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UC’s systemwide flu vaccine requirement applies to staff

The following message was issued to all UCOP staff via UCOP News on Friday, Aug. 8. Our editors do not have further information beyond what is published in this order; we will provide updates in future issues of Link, as they are available.

New flu vaccination requirement for UC students, faculty and staff

To support the health and well-being of UC students, faculty and staff, and our communities, the University of California, in consultation with UC Health leadership, has issued a systemwide executive order (PDF) requiring all members of the UC community to receive an influenza immunization before Nov. 1, 2020.

The executive order is an important proactive measure to help protect members of the UC community — and the public at large — 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 in the surrounding communities, this requirement is designed to avoid 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 & 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%. Flu vaccinations also protect those around us, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.

The executive order requires the vaccination for all faculty and staff who are working at a UC location. The university already has a clear policy on immunizations for students, and this action adds influenza to existing vaccination requirements for them and extends the requirement to faculty and staff beyond those which presently exist for all UC health care workers.

A process will be put in place for faculty and staff to request medical exemptions. Requests for disability or religious accommodations will be handled through the interactive process consistent with existing location policies and procedures.

All UC medical plans which cover faculty, staff and students 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the best source for information on this year’s flu vaccination and when it will be available.

More information about the implementation of UC’s requirement, and when the flu vaccination for 2020-21 is available, will be shared in the coming weeks.

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Comments ( 2 )

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  1. Nicola Gruen September 29, 2020 Reply

    Is UCOP helping to coordinate flu vaccines this year, now that we are all remote? If not, is the best place to get one at a CVS or the doctor’s office? My whole family needs one actually.

    • Michelle Simone September 30, 2020 Reply

      Hi Nicola, UCOP is not coordinating flu vaccines, but they are available at commercial pharmacies (Walgreens, CVS, Target, etc.) or you can consult your family doctor.

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