Effective Sunday, anyone who is living, learning or working at any UC location is required to receive a flu shot unless they receive an approved accommodation, according to an executive order from UC President Michael Drake.
To avoid a surge in flu cases at state health care facilities, the university, together with UC Health leadership, is mandating that all members of the UC community receive an influenza immunization before the end of the week, according to UC Berkeley’s website. This is being enacted to protect surrounding communities and mitigate the burden on health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The flu vaccination requirement applies only to those students, faculty and staff who access UC premises from November 1, 2020, through the end of the flu season,” said Heather Harper, UC Office of the President spokesperson, in an email.
Beginning Sunday, students, faculty and staff at UC locations must certify they have received the flu vaccine, unless they have an approved medical exemption or disability or religious accommodation, according to Harper. Campus community members, however, will have until Nov. 16 to bring themselves into compliance with the order.
Those who have not received their flu shot and do not have an accommodation will be barred from accessing campus and other UC properties, according to the website.
UC Berkeley will survey all employees in late October to determine if they have received a flu shot, according to the website. For students, the order will add the influenza vaccine to their existing vaccination requirements.
“Students should report their influenza vaccination through their Student Health Services Portals,” Harper said in the email. “Some locations may also ask about flu vaccination through screening apps used to enter UC facilities.”
Campus community members can get their flu shot through their health care provider, a UC medical plan or other sources, according to the website.
The university’s health plans cover faculty, staff and students, and include coverage for flu vaccinations at no cost.
“Influenza immunization is critically important to the health and safety of our campus communities, particularly during the concurrent COVID-19 pandemic and flu season,” Harper said in the email.