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Final UC COVID-19 vaccination policy and FAQs

EVP/COO Rachael Nava sent the following message to all UCOP employees on July 15, 2021:

Dear UCOP colleagues:

Following up on my message to you last month, I’m writing to share with you the University’s final policy regarding required COVID-19 vaccinations (PDF). There is also a comprehensive set of frequently asked questions for employees (PDF) about the policy, and I encourage you to read them as they address many questions and concerns.

The final policy details were reached following a several-month consultation period with the UC community, including faculty and student health physician directors, that revealed strong support for moving forward with a COVID-19 vaccination requirement now.

As I outlined in my June message, our approach to required COVID-19 vaccinations can be summarized as follows:

  • For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the policy will require, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus in the coming weeks before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office.
  • Individuals will be required to show proof of vaccination, and UC locations are preparing for how they will record individual vaccination status.
  • For UCOP staff, compliance with the policy will be required two weeks before you are expected to be onsite at any of our offices.
  • For campuses, compliance with the policy will be required two weeks before faculty, staff and students are expected to be on campus for the fall term.
  • The policy will allow for medical exemptions consistent with CDC guidance and manufacturer labeling on contraindications and precautions. As with other policies — and, in the case of employees, as required by federal and California law — faculty, staff and students will also be eligible to request accommodations based on disability or religious belief, and deferrals are available for those who are pregnant.
  • Those with approved exemptions, accommodations or deferrals may return to their location with the expectation that they will remain masked in all public settings, and comply with the local testing plan.
  • Employees who choose not to be vaccinated, and have no approved exemption, accommodation or deferral, potentially put others’ health at risk and may face disciplinary actions.

Guidelines for how the policy will be implemented systemwide are being finalized and are expected to be issued next week — we will share those with you once they are available. Questions about the policy may be sent to

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

Rachael Nava
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

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