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February 9, 2021
The purpose of this weekly newsletter is to provide the campus community with important updates and recent news related to the Return to Learn program. If you have specific questions or would like to submit feedback about the program, please email

In Case You Missed It

UC San Diego Vaccination Information

A new webpage is now available for UC San Diego campus employees about vaccination, including eligibility details, how invitations are distributed and instructions on scheduling an appointment through MyUCSDChart when invited. The new RIMAC vaccination site is primarily serving UC San Diego Health patients and campus employees. Students may be eligible for vaccination based on criteria related to campus employment.

Employees: Pick Up a Free UC San Diego Mask

Campus employees are invited to pick up a complimentary UC San Diego branded mask at the UC San Diego Bookstore weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Masks can be picked up from a Bookstore cashier or outside the store at the Plaza pick-up window. Departments can also send a designee to secure masks for their team. Please bring an employee ID or other form of identification. 

Volunteers Needed for Vaccination Site

Volunteers are needed to help vaccination operations at UC San Diego’s RIMAC site as well as the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station, which is operated in cooperation with San Diego County and the San Diego Padres. Both non-medical professionals and licensed medical professionals are needed. Please note, employees need supervisor approval if volunteering during work hours. Learn more about volunteering.

Student Satisfaction Survey

All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate in this year’s Student Satisfaction Survey. We would like to hear what works well and what needs additional attention in our service areas, including the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All responses are confidential; please check your email for an invitation.

Please note that the Price Center clinic and the Price Center vending machine will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15 in observance of President’s Day.

Upcoming Town Halls

Staff Town Hall

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1:30 p.m.
Join us as campus leaders share updates on the Return to Learn program and address your questions related to campus operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faculty Town Hall | Thursday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m.
Q&A with epidemiologist Natasha Martin about COVID-19 variants
New strains of COVID-19 have been emerging across the globe. Natasha Martin, associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, shares whether current vaccines will still protect, what is unique about these new variants and what the best- and worst-case scenarios are in the months ahead. Read the full Q&A.

Your Questions Answered

Question: I read that the vending machines will soon require individuals to swipe a campus ID in order to pick up a self-administered test kit. If I lost or do not have a campus ID, how do I order a replacement?  
Answer: Yes, students and campus employees will soon be required to swipe their campus ID card when picking up a self-administered test kit from a vending machine. Faculty and staff campus ID cards can be ordered here. Students can order a new campus ID card here.
Question: Who is eligible to receive a vaccine at the new COVID-19 vaccination station located at the Recreation, Intramural and Athletic Complex (RIMAC) at UC San Diego? 
Answer: As we prepare for the next phases of vaccine distribution as allowed by San Diego County, we are using state tiers with additional County restrictions applied, and are reviewing and prioritizing individuals in our campus community using many criteria, including exposure risk, job requirements, and health equity considerations. Based on the County order, the new RIMAC site will initially serve vaccination-eligible UC San Diego Health patients and essential faculty and staff. UC San Diego students may be eligible for vaccination based on criteria related to campus employment. Learn more about the new RIMAC vaccination site.
Question: How do COVID-19 vaccines work? Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccines?
Answer: The mRNA COVID-19 vaccine teaches the body’s cells to make a harmless piece of a “spike protein” found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. Once the protein piece is made and displayed on the cell’s surface, our body’s immune system recognizes that the protein doesn’t belong there and activates an immune response by producing antibodies. Then, if we are exposed to the virus later, our bodies are already prepared to fight it and help prevent us from getting sick.

The COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine that does not use any form of the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine itself cannot give you COVID-19. Learn more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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