CALIFORNIA—On July 31, the University of California officials announced that everyone who attends UC schools is required to receive a flu shot by November 1, 2020.

The executive order explained the measure was “designed to avoid a surge of flu cases at health care facilities across the state during the unprecedented public health crisis created 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 vaccines have reduced the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations among older adults on average by about 40%,” read the statement. Since hospitals are facing a shortage of testing and treating COVID-19 in California, students, all faculty, and staff have to protect themselves from getting influenza to support the hospitalization system.

According to the executive order:

  • “Each campus shall strongly encourage universal vaccination for all students, faculty, staff, and their families by October 31, 2020.”
  • “Deadline. Effective November 1, 2020, all students, faculty and staff living, learning, or working at any UC location must receive a flu vaccine.”
  • “Students. The immunization policy is hereby amended to add influenza vaccine to the list of required vaccines for the duration of a statewide or any local public health emergency declared in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Student exemption requests shall be adjudicated consistent with the Immunization Exemption Policy.”
  • “Employees. Effective November 1, 2020, no person employed by the University or working on-site at any location owned, operated, or otherwise controlled by the University may report to that site for work unless they have received the 2020-2021 flu vaccine or an approved medical exemption. Requests for disability or religious accommodations will be adjudicated through the interactive process consistent with existing location policies and procedures.”

The University of California’s medical plan covers the influenza vaccination fee for students, faculty, staff, and their covered families.