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Cerritos College Will Use Facilities to Distribute Vaccine


Cerritos College will be one of LA County’s vaccine distribution sites. The campus has large parking lots which may be convenient for drive-thru administration of the vaccine.

Jacqueline Cochran, Talon Marks

“If all of the logistical issues can be worked out with the county, distribution of the vaccine on campus could begin as early as next week,” said Dr. Fierro, Cerritos College President.

State and county officials compiled a list of person will receive the vaccination in order based on a set of criteria. According to LA County Public Health, educational institutions fall in the second phase, phase 1B tier one.

“Just as important as how we will help serve the community, we are also on the list to hopefully distribute the vaccine to our own staff and personnel,” Fierro said.

“Which vaccine we get, Pfizer or Moderna, depends on availability and other shipping and storage factors,” said Dr. Hillary Mennella, licensed Nurse practitioner and Associate Dean of Student Health.

“College faculty and staff are lower on the list to receive the vaccine, unless of course they meet some of the other specific criteria such as pre-existing health conditions.

Those employees would have the option of registering to receive the vaccine on campus as they would from any other center,” said Fierro.

“It would be conducted by us for our people on a much smaller scale of course. If we get the approval, we are hoping to have that available sometime in February,” Fierro said.

The amount of people infected with COVID-19 continue to increase daily. Its affects are widespread from individuals, the economy and the way we conduct everyday business. Educational institutions are no exception.

“Even with the vaccination, I don’t think we will be back on campus until Spring 2022. Perhaps there can be a soft return in the Fall 2021.

“It’s something we would have to look at and determine who would come back and how many. But with the soft opening, it would still have to include social distancing, masks and sanitation,” Fierro said.

“The vaccine may not eliminate the virus altogether. Some experts have stated that it would need to be about 75% of the population vaccinated to reach herd immunity levels.

“I’m not sure that’s accurate or how they reached that number, but we have to do as much as we can to get through this stage,” Fierro said.

The on-campus vaccination distribution center would be a drive-thru much like other LA County centers. “This is the part we are trying to work out, we are open and willing to have it here but the county requires certain protocols be met for distribution.

“Right now they are considering using Parking Lot 10. Although it’s a decent amount of space, it may not be enough for what they require. There has to be an area after the vaccine has been issued where the vehicles can wait the required 30 minute time frame.

“The officials would need to check patients to make sure the vaccine did not have any adverse effects, that might prevent driving or that would create some type of incidents while driving,” said Fierro.

“The other location option up for consideration is Lot 1. Lot 1 has other considerations that make it a good spot, like the ease of entering from Alondra Blvd.,” said Fierro.

“Cerritos is centrally located to the 91 and 605 freeways, making this a great location for the surrounding communities.

I often feel as though this community and the communities surrounding the college are often unserved by the county as a whole. But we will help fill in this gap and provide an opportunity for those who want the vaccine to receive it,” Fierro said.

For further information about the vaccine and distribution lists click on this link LA County Public Health.