Dean Lairmore's COVID-19 Update - Jan 5, 2021

Dean Michael Lairmore
Dean Michael Lairmore

Veterinary Medicine Community:

We are gratified that the nation’s human health workers have begun to be vaccinated, and I want to update you on what we know regarding vaccination of veterinary health workers.

Vaccine priority recommendations begin with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts. The Phase 1a recommendations included healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities. The Phase 1b recommendations include people classified as frontline essential workers and people aged 75 years and older. Frontline essential workers include firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, and others.

Phase 1C recommendations include people aged 65-74 years, people aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions and other essential workers, such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.

Veterinary health workers are not specifically identified in Phases 1a-c. However, it is the position of our leadership team, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) that veterinary professionals should be included in Phase 1b, and they are advocating for this on the national and state level.

In addition, school administration is working with campus leadership to advocate at the local/regional level for prioritization of veterinary and laboratory workers in vaccine distribution. These workers are providing essential care and laboratory analysis that cannot be conducted remotely, and although they should not be prioritized above others with greater levels of exposure, they should be included with those who have similar levels.

While the speed of development and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines has been unprecedented, the distribution and administration will take more time and we are currently faced with a surge of pandemic infections. While advocacy for prompt vaccination of veterinary professionals is occurring, we ask that you continue to take the utmost precautions to keep yourself healthy and safe, including strict adherence to all workplace safety protocols.

The school will continue to provide updates on vaccinations as we receive important new information. You can also always check for the latest information at the school’s Coronavirus Resources Pages. In addition, for general information on UC Davis coronavirus information and resources, please visit the campus coronavirus information pages.

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