San Ysidro Health to provide COVID vaccines for Southwestern College students


CHULA VISTA, Calif. (CNS) – Southwestern College will be collaborating with San Ysidro Health to provide students with free COVID-19 vaccines and other essential health services starting next week, it was announced Wednesday.

Beginning Monday, San Ysidro Health will offer Southwestern College students both COVID-19 vaccines and personal protective equipment, including face masks, to increase student vaccination rates and awareness. Students will also have access to free HIV testing. The goal of the collaboration is to link Southwestern College community members to health and social support services.

“We have often said our top priority is the health and well-being of each Southwestern College community member,” Superintendent/President Mark Sanchez said. “This is a literal example of doing what we can to protect the health and safety of our students. To engage with such an important organization as San Ysidro Health is indicative of the power of partnerships, people and college promise.”

Among those currently identified as having the Delta variant of the coronavirus, the vast majority have not yet been vaccinated. Latinos and other communities of color, who comprise the majority of Southwestern College’s populace, also remain woefully low on vaccination rates, a statement from the college said.

“We are excited to partner with Southwestern College in vaccinating this key demographic of young adults as many have hesitated for several reasons,” said Kevin Mattson, president and CEO of San Ysidro Health. “Having San Ysidro Health medical experts on hand to answer COVID vaccine questions in this well-known, accessible and convenient location while administering our no- cost vaccinations will eliminate many barriers for students.

“This in turn, will allow students, teachers and staff to start the school year protected and healthy and for that we are all grateful,” Mattson said.

San Ysidro Health will provide vaccinations through an on-site clinic. Clinical staff — registered nurses and medical assistants — will administer the vaccines at five stations with the support of Southwestern College’s nursing, paramedic and vocational nursing students.

Students will be offered the choice of either two doses of the Pfizer vaccine shot or one Johnson & Johnson shot, a COVID-19 Prevention Kit and a card demonstrating proof of vaccination.

They will also be offered HIV testing and counseling.

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