January 19, 2021
While many of us were enjoying the holiday weekend, members of our UCI Health team were immunizing more than 2,700 patients ages 65 and older at the Bren Events Center — the first set of COVID-19 vaccinations on the UCI campus. The vaccination event was successful by all accounts, and I thank everyone involved for their time, dedication and commitment to excellence. You make us proud.
More than 10,000 vaccines, which includes about 4,000 final second doses, have been administered to our health care heroes at UCI Health since mid-December. Now, our health team is stepping up to help Orange County vaccinate the next tier of eligible residents and workers. The County recently expanded Phase 1A of its vaccination plan to all tiers, extending eligibility to additional categories of critical workers and those 65 years of age and older.
Currently in Orange County, only designated critical workers and those 65 years of age or older, as outlined in the County’s distribution plan, may be vaccinated. Those under the age of 65 who work in education and childcare are in Phase 1B and not yet eligible.
To help expedite vaccine delivery and serve our community, UCI Health began immunizing its patients and UCI employees and emeriti who qualify under the plan. Last week, eligible patients with valid email addresses in their medical records, eligible emeriti, and eligible employees in our payroll system were emailed invitations providing instructions on how to make an on-campus appointment. Vaccinations for eligible members of the UCI community are being delivered by appointment only through a separate UCI reservation system.
It is important to emphasize that demand for the vaccine far exceeds supply, and it will take at least a few weeks before UCI Health will be able to reach a substantially larger portion of our community, in accordance with state and county guidelines. Other counties and cities may have different vaccination schedules, so you may be able to receive the vaccine near your home sooner. Please don’t wait if you qualify elsewhere — we encourage eligible individuals to utilize any available channel to secure a vaccination as soon as possible.
As new vaccines are delivered and the County opens new phases in the weeks ahead, our extraordinary colleagues at UCI Health are committed to doing all they can to quickly and efficiently deliver as many vaccinations as possible to our community. The situation is rapidly evolving so please follow news from the OC Health Agency and our daily COVID updates, check the UCI Forward website, and watch your inbox.
We thank you for your patience and look forward to a brighter future, together.