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Seeing the Light

February 11, 2021
Re: Seeing the Light
To: All faculty and staff
Feb. 11, 2021
 
Dear Campus Colleagues,
 
When UC Merced, like most higher education institutions, made the decision to move to remote learning back in April 2020, not many could have predicted how long it would take to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This pandemic has been long and difficult and has caused compounding losses for so many. But in the fall, as scientists astounded all of us with the fastest development of a vaccine in history, the light started to become a little brighter.
 
Now, with UC Merced’s launch of our first vaccine clinic last week and our bold partnership with local agencies and institutions to bring the vaccine to 2,500 of Merced County’s most vulnerable residents, our days are brighter still.
 
As Chief Resilience Officer Andrew Boyd announced in his weekly update last Friday, on our first day of the clinic opening, we were able to vaccinate 90 of our senior and frontline community members. When I visited the clinic on opening morning, there was a palpable buzz of hope and positive energy surging through the amazing staff and volunteers, who were busy at work preparing to receive their first appointments.
 
As we continue to work our way through the state’s vaccination plan, we will attempt to reach as many individuals on campus who want the vaccine, and through our collaboration with Merced County, Dignity Health, UC Health and Merced College, this week we will be working to protect our surrounding community through an off-campus clinic.
 
Director of Medical Education Dr. Thelma Hurd and Staff Physician Dr. Michelle Brinkop have put together a helpful resource to answer our pressing questions about the vaccine and the Do Your Part site continues to provide up-to-date information about the on-campus vaccine clinics and the ongoing asymptomatic testing program.
 
And always remember the University of California motto: Fiat Lux, let there be light.
 
Sincerely,
 
Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.
Chancellor
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