Updated information on flu vaccine requirements for faculty and staff

To: Faculty, Staff, and Academic Appointees

From: Elizabeth Miller, D.O., Medical Director

To support the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the University of California is strongly encouraging everyone in the campus community to receive a flu vaccine by Oct. 31. 

All students, faculty, and staff living, learning, or working on premises at any UC location must receive a flu vaccine by Nov. 1, unless they receive an approved medical exemption or disability or religious accommodation. 

The executive order, revised on Sept. 29, is an important proactive measure to help protect members of the UC community — as well as  our broader community — and to ameliorate the severe burdens on health care systems anticipated during the coming fall and winter from influenza and COVID-19 illnesses.

In addition to protecting those on campuses and the surrounding communities, the effort is designed to mitigate a surge of flu cases at health care facilities across the state during the unprecedented public health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent millions of illnesses and thousands of related medical visits every year. In recent years, flu vaccinations have reduced the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations among older adults on average by about 40 percent. Flu vaccinations also protect those around us, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.

Requesting an exemption

The executive order requires the vaccination for all faculty, staff, and students who are living, learning, or working on premises at a UC location.  There is a process for faculty, staff, and students to request medical exemptions, or disability and religious accommodations. 

These procedures are located on Staff Human Resources’ website. Employees are encouraged to review UC’s frequently asked questions for more information.

All UC medical plans which cover faculty, staff, and academic appointees include coverage for flu vaccinations at no cost to those covered by the plan. In addition, for those without group health care coverage, all ACA-compliant health plans also cover flu vaccinations as part of a preventive care package that includes no copay.

The CDC is the best source for information on this year’s flu vaccinations.