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Pasadena Unified to Vaccinate School Employees

Health director updates Public Safety Committee on vaccination

Published on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 | 5:25 am

The Pasadena Unified School District will vaccinate its own employees, according to Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, director of the city’s Health Department.

“The interesting thing about schools is they can sign up as medical providers because many of them already vaccinate,” Goh told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

It was not immediately known when the district’s eight nurses would begin conducting vaccinations, or how many doses the district would receive. 

But according to Goh, the shortage plaguing the state is also impacting the city.  

“We go day to day and we don’t know if we are going to get any,” Goh said. “We have no information on when we will receive a steady stream of vaccines.” 

There has been some talk about using the Rose Bowl as a mega point of distribution, but so far those talks are in the early stages.

“We are telling everybody and anybody we have these facilities,” City Manager Steve Mermell said about the Rose Bowl and the Convention Center.

The city has entered Phase 1B or Tier 1 of the rollout which includes people 75 and older. 

In Tier 1A healthcare workers living and working in Pasadena, along with senior citizens living in the city’s long-term healthcare facilities, were vaccinated.

Those people are still eligible to receive the vaccine under Phase 1A.

Goh said the city’s target number to vaccinate 145,000 plus 13,000 healthcare workers.

“I feel like we are approaching a tipping point where cases are going down and vaccinations are going up,” said Councilmember Steve Madison, a member of the Public Safety Committee.

So far no one has needed to be hospitalized after a vaccination.

Madison called for a mandatory vaccination policy for city employees.

Mermell said he was in discussions with City Attorney Michele Bagneris on that matter. 

“I for one firmly believe as a city we should have a mandatory vaccination policy for city employees,” Madison said. “I don’t understand the objections to it.”


“We’re coming up on a year of COVID,”  Mermell said. “It’s a testament as a nation and world that we have produced vaccines. I am proud of all the good work Pasadena is doing.”

Mermell said it will take the entire healthcare system to beat the virus.

“We have been at this for weeks and we are building out our capacity as quickly as we can,” Mermell said.


The city conducted several appointment-only medical points of distribution this week to continue the vaccinations. 

The nation has been slammed by a surge of the virus. The city is averaging 100 news cases per day and one fatality. Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered health departments to vaccinate people 65 years and older, despite a shortage of doses. 

Goh said changes will soon be announced to the process. 

“The state is reworking phases and tiers,” Goh told the committee. “Next week there will be an announcement from the state about some changes.”

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