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Nov. 16 - UCI Medical Center-Irvine groundbreaking, kids and mRNA vaccines

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North end lights: Illuminated balloons hovered over the groundbreaking ceremony for UCI Medical Center-Irvine Monday evening

North end lights: Illuminated balloons hovered over the groundbreaking ceremony for UCI Medical Center-Irvine Monday evening. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI

Ask the expert

In this continuing series, UCI experts answer questions about COVID-19, vaccinations, variants or the future of work. Submit questions via email.

Today's question is answered by David Souleles, director of UCI’s COVID-19 Response Team:

Will my child suffer long term-side effects from an mRNA COVID vaccine?

Many parents may be worried about long-term side effects of the mRNA vaccines. The vaccines have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, following their review using rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has indicated there are no known additional risks of mRNA vaccines compared to live attenuated viral vaccines, such as the measles vaccine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most vaccines tend to show side effects generally within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose, which is one reason the FDA required at least two months of clinical trial data following the final dose before reviewing data and authorizing the vaccine's use for a particular population.


Chancellor Howard Gillman (center) leads the ceremonial groundbreaking for UCI Medical Center-Irvine on Monday.

Chancellor Howard Gillman (center) leads the ceremonial groundbreaking for UCI Medical Center-Irvine on Monday. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI

UCI breaks ground on new hospital, medical complex

During a late afternoon ceremony Monday, UCI officials and community leaders celebrated the start of construction for a $1.3 billion medical complex on the north end of campus. UCI Medical Center-Irvine, which the UC Board of Regents approved in January, will include a 144-bed acute care hospital with an emergency room, an outpatient Center for Advanced Care with primary and specialty health services, a Center for Children’s Health and the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care building. Of UCI Health’s second full-service hospital in the region, CEO Chad. T. Lefteris told the crowd, “UCI Health is building the next chapter of healthcare in Orange County.”  

UCI-led study finds single molecule within a specific plant used by Native Americans can treat both pain and diarrhea

Researchers went to Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County to collect plants with a long history of use by Native Americans as topical analgesics and gastrointestinal aids. The UCI-led study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, discovered that extracts from the plants activated a protein that passes electrical impulses in the brain and other  tissues.

Yes, you do need a flu shot

Flu season is officially here: The first Orange County case of influenza was confirmed on Oct. 22 by the county’s healthcare agency. That means you should schedule an annual vaccine for yourself and anyone in your household over six months of age if you haven't already, according to Dr. Maryam Rahimi. “Vaccination still remains the best way to prevent both influenza and COVID-19,” says the professor of internal medicine and primary care. “Without the flu vaccine, most people recover within 10 days, but for some, the flu can lead to pneumonia and death.”


CDC goes to University of Michigan to investigate flu outbreak

Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are going to the University of Michigan to look into a campus flu outbreak and examine how the illness is spreading. Since the first positive flu case was detected on the Ann Arbor campus Oct. 6, 528 patients have been diagnosed at the health service office, according to the university, which adds that 77% of those people did not get a flu shot.

Pfizer seeks emergency FDA approval of promising COVID pill

The pharmaceutical and technology corporation submitted an application today to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of its COVID treatment pill. If authorized by the FDA, it would be the first oral antiviral drug of its kind specifically designed to combat the coronavirus. Earlier today, Pfizer signed a licensing deal to allow low- and moderate-income countries to benefit from generic versions of the pill.


Becoming a Better Listener
Thursday, noon (sponsored by Guidance Resources EAP)

Defining the Future of UC Irvine as a Hispanic-Serving Institution
Thursday, noon (sponsored by UCI Law)

Virtual Lunch with Leadership: Gillian Hayes, vice provost for graduate education and dean of Graduate Division
Thursday, noon (sponsored by Staff Assembly)

Gateway Initiative Workshop: Finding Your Community at UCI
Thursday, 1 p.m. (sponsored by Student Success Initiatives)

Chef Resource Hour
Thursday, 2 p.m. (sponsored by FRESH Basic Needs Hub)

Puppies & Pathfinders
Thursday, 2 p.m. (sponsored by Student Outreach and Retention) 

What’s In Your Name?
Thursday, 3 p.m. (sponsored by International Center)

ZotAbility Ally Faculty, Staff and TA Training
Thursday, 3 p.m. (sponsored by Disability Services Center)

Cultural Connections: Global Beauty Standards & Body Image
Thursday, 4 p.m. (sponsored by International Center)

Your Pathway to Graduate School
Thursday, 4 p.m. (sponsored by Student Success Initiatives)

ASUCI Office of the President Art Lab Exhibition: “The Town I Am From”
Thursday, 6 p.m. (sponsored by Associated Students UCI)

Fall into Gratefulness
Thursday, 6:30 p.m. (sponsored by Integrative Health Institute)

Distinguished Artist Speaker Series: Charles Gaines
Thursday, 7 p.m. (sponsored by School of the Arts)

Anaheim Ducks Hockey Fights Cancer Night
Thursday, 7 p.m. (sponsored by UCI Health)

“The Intersection: Woke Black Folk”
Thursday, 7 p.m. (sponsored by UCI Illuminations)

Visit today.uci.edu to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

GE Groomed Insiders For Years. An Outsider Is Finally Breaking It Apart.

Forbes, Nov. 12
Cited: John Joseph, associate professor of strategy

In a Drying West, Cities Look to Turn Sewage Into Drinking Water

Sierra magazine, Nov. 15
Cited: David L. Feldman, director of Water UCI and professor of urban planning & public policy and political science

Are Vaccine Disagreements Leading to Family Conflicts This Thanksgiving? Tell Us How You're Navigating the Situation.

”KPCC AirTalk” (audio), Nov. 15
Guests: Bernadette Boden-Albala, director and founding dean of Program of Public Health


5 new campus cases

Two employees and three students tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

Remember to upload your vaccine record

Student Record Upload

Employee Record Upload

Potential workplace exposure

UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.

For COVID-19 questions

UCI Forward - information on campus status and operational updates

UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health

UCI Health COVID-19 FAQs

UCI Coronavirus Response Center - available at covid19@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-9918

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services - assistance with vaccines and vaccine uploads; available at contacttracing@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-2300

Program in Public Health chatline - answers to questions about COVID-19

For questions specific to your personal health situation, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.