COVID-19 Vaccinations Come to UPC

Medical assistant Guadalupe Felix, left gives dental student Ana Rubiolo her first COVID-19 vaccination, January 11, 2021. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

by Jeremy Pepper

With more than 4,500 COVID-19 vaccinations completed at the Health Sciences Campus, the USC vaccinations at the University Park Campus began for faculty, staff, and students (Phase 1A) on Monday, January 11, 2021.

As part of the 1A phase of the vaccination roll-out, health professional students, faculty and staff who are in direct contact with patients or collected specimens have been invited to sign-up for their vaccinations at the Lyons Center. Those in the 1A phase include faculty, staff and students of the Keck School of Medicine, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, and the USC School of Pharmacy.

The dental faculty, students, and staff were also invited as the first group to be vaccinated at UPC. Dean Avishai Sadan and Associate Dean Douglas Solow were on hand to support their students as they were vaccinated. The Ostrow School not only were the patients in the vaccine rollout, they were also actively assisting, sending dozens of D.D.S. students to volunteer in preparing the vaccines in the USC Student Health immunization clinic and assisting at the vaccine site.

Employee Kim Luhen, receives the first COVID-19 vaccine as part of the University Park Campus (UPC) vaccination program. Luhen is hopeful that “this is the start of the end of the pandemic, and I really want to be a part of that.” She hopes vaccinations across the country will allow travel again, including family visits to see her new 4-month-old daughter, Mia.

“USC is actively vaccinating in 1A on both campuses, and once we have permission to move to 1B by the County, we are ready to do that as well,” noted Dr. Sarah Van Orman, chief health officer of USC Student Health. “Our direct health care providers – the students, faculty and staff – is about 9,000 people in 1A and we are working to get those people their vaccinations,” added Dr. Van Orman.