As of April 19, Long Beach State has vaccinated thousands students and administered a total of nearly 9,500 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, according to Jeff Cook, associate vice president for strategic communications.
Cook maintained that while “exact data about student participants in the on-campus clinic might take some time,” the university estimates that approximately 2,500 students have received at least one dose from the vaccine site at the Walter Pyramid parking structure.
“We have been encouraging members of the campus community to explore all options for a vaccination, whether at the CSULB clinic or elsewhere,” Cook said.
Third-year geology major Spencer Cooper said he feels CSULB is doing well in its mission to vaccinate staff and students and that the process “was pretty smooth,” especially since he only needed to wait one day after scheduling an appointment.
He hopes that other students will get vaccinated to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Now that most of the elderly are vaccinated, the spread will come from younger people,” Cooper said.
Cooper said he understands “students’ reluctance” to receive the vaccine, something he feels comes from a lack of proper education and understanding. CSULB should have “better messaging from instructors educated in virology and medicine” to improve its distribution process, he said.
“There is a major trust issue with this vaccine, and we need well-articulated information about it to be spread,” Cooper said. “Seeing students with an uneducated, politics-driven understanding of the vaccine is, in some way, a failure of the university.”
Aside from going to campus, CSULB students have also been going to local vaccination sites and facilities for their shots.
“I received my first shot of the vaccine from a nursing home about two weeks ago,” said Isabella Mena, a first-year student with an undecided major. “It didn’t take long for me to get a vaccine either. I only had to wait for about a few days.”
Mena said she is all for getting the vaccine but felt nervous before and during her vaccination appointment.
“I was quite nervous about getting the shot because they had me sit there for 15 minutes,” Mena said, recounting her time at the vaccination site. “And they did that because they wanted to wait and see if something happened to you. And I got nervous because I was thinking, ‘have things happened in the past that made this required to do so?’”
After getting her vaccine, Mena stated that she feels more at ease. Though she didn’t receive hers from CSULB, she said she is glad that the university is offering doses to those who are interested.
“I think it’s really helpful that Cal State Long Beach is providing the vaccine to everyone, especially students,” Mena said. “I know some people who go to other colleges and haven’t received the vaccine because of multiple reasons, so I think it’s really nice of the college to be providing its students with the vaccine without having to go through so many obstacles.”
Vaccination appointments are currently available to members of the Beach community through the campus Single Sign-On page.
Both the California State University and University of California systems have announced their plan to require vaccines for students, faculty and staff returning to in-person learning for the fall 2021 semester. The requirement is dependent on full approval of the vaccines by the Food and Drug Administration as they only have emergency use authorization at this time.
Mena feels that it’s important for all students to receive the vaccine if they are able to so that they can help slow the spread of the virus.
“I know people who are unsure about the vaccine, as well as people who are all for it,” Mena said. “I think it’s very important to receive the vaccine. And not just for you, but for the people around you. I’d also suggest the people who are unsure, like I was about getting the vaccine, to do their own research and just, you know, avoid information about the vaccine from un-credible sources.”
More information about CSULB’s vaccine rollout is available on the university’s website.