COVID-19 Vaccination Policy exception process

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Steve Stein, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resource Officer, SHR; Grace McClintock, Assistant Vice Provost, Academic Personnel Office; Gary Dunn, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Health and Wellness

As announced last week, the UC Office of the President released the final COVID-19 vaccination policy. 

The final policy was launched in order to support the health and wellbeing of the entire campus community, and requires employees and students to provide proof of vaccination or to request an exception or deferral based on a medical condition, religious belief, disability or pregnancy prior to the start of fall instruction. Employees and students can submit their proof of vaccine via the Health e-Messenger system. Proof of vaccination must be submitted by Sept. 9. If you received your vaccination from the Student Health Center, no additional action is needed on your part to provide proof, as your proof of vaccination is already in the system.

The policy allows for exceptions to be requested for medical, disability or religious objection.  Medical exemptions must be consistent with CDC guidance and manufacturer labeling on contraindications and precautions. Deferrals are available for those who are pregnant. This is consistent with other policies and in the case of employees, required by federal and California law.

The student exception process will be managed through Student Health Services. The campus has engaged Sedgwick as the third-party administrator to support the administration and review of the employee exception process. 

  • To initiate an exception request:

    • Employees can initiate a request for exception by accessing the form located here. The form is active and currently accepting requests. If you are a UCSC student who is also employed by the campus in any capacity, you will need to utilize the student form listed below. 

    • Students can access the form online to initiate an exception request. The form will be active on July 27 to accept requests.

  • Those with approved exceptions, accommodations or deferrals may return to their location with the expectation that they will remain masked in all public settings, and comply with the campus resumption guidelines.

    If an individual’s request for exception is denied, they have 14 calendar days to submit proof they have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose and 8 weeks from the denial date to provide proof they are fully vaccinated.

  • Individuals who choose not to be vaccinated, and have no approved exception, accommodation or deferral, potentially put others’ health at risk and may be subject to corrective action/disciplinary process outlined in the policy. 

For questions about the vaccination policy and/or exception process:

More information can be found at:

Please continue to stay safe, take care of yourself and loved ones, and thank you for your partnership in helping to keep our community healthy.