridge are among the previously approved CSU educational institutions in LA County that will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccination shipments in the coming weeks.

In an email from CSLB sent Jan. 21, the university confirmed it will be administering the Moderna vaccination to faculty, staff and students by appointment only. The vaccination will be administered in two doses spread over a time period of 28 days.

ASI Attorney General Matthew Jacobson expressed his worries for the rising number of cases in LA County but is enthusiastic about the CPP’s petition.

“I think it just speaks to Cal Poly’s want and responsibility to try and help the community — to
try and help us get through the pandemic,” said Jacobson.


On Monday, Jan. 26, Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted California stay-at-home orders. According to the Associated Press, Southern California ICU capacity is 0% and is urged to continue social distancing.

As of Jan. 25, the California Department of Public Health reported 27,007 new cases — increasing the state’s total to more than 3 million.

According to LA paramedic and CPP alum Matthew Schafer (’20, economics), first responders
have seen hospital wait times of between 10 to 15 hours in low-income areas and underfunded

With increasing cases, hospitals all over the county are at max capacity and risking overflow. In
hopes of preserving much-needed resources like ambulances, oxygen and hospital beds, LA
County EMS crews have been instructed not to transport patients with no expectation of

With the new protocol, some people are apprehensive of the impact this will have on
healthcare. Schafer explained this protocol has been followed for years in the field, only
recently being written as an official procedure.

“It’s the same thing we’ve been doing in the field for the last 20 years. It’s just written on paper
now,” said Schafer.

Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center believe the increase in cases may be caused by a
new strain of the virus — termed CAL.20C — that has been found in more than one-third of
reported COVID cases in LA County. Researchers have not determined if the new strain is more
contagious than current forms.

As of Thursday morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported California has
administered more than 1.6 million doses of the over 3.2 million vaccinations received from the
federal government.

Per every 100,000 people, 4,135 Californians are vaccinated —one of the
lowest averages in the country. At the current distribution rate and the state shortage of vaccines, vaccinations would not be completed until June 2022.

The United States

Fresh into his presidency, President Joe Biden signed new executive orders and directives
aiming to increase testing efforts, produce COVID-19 testing and vaccination supplies and
mandate masks during interstate travel.

According to the Biden administration, there are 12 “immediate supply shortfalls” including
masks, gowns, swabs and other forms of personal protective equipment.

In his Thursday remarks, Biden stated the efforts to increase supplies “will ensure that we get
testing to where it is needed and where it’s needed most, helping schools and businesses
reopen safely and protecting the most vulnerable, like those who live in long-term care

Additionally, President Biden signed an executive order mandating mask-wearing on federal
property, airports, planes, buses and other forms of public transportation. This order is part of
his national plan to combat the coronavirus which has now claimed the lives of over 400,000

Though it is not possible for the president to mandate masks across the nation, Jeff Zients,
Biden’s COVID-19 response coordinator, told CNN “the president will call on governors, public
health officials, mayors, business leaders, and others to implement masking, physical
distancing, and other public measures to control COVID-19.”

Luis Gaytan — a third-year Spanish student minoring in history and philosophy — remains
optimistic about President Biden’s new orders and believe the mask mandate will bring CPP one
step closer to in-person instruction.

“In the end, although we are at great lengths to returning to our normal lives, implementing
this mask mandate will aid the United States in moving towards the right direction. Which is
mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Gaytan.

To determine eligibility status for the COVID-19 vaccine or to schedule an appointment, readers
can visit

With reports by Georgia Valdes.

Feature image courtesy of Sam Moqadam.


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