With COVID-19 cases still persisting throughout San Diego, being vaccinated is becoming a requirement for many residents in order to work, shop, or visit a college campus. As of Sept. 8, 78% of San Diego residents ages 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on August 23, 2021. Shortly after, the City of San Diego notified all 11,000 of its employees that a COVID-19 vaccination is required as a “condition of continued employment”, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Nov. 2, 2021, is the deadline to receive both doses of the vaccine, however, the fate of those who remain unvaccinated is still being negotiated by city officials. Employees will also have the option to apply for a medical or religious exemption.
Some businesses are also requiring their customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Urban MO’s Bar & Grill in Hillcrest is one of the first businesses in San Diego to enforce a vaccine policy and the decision was well-supported by the staff and community. Other businesses requiring vaccinations include popular concert venues, the Belly Up Tavern, the Casbah, and the Soda Bar.
Similarly, staff and students working or attending classes on Palomar College Campus will be required to show their proof of vaccination, or submit a medical or religious exemption form by Oct. 11.
Those without a vaccination record must submit to weekly COVID testing. Masks are required indoors, and while in close proximity to others. The same policy is currently in effect for San Diego County employees.
“I think it makes sense,” says Nicole Pocina about the school’s vaccination policy. Pocina was formerly a nursing major and has learned about vaccines and the important role they play in society. She has dual enrollment at both Palomar College and California State University San Marcos and says CSUSM is enforcing a similar policy for students and faculty.
Palomar student Elizabeth Alvarez also feels that the vaccine policy is a good idea because it allows people to return to campus with peace of mind knowing that risks are kept to a minimum. Although Alvares is not currently taking any classes on-site, she enjoys being able to study at the quiet spots around campus.
Free testing will be available at the San Marcos main campus, and at the education centers in Fallbrook, Escondido, and Rancho Bernardo. Detailed instructions on how to submit a vaccination card or an exemption form can be found here. Palomar College will also be hosting public vaccination events. Details and registration links can be found here.