By Laura Haefeli

DAVIS (CBS13) — Davis could be one of the safest cities in California when it comes to coronavirus with strict mask-wearing policies and now an 84% vaccination rate.

Almost one year ago, COVID-19 vaccines started rolling out.

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“COVID was raging,” said UC Davis Nurse Heather Donaldson.

Donaldson worked in a coronavirus intensive care unit.

“We saw a lot of people die in a short period of time,” she said. “We’re used to seeing people die in the ICU but not like that.”

Donaldson was feeling defeated until vaccines arrived just in time. She was first in line to get her shots and to give them.

“I actually vaccinated a lot of people from Davis. It was fun,” she said.

Now, 84% of Davis residents are at least partially vaccinated — one of the highest rates in California.

So how did the city get there?

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“Davis does have a high vaccination rate, but Davis is sort of unique in Yolo County because of the university itself,” said John Fout, a spokesperson for Yolo County.

Fout says UC Davis employees are 95% vaccinated and UC Davis Students are 98% vaccinated — a major contribution to boosting city-wide immunity.

“Every two weeks, we have to get tested. It definitely makes me feel a lot safer,” said UC Davis Student Pearl Cannon.

Fout says young people are the final piece of the puzzle and could inch the city closer to being fully inoculated.

“Now that kids 5-11 can get vaccinated, we’re going to see numbers come up. There’s a lot of kids in Davis,” Fout said.

So can Davis reach a 100% vaccination rate?

“I don’t know if we’d get to the 100%. I don’t even think we necessarily need to get to 100%,” Fout said. “Where we need to get to is a critical mass of people who don’t spread the virus.”

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Fout is encouraging anyone who has already received their vaccine to look into getting their booster shots.