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UC President Michael V. Drake, MD, on the COVID-19 vaccine

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University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D., volunteered on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, to help immunize patients against COVID-19 at a community vaccine hub established by UC San Francisco in San Francisco’s Mission District. The hub is the first of what will become a network of vaccination sites established in a partnership between UC San Francisco, the Latino Task Force and the city of San Francisco to bring vaccines to communities with the highest COVID-19 infection rates yet limited access to health care services.

As part of UC’s ongoing efforts to educate Californians on scientifically-proven public health best practices for preventing COVID-19, Drake recorded a public service announcement encouraging eligible Californians to get vaccinated. In the video, Drake speaks to communities of color in particular who continue to see higher COVID-19 test positivity rates and deaths while sharing information about the vaccine’s efficacy and underscoring the need to immunize for personal protection and the well-being of communities at large.

“I’m here to reassure you that the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective,” Drake said. “All of us have a role to play in bringing the pandemic to an end. As a husband, a father, a grandfather and a medical doctor, I got vaccinated to keep my family and my community safe. Please join me in that effort. Together we can protect each other and end this pandemic.”

UC encourages everyone who meets the criteria for immunization to receive a vaccine when they are able based on guidance from the California Department of Public Health. The vaccines being offered by health care providers have undergone rigorous review by federal public health authorities as well as an extra evaluation through the Western States Scientific Safety Review Group, which includes a number of UC clinical experts. The University also encourages vaccinated community members to continue wearing masks as they may still be able to spread the virus.