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UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

Vaccines and Boosters

Section 1

Everyone 5 years of age and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccination is a critical step for ending the COVID-19 pandemic. The following page provides information for students, faculty and staff on the University of California’s vaccination policy and how to get vaccinated.

UC Vaccine Policy Upload Record Get Vaccinated FAQs

UC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

The UC Office of the President has issued its final policy regarding required COVID-19 vaccinations.

This policy requires all UCI students, staff and faculty, with few exceptions, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before physically accessing the university’s locations and programs. Compliance is required no later than two weeks before faculty, staff and students are expected to be on campus.


COVID-19 boosters will be required of all eligible individuals – students and employees – by January 31, 2022. 

Everyone age 16 and older is eligible for a booster shot. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on booster recommendations. To be eligible for the booster, recipients must be five months past the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months past the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. UCI community members are required to get boosted once eligible and must upload their proof of booster vaccination as soon no later than Jan. 31, 2022. View Booster FAQ.

UC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Employee FAQs Student FAQs

Fall 2021 COVID-19 Prevention Strategies

UC encourages COVID-19 vaccinations for university communities while reviewing policy requirements

Coronavirus updates for UC employees

Questions about the policy may be sent to UCOP-COVID19-Vaccine@UCOP.edu.

Verify Your Vaccination Status

The UC policy requires individuals to show proof of vaccination.

Student Verification

Students who have already received their COVID-19 vaccine (including booster) should upload their vaccination record on the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal.

Instructions on how to upload COVID-19 vaccine record

Employee Verification

Employees who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 (including booster) and have not yet submitted verification should upload proof of vaccination at the Occupational Health upload portal.

Please consider these tips to ensure successful verification:

  • If the name on your vaccination record does not match your name as it appears in UCPath (the payroll system), please upload another piece of documentation, e.g., a copy of your driver’s license, with your vaccination documentation so that the team can verify your records.
  • Please do not cross out your name or birthdate on your vaccination card. This information is important for verification of your records. The upload portal is a UCI health record system and all reasonable precautions are taken to protect your information.

How to Get Vaccinated

We encourage students and employees to take advantage of the most immediate vaccination opportunity that arrives through county vaccination clinics, your healthcare provider, or local pharmacies that are serving the education sector. All people ages 5 and above across the United States are now eligible to receive a vaccine. UCI Health In California, you may also seek a vaccination appointment online at myturn.ca.gov or by calling 1-833-422-4255 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Transportation Assistance

The FRESH Basic Needs Hub is providing transportation support for students who face financial barriers accessing a vaccine site.

The vaccine is free. No fees required for those covered by UCSHIP 

Several students covered by UCSHIP have inquired about potential fees related to the COVID vaccine. It’s important to emphasize that the vaccine is free — UCSHIP-covered patients should not be charged any fees, copays or out-of-pocket expenses. Organizations administering the vaccine, such as UCI Health, may bill insurance companies for administrative costs.  For this reason, UCSHIP requests that students receive a referral before or after the vaccination by contacting shc-insurance@uci.edu or call 949-824-2388.


To find vaccination clinics in California, register at the state’s MyTurn web page to record your eligibility and be notified when appointments are available near you. 

Outside California

For those who do not reside in California, register for VaccineFinder to help you find the latest COVID-19 vaccine availability in your area.


For individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccination outside of the United States, UCI will accept vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Several airports offer COVID-19 vaccines, including 

Exception Request


To request a medical exemption, religious exception, disability exception or deferral during pregnancy, students may visit the Student Health Center's website

All request forms must be uploaded to the UCI Student Health Center Patient Portal. Please note that the review of your request may take up to seven (7) business days. Students will receive notification of approval or denial of the request via secure message on the portal.

For questions regarding the exemption process, please send a secure message on the portal to: “Immunization Exemption/Deferral Request Inquiry” and a SHC nurse will respond within 3-5 business days.

Students who are not vaccinated because of receiving an exemption, exception or deferral must, at a minimum, wear masks and participate in regular COVID-19 testing. Students who arrive partially vaccinated or whose exemption, exception, or deferral request is pending must also mask and participate in regular COVID-19 testing. Students who are not vaccinated and not approved for an exemption, exception or deferral will be subject to enforcement protocols.


To request a medical exemption, religious exception, disability exception or deferral during pregnancy, employees may visit UCI’s Future of Work COVID policy page or click on the appropriate form below:

Medical Exemption  Religious Exception  Disability Exception  Pregnancy Deferral

You will receive a confirmation email when your documentation has been received. While your exception request is pending, as a condition of physical presence, you must observe local non-pharmaceutical interventions including wearing a face covering when indoors, participating in weekly COVID-19 asymptomatic testing, and completing the daily Working Well symptom check.


UCI’s Contact Tracing & Vaccine Navigation Services is available to help individuals find vaccine appointments and can be reached at 949-824-2300 or by emailing contacttracing@uci.edu. They are also able to assist with uploading vaccine records and exception requests.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To learn about the COVID-19 vaccines, see UCI Health's COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs (FAQs are also available in Spanish).

Will UCI make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?

The UC Office of the President has issued its final policy regarding required COVID-19 vaccinations.

This policy requires all UCI students, staff and faculty, with few exceptions, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before physically accessing the university’s locations and programs. Compliance is required no later than two weeks before faculty, staff and students are expected to be on campus for the fall term.

UC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Employee FAQs Student FAQs

I'm a student. What happens if I don't comply with vaccination requirements?

Students who do not comply with UC vaccination requirements, including the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, may be subject to disciplinary action or loss of campus privileges, including but not limited to loss of wifi privileges, restriction from campus resources, restriction of access to campus, and an academic registration hold restricting students from registering for classes. Disciplinary action can include probation, suspension, or dismissal from the university.

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The fact that we have safe and highly protective vaccines should lead us all to want to be vaccinated. By preventing infection, COVID-19 vaccines prevent not only death, but also the problems that occur after infection. COVID-19 infection has been reported to cause long lasting problems related to fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, chest pain, difficulty thinking and concentrating (“brain fog”), depression, muscle pain, headache, and intermittent fever. In addition, some people have reported problems with their heart, lung, kidney, skin, teeth, and nervous system after COVID infection. These complications of infection can be prevented by receiving the vaccine. 

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe? Will they work?

To learn about the effectiveness and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, see UCI Health's COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs (FAQs are also available in Spanish).

What side effects do the vaccines have?

So far, clinical trials have shown that COVID-19 vaccines are highly protective and generate a strong immune response. Sometimes when vaccines produce an immune response, there may be side effects that feel like the flu, but do not mean you are infected or contagious. Instead, these symptoms are simply a sign that your body is successfully generating an immune response to provide you protection.

  • Expect some symptoms after vaccination. All COVID-19 vaccines commonly cause mild-to-moderate non-infectious “flu-like” symptoms. This occurs commonly for one day, sometimes for two days, and less commonly for 3 or more days.
  • Pick a good time
    • Get your vaccine when you do not have anything important planned in the next day or two, including work shifts. This is more important after the second dose since symptoms are more common after the second dose.
    • If you can, have staff who have highly specialized skill sets separate their vaccines by at least 3 days in case one needs to miss work for vaccine-related side effects.

Fact Sheet: Moderna Fact Sheet: Pfizer-BioNTech Fact Sheet: Janssen/J&J

I was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, and/or I had an antibody test that shows that I have natural immunity. Does this support a medical exemption?

You may be eligible for a temporary medical exemption (and, therefore, a temporary exception), for up to 90 days after your diagnosis. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, however, “a positive result from an antibody test does not mean you have a specific amount of immunity or protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection … Currently authorized SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests are not validated to evaluate specific immunity or protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection.” For this reason, individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had an antibody test are not permanently exempt from vaccination. 

Employees may refer to the UCI’s Future of Work COVID policy page to request a medical exemption, religious exception, disability exception or deferral during pregnancy.

Is this a one-time mandate or will I be required to get boosters or annual shots?

This is a permanent policy. Infectious disease experts anticipate that annual or more frequent boosters will be necessary, and receipt of boosters will be required, consistent with product labeling, in the same way that the initial vaccination is required by this policy and subject to the same exceptions and deferrals.

If I get vaccinated do I still need to wear a face covering and participate in asymptomatic testing?

All individuals on any UCI property including all UCI Health facilities are required to wear a mask or face covering while indoors, regardless of vaccination status, except when alone in an enclosed space. Upon request, UCI will provide voluntary-use respirators to unvaccinated or vaccinated employees.

Additionally, select fully vaccinated employees and students may be required to participate in asymptomatic testing. Everyone should continue to complete your Daily Symptom Check.

If you are a student and are experiencing any symptoms, we encourage you to contact the UCI Student Health Center or your primary care physician, so that they may further evaluate and order the appropriate testing as needed. And if you feel you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.

FAQs - International Students

FAQs - International Students

Will the University accept internationally approved vaccines even if not authorized or approved in the United States?

Yes, if the vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a process for assessing and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics during a public health emergencies. Through that process, a number of vaccines not available in the United States have received Emergency Use Listing (EUL). A document summarizing the status of a wide range of international vaccines can be found online on the WHO’s website (click on link to status of COVID-19 vaccines in the EUL/PQ evaluation process). The University will, consistent with CDC and CDPH guidance, accept proof of full vaccination with any international vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use by WHO through the EUL process. People who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with one of these vaccines do not need additional doses with an FDA- UC COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Student FAQs Updated July 15, 2021 Page 6 of 7 licensed or -authorized COVID-19 vaccine, at least initially (but may be subject to subsequent booster requirements). Those who are not fully vaccinated generally will be required to receive an FDA-licensed or -authorized vaccine no less than 28 days after their last international vaccination (but may consult with the Location Vaccine Authority or designee to discuss eligibility for a temporary medical exemption). In the interim, they will be treated as if they are not fully vaccinated.

Please remember to upload your vaccination record to the Student Health Patient Portal. Your vaccination record should be translated into English prior to uploading.

I was vaccinated in a country, where the government increased the time between first and second vaccines longer than US labeling. Do I have to be revaccinated?

No. If you have proof of completing a series of any FDA-licensed or FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine consistent with your country’s implementation, you will be considered to have complied with the vaccine mandate.

I cannot come back to campus 3-4 weeks before school starts, and I can’t access any vaccine in my country. Will I be allowed on campus?

Yes. You will be allowed on campus but will be referred to a vaccine site to get vaccinated immediately, unless you qualify for a University-approved exception or deferral. Until you are fully vaccinated, you will be subject to the non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) described in Appendix A: COVID-19 Prevention Strategies for unvaccinated individuals. Additional safety measures may be deemed necessary, depending on the circumstances, by local public health, environmental health and safety, occupational health, or infection prevention authorities, including the Location Vaccine Authority. 

Several airports now offer COVID-19 vaccines, including:



I do not have a social security number. Can I still schedule an appointment and receive the vaccine in the U.S.?

Yes. A social security number is not required in order to receive the vaccine. However, some providers may require that you enter a full nine-digit social security number or only the last four digits when completing your registration prior to scheduling the appointment.  If you are unable to complete registration and schedule an appointment, then please contact the vaccine provider directly for guidance and advise them that you do not have a social security number.