Updated COVID-19 vaccine policy for personnel and certain trainees

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Sarah Latham, Vice Chancellor, Business and Administrative Services

In follow up to last week’s update, I write to share that the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) has released an UPDATED interim COVID-19 vaccination policy.  

The policy requires “all University of California personnel and certain trainees working or learning on-site to participate in education about the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines that will be available and either consent to administration of the vaccine or affirmatively opt out of SARS CoV-2 vaccination.”  There is an FAQ at the end of the policy document.

The interim policy applies to: 

  • faculty and other academic personnel, and staff working or learning on site, including but not limited to visiting, volunteer, without salary, and emeriti professors, visiting or volunteer academic personnel, and contract, recall, and emeriti employees. 

It also applies to the following trainee groups:  

  • Medical, nursing, and other health professional students and residents, including visiting students and students of externally sponsored educational programs participating in rotations at healthcare locations; and undergraduate and graduate students who are volunteering, learning, or working in healthcare locations, for example at COVID testing/laboratory sites.

Individuals who choose to decline the vaccination must complete a Vaccine Declination Statement. The process for education and submitting your declination form is being developed and will be shared in a follow-up communication. 

This Vaccine Policy for Personnel and Certain Trainees does not apply to students. Guidance regarding students and the COVID vaccine is expected to be forthcoming from UCOP. 

The state has issued a multi-phase vaccine rollout plan. However, the situation is evolving rapidly, and some of the elements of the phases could change quickly. At this point, our campus is in Phase 1A of vaccine rollout, which is focused primarily on health-care workers. Work is underway to develop the process for vaccine distribution for Phase 1B. We have not yet received any additional doses of the vaccine through the UC, as the system awaits additional allocations from the state. It is not yet known when we will receive additional doses, and at this point we do not expect to receive vaccine doses sufficient to vaccinate all employees.   With the information we have now, if you are eligible, you should proceed with getting your vaccine through your healthcare provider or other available means. Santa Cruz county has developed a vaccination website outlining where you can receive the vaccine based on eligibility as outlined by the state.  Please also note that our university and campus policies regarding COVID-19 vaccine and distribution may change if state or local public health authorities revise vaccine distribution prioritization.

We recognize several questions remain as we work to implement this updated vaccine policy. We will follow up with additional information as soon as it is available. For more information on campus COVID-19 vaccine planning, you can visit the Student Health Center vaccine webpage.

As we work to implement the vaccine program and our allocation of doses increases, we must all continue to follow the Slug Strong actions that we have been promoting throughout the pandemic: wear a face covering, abide by physical distancing guidelines, avoid large gatherings, do not come to campus if you are feeling ill, and regularly wash your hands. In addition, please take advantage of the asymptomatic testing program we have available for employees.

Thank you for all you are doing each and every day to promote the health and wellness of our Slug community.