The requirement to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or to submit a request for exception on medical, disability or religious grounds, or for a deferral based on pregnancy) takes effect for all students as a condition of in-person access to UC locations or programs (even if not at a UC location, such as athletics or study abroad program) before the student arrives on campus.
All UC students participating in UCDC, UCEAP or campus-based study abroad and exchange programs must comply with their home campus COVID-19 vaccine verification process prior to their program start date.
The policy requires all graduate, undergraduate and professional students, and other personnel, who are accessing a UC facility or program in person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, subject to the allowable exceptions (on medical, disability, or religious grounds) or deferral (based on pregnancy).
UC encourages students and their families to look for opportunities near their homes to be vaccinated, such as at local pharmacies. In California, you may also seek a vaccination appointment online at myturn.ca.gov or by calling 1-833-422-4255 Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm or Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm.
UCSB Student Health will offer COVID-19 vaccines for registered students depending on availability; appointments can be scheduled through the Student Health Patient Portal.
This is a permanent policy. Infectious disease experts anticipate that annual or more frequent boosters will be necessary, and receipt of boosters will be required, consistent with product labeling, in the same way that the initial vaccination is required by this policy and subject to the same exceptions and deferrals.
Individuals are considered up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccination if they are either:
- fully vaccinated and have received a booster dose; or
- fully vaccinated and not yet eligible to receive a booster dose
Individuals are considered compliant at UC Santa Barbara if they have provided verification of having received vaccinations approved by FDA or WHO to meet the University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs, or have obtained an approved medical or religious exception.
A person is considered “fully” vaccinated” when two weeks have passed since they completed a COVID-19 vaccine series (for example, 1 dose of the Janssen/J&J vaccine, or 2 doses of the Moderna, Norvavx or Pfizer vaccine) as well as any boosters consistent with manufacturer’s instructions and applicable agency approval, authorization, or listing.
UC campuses already have systems in place for gathering immunization information, and those platforms will be used for this requirement. Students will be required to enter dates of vaccination and upload an image of their COVID-19 vaccination card through their Student Health Services portals, where they also need to provide evidence of their other required vaccinations. UC Student Health Services staff for each location will review and verify the information. Individuals covered by this policy who seek an exception (on medical, disability, or religious grounds) or deferral (during pregnancy) must complete the request form and submit it to their location’s Responsible Office.
Model forms have been published with this final policy for adaptation or as-is use by each location. Students should use the forms adopted by their campus. Details will be communicated by each campus to its students.
Yes. Requests for an exception based on a medical exemption, disability, or religious belief Students whose requests are pending or have been granted will still be subject to special requirements such as increased surveillance testing. Model forms have been published with this final policy for adaptation or as-is use by each location. Students should use the forms adopted by their campus. Details will be communicated by each campus to its students.
8. Why is UC allowing exceptions for reasons other than medical exemption (e.g., for reasons other than a contraindication or precaution to receiving the vaccine established by the CDC or the manufacturer?
The University is required by law to offer reasonable accommodations to individuals who qualify for an exception to the vaccination requirement based on their disabilities, as well as to employees who object to vaccination based on their sincerely-held religious belief, practice, or observance. A decision was made to apply the COVID-19 vaccine mandate consistently across all groups of individuals covered by this policy. Vaccination against the virus that causes COVID-19 is a critical step for protecting the health and safety of our communities and ending the pandemic.
No, but, unless you work in a University health care facility, you are eligible for a deferral throughout your pregnancy until the time that you return to in-person work or instruction, as applicable, following pregnancy. You may also be eligible for a disability accommodation. It is important to understand, however, the additional risks you and your baby will be exposed to if you contract COVID-19 during pregnancy:
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “pregnant people and recently pregnant people are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared with non-pregnant people. Severe illness includes illness that requires hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, or illness that results in death. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and might be at increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with pregnant people without COVID-19.” By contrast, researchers have found that COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy may protect babies from COVID-19 infection through the placenta before birth and through breastfeeding afterwards.
- A recent study performed by UC researchers concluded that risk of very preterm birth, which occurs at less than 32 weeks of gestation, was 60 percent higher for people infected with COVID-19 at some point in their pregnancy, while the risk of giving birth at less than 37 weeks (all preterm births) was 40 percent higher in those with infection. For those who also had hypertension, diabetes and/or obesity as well as COVID-19, the risk of preterm birth rose 160 percent. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause female or male fertility problems.
- Accordingly, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all eligible individuals, including those who are pregnant or lactating, be vaccinated. The University strongly supports vaccination for all students, trainees, personnel, and patients who do not have contraindications to one of the vaccines. Note: those who work in University health facilities or clinics are subject to an order issued in early August by the California Department of Public Health that does not allow for exceptions or deferrals based on pregnancy, and therefore must have their first dose of a one-dose COVID-19 regimen or their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 regimen by September 30, 2021