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Vaccine update

Categories: Health & safety, Vaccine

Dear Stanford community,

We are writing to provide a further update about COVID-19 vaccine availability in the Stanford area.

First, a reminder that those who are age 65 or older, along with health care personnel, are eligible for vaccinations now through many providers. Information and links to sign up for an appointment are on the Vaccinations page of the Health Alerts website. Stanford also has worked with Stanford Health Care to make additional vaccination appointments available for university employees who are 65 or older; those who are eligible will be receiving a separate email with details.

In addition, in recent days our local counties have been announcing plans to expand vaccination eligibility to additional groups, including those in education and child care, food and agriculture, and emergency services, who are part of the State of California’s Phase 1B of eligibility.

Santa Clara County has announced that county residents in those groups will be eligible for vaccination starting Feb. 28; San Mateo County, starting Feb. 22; and San Francisco, starting Feb. 24. Alameda County already has expanded eligibility to these groups.

Many of you may be wondering if you will be eligible for vaccination in this newest phase. Here is the latest we know:

Counties are pointing to state eligibility criteria for who can be vaccinated in Phase 1B. Those state criteria say those who are eligible for vaccination under the “education” category are “persons at risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through their work in any role” in settings that include “staff in colleges, universities, junior colleges, community colleges, and other postsecondary education facilities.”

We don’t have additional information with which to further interpret or clarify the eligibility guidance that the state and counties are providing. Although we hope that the interpretation of higher education eligibility will be broad, to include as many members of the Stanford community as possible, the language above is the clearest we have right now. We can offer these additional points, however:

  • When you are eligible, vaccination appointments are available through health care providers, some pharmacies, and county-run mass-vaccination sites such as Levi’s Stadium. Again, the Vaccinations web page provides links. Please keep in mind that fluctuating vaccine supply affects the availability of appointments.
  • Many of the comments of state and county officials have emphasized the importance of vaccinating the highest-risk members of our population first. At Stanford, our people are engaged in a wide array of different activities, with widely varying levels of COVID-19 risk. When you become eligible, we encourage you to consider your risk level as you consider when to seek a vaccination, to help ensure appointments are available for the most vulnerable.
  • As many of you know, Stanford University is not receiving its own supply of vaccine to administer. However, the vaccine governance committees of Stanford University and Stanford Medicine are assessing how best to support the Stanford community as vaccines become more available. While we encourage you to get vaccinated by whatever provider is most convenient for you when you are eligible, we will be working to see what additional vaccination opportunities may be available for our community specifically, just as we have done in working with Stanford Health Care to secure additional appointments for our employees who are 65+.

We hope this information is helpful. Ongoing updates will continue to be provided at


Russell Furr
Associate Vice Provost
Environmental Health & Safety

Rich Wittman, MD, MPH
Medical Director
Stanford University Occupational Health Center

Rajan Puri, MD, MPH
Director of Strategic Health Initiatives & Innovation
Stanford University Occupational Health Center