COVID-19 Vaccines Administered On Campus


Daniel Hernandez

Patients enter the Student Lounge to check in for their vaccine appointments on Jan. 25. Contra Costa Health Services has taken over the Student Lounge, the Student Dining Room and the Fireside Hall to be used as stations for the vaccine clinic.

By Daniel Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief

In the nationwide effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic, Contra Costa County Health Services has teamed up with the District Office to open a vaccination clinic on campus at Contra Costa College.

The clinic opened in January, initially offering vaccines to senior residents and essential workers. In April, California and the county opened vaccine eligibility to anyone over the age of 16, regardless of their work or residence status in the county.

Workers at this site are capable of vaccinating 1,000 people daily, but the latest trends show that only half that number make appointments at CCC daily.

County health services offer the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, but an appointment is required since the clinic receives only a certain number of doses to match the appointments scheduled throughout the week. At the end of each day, extra doses can only be given out to those that have made an appointment.

According to Karl Fischer, spokesperson for the county, most county-operated clinics, including CCC, are open Tuesday through Saturday, with mid-week appointments the busiest. People who choose to get vaccinated through the county can make an appointment at without getting waitlisted.

Those who seek to get vaccinated on campus can expect short lines and waived parking fees. When those with appointments arrive on campus, they wait outdoors in the Campus Center Plaza for their time slot to be called in. They walk into the Student Lounge to check in and receive their ticket for their shot at booths.

Thereafter, patients make their way into the Student Dining Room, which has been staged by the county health services as the site to administer vaccine doses. Patients stand in line for a nurse to call them into a booth. Nurses will confirm with patients that they consent to the vaccine and then administer the dose with a syringe into the arm of the recipient’s choice.

Minors who do seek to get vaccinated must have a parent’s consent to the injection in person or over the phone with a witness. Minors will receive the Pfizer vaccine.

The nurse will then mark the patient’s COVID-19 vaccination record card, provided by the Centers for Disease Control, with information on the time, location, type of vaccine given and appointment for a second dosage.

Vaccine recipients seat themselves for 15 minutes at the designated observation area inside the Fireside Hall on Jan. 25. (Daniel Hernandez)

Vaccine recipients are then instructed to wait at the designated observation site in Fireside Hall after receiving their injection. A nurse will monitor patients for 15 minutes and they are free to leave after those minutes expire.

Getting the shot was a breeze for some recipients.

Mozerrat Ledesma, an 18-year-old Middle College High School student, described her experience as calming because of how friendly the nurse was. While getting injected with her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, she looked away and did not feel anything more than a pinch, she said.

For Ledesma, she took the chance to get vaccinated because many schools and colleges are gearing up to have in-person sessions later this year. She decided it would be good before she attends a cosmetology school after graduating where she will be required to have a hands-on learning experience.

Greg Micklas, a 31-year-old resident of Moraga who recently received his second dose, said, “It’s super quick. They just poke you and then you’re done.” When scheduling his vaccine in April, he took the earliest appointment he could find, which led him to the San Pablo campus.

Micklas originally had hesitation about the vaccine due to its rapid development, but said he took notice of how many were getting vaccinated and went for it.

“I think it is good for all of mankind to get it done so we can get rid of COVID,” he said.

Being close to his parents means a lot, Micklas said, so being able to visit them safely drove him to get vaccinated along with getting to begin travel again and return to his office job in safety.

Despite receiving both doses, Micklas said he will continue to wear a face mask regularly while continuing to return to his normal routine.

Haluy Richardson, a 19-year-old resident of San Pablo, expressed a similar sentiment and found the experience to be calming. She said the comfort of feeling safe and around her family led Richardson to get her vaccine. She came to campus to receive her second dose and was accompanied by her fully-vaccinated grandmother.

A line of patients wait by the drop-off zone for their to turn to get vaccinated on Jan. 25. Since the county opened vaccine eligibility to residents over the age of 16, lines at the CCC clinic have reduced greatly. (Daniel Hernandez)

A substantial number of county residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccine dashboard at offers regularly updated statistics about countywide dosage distribution through population demographics and locations.

As May 5, 1.1 million vaccine doses have been administered, which has surpassed the county’s goal of reaching a million doses by the end of May.

Roughly 53 percent of all county residents have been fully vaccinated, and 71 percent have been partially vaccinated.

Numbers specific to the clinic at CCC were not available.

Fischer expects to see the demand and rush of people seeking the vaccine to slow down in the coming months, signaling that most county residents will be fully vaccinated in the near future.

County health services anticipate that the CCC clinic (and a similar clinic at sister college Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill) will continue to operate for the foreseeable future as they are some of the more important and accessible vaccination centers in the county, Fischer said.

The county operates both appointment-only and no-appointment-needed locations, which can be found at their website —

As for now, the county and the state wait for the number of fully vaccinated individuals to climb in hopes that the figures will be substantial enough to support President Joe Biden’s plan for reopening the country by Independence Day.

Micklas said, “I just think people should get vaccinated. It’s the right thing to do and we shouldn’t bring politics into it. I think that the (process at) Contra Costa College has makes vaccinations super seamless; it’s easy.”