BREAKING: Cal State LA chosen as a COVID-19 vaccination site

Joshua Letona and Mia Alva

As part of President Biden’s first 100-day plan to vaccinate 100 million people, Cal State LA will become a vaccination site.

News that the campus was working to become a vaccination site came in late January. Just two weeks later, the university’s role became official at a White House COVID-19 briefing and in an email from campus provost, Jose Gomez, Wednesday morning.

“This development reflects our deep and longstanding involvement and collaboration with the communities we serve. We recognize that our students and alumni live in communities with some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates per capita,” said Gomez.

In an email response from Cal State LA spokesperson Robert Lopez, he said that Cal State LA is one of two new community vaccination centers in California. The other site would be in East Oakland, up north.

Lopez added that the federal and state governments are looking to open centers starting Feb. 16. Those eligible for the vaccine will be able to register on the “state’s MyTurn scheduling system in the upcoming days,” according to Lopez.

The site is positive news for the local and campus community, Associated Student Inc. President Diana Chavez pointed out.

She noted the benefits of Cal State LA’s accessibility through public transportation for those over the age of 65 or live in East Los Angeles. The campus itself has several bus stops and a train at the South end.

Chavez said she hopes to lead by example not just for the student body, but also her family by getting the vaccine when it becomes available to her.

“I’m sure everyone is worried or scared about the vaccination but at the end of the day, it’s all about keeping yourself [and your family] safe. I have an important role on campus and by getting vaccinated, I hope to encourage students that they can get vaccinated as well,” said Chavez.

Chavez added that she would likely be the first to get vaccinated in her immediate family.

For students like Victoria Santana who live on campus, the proximity of the site is more than ideal.

Santana said she went to test twice on campus for the virus, turning out negative both times. Now with the news of the vaccination site, Santana said she’s glad the vaccine will be available just outside her dorm.

“Although I am only a first-year I still find it very honoring that my college will be the first, if not one of the first, to become a COVID-19 vaccine center. I feel like this is what a lot of Americans have been hoping and waiting for,” said Santana.

Despite her fear of needles, she’s also excited to be the first in her family of just her mother and sister to be vaccinated.

Television and film major Joshua Morales is just glad to see more vaccine sites open. For him, this makes the campus lead by example. “We’re gonna need a lot of these vaccination sites so the more the merrier,” said Morales.

He said he plans to take his family the second they can all go.

Second-year student Jazmine Menjivar said she appreciated the fact the campus will now occupy both a testing and vaccine site.

“I think this means that the school is taking this seriously, especially if we want to return students by fall this year and to provide a location for people around the community, which is good,” said Menjivar.

Menjivar said she’s planning to take the vaccine and just wanted to see if the campus would become a site. She hoped other campuses would follow suit.

For Menjivar and her family, they just care about being protected. She added, “We are all tired of all the people who don’t take this seriously – those who don’t believe.”

In the email announcement the provost sent to the campus community, Gomez said the vaccination site was a culmination of months of work with local, state and federal officials. He added that more information will be available in the coming days.