Craig Haukom, a Firefighter/Paramedic from the Barona Fire Department, administers a COVID-19 vaccine during the San Diego County Operation Collaboration event at the Palomar College Fallbrook Education Center on Friday, March 12.
San Marcos, CA (March, 2021) — Palomar College joined with the leaders of the 10 community colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties in issuing a statement urging their employees and students to get a vaccination protecting them against COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible.
The colleges, which serve more than 200,000 students in the two-county area, have been offering mostly online learning for the 2020-21 academic year because of the pandemic. Only a limited number of classes and labs that train essential workers have been offered at the college campuses.
“Widespread vaccinations will allow our colleges to start reopening our campuses this fall and to continue to offer the top-quality education that our students want and deserve,” says the statement, which was endorsed by leaders of the Palomar, Grossmont-Cuyamaca, Imperial, MiraCosta, San Diego and Southwestern college districts.
San Diego County opened vaccinations to educators, which includes employees at community college districts, beginning February 27. Educators in Imperial County were eligible for vaccinations on February 22.
The statement notes that the Centers for Disease Control has found that the vaccines are safe and the most effective way to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The three vaccines now available met the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality, and are undergoing an intensive safety monitoring.
“We are eager to begin safely returning to our campuses this fall so that we can welcome back our students and offer them a full range of in-person services,” said Lynn Neault, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and president of the San Diego & Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA).
The full statement can be found on the SDICCCA website. SDICCCA is a consortium between six community college districts in San Diego and Imperial counties.