Making preparations to reopen all campuses in the fall, UC Office of the President (UCOP) will require all campus personnel to receive the COVID-19 vaccination prior to returning to on-campus instruction and programs. 

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia Larive shared this policy with the campus community on April 22 and announced “Arm in Arm,” an upcoming UCSC vaccination advocacy campaign that she hopes will pave the way for a safe reopening in fall.

The proposed policy will not come into effect until vaccines are made fully available and at least one vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, as all vaccinations are currently being administered under Emergency Use Authorization. By sharing before the policy is fully approved, UCOP is hoping to give everyone enough time to make vaccination arrangements and understand the requirements before fall 2021.

“The University of California believes that receiving a vaccine for COVID-19 is a key step our community members can take to protect themselves, their friends and family, and help end the pandemic,” said UCOP Associate Director of Media Relations Ryan King. “Each UC campus will implement a final vaccination policy based on the unique needs of the programs and facilities at their location.”

The university recognizes that some students, faculty, or staff may refrain from being vaccinated for religious or medical reasons. Under the proposed policy, anyone not planning on receiving a vaccine must submit a vaccine declination form to be approved by their individual university. If a declination form is approved, students may have to adhere to increased monitoring by campus health offices. If no paperwork is filed or it is not approved, students will face enrollment limitations and will not be permitted to participate in on-campus instruction or housing. 

The process of submitting declination paperwork is already adopted across UC campuses, as this policy is mirrored for the existing vaccination requirements. The UC currently requires their personnel and students to have vaccinations for measles, tetanus, chickenpox, and more, unless they have an approved declination status. 

UCOP emphasized the importance of individual universities providing vaccination education to their communities focusing on the importance of receiving the vaccine, consequences for non-compliance with the Vaccination Requirement Policy, and tips for preventing COVID-19 spread and contraction. 

UC campuses have not announced whether they will be providing vaccines to their campus communities, but encourage students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated if they are eligible.