Vaccines for COVID-19

Campus vaccination program update

Updated April 9, 2021

UHS continues to advocate for a central role in vaccinating students, in particular those who may face challenges in accessing vaccine elsewhere.  We continue to have some limited vaccine clinics and are hopeful that we may start receiving a regular vaccine allotment from the City of Berkeley within the next few weeks, at which time we will be able to start offering wider access to students who have not previously been invited.  We will be working closely with our Student COVID-19 Advisory Group to help plan the next stages, focusing on communities at risk. 

With the expanded vaccine eligibility to 16 years and older for Californians starting April 15, there will be more opportunity for vaccines across the state. The CDPH “My Turn” website continues to load new appointments each day and locally in the City of Berkeley, UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff interested in notifications about available appointments at the City of Berkeley’s mass vaccination site off Buchanan Street site near Albany Bulb should sign up on their vaccine notification list, https://bit.ly/berkvaccine. Appointments are typically posted on a weekly basis. 

Faculty, staff, and students who were vaccinated outside of University Health Services can now -- and are strongly encouraged -- to upload their vaccine records in eTang. Here are instructions for how to upload vaccine records

For those that are fully vaccinated campus surveillance testing requirements have changed. Fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and (most)* students:  weekly testing will not be required for 180 days from the date your testing badge is changed (14 days after a final UHS vaccine or 14 days after your date recorded in eTang of your final vaccine). 

    • *Vaccinated students living in on-campus housing and those participating in the Athletics program will still be required to get surveillance testing, but the frequency will change from 2X/week to 1X/week.

    • Please note that vaccinated people SHOULD still isolate/quarantine and come in for diagnostic testing (at UHS, as scheduled in eTang) if they become symptomatic, or are close contact to a case and live in congregate housing.

If you lost your vaccine card, please go to the CAIR website to request a record of your vaccine.

Vaccine appointment update

  • Vaccine appointment reminders are sent out the morning of the date of the appointment.
  • 2nd dose appointments: At this time we are able to commit to giving 2nd dose vaccines (both Pfizer and Moderna) to anyone we gave a 1st dose, both retroactively and moving forward. 
  • For those that got 1st doses outside of UHS, we ask that you try and get your 2nd dose at the same place or through other vaccine clinics as we most likely won’t have enough unused doses of the vaccine to accommodate these requests.  You can complete this 2nd dose request form and we will add you to our standby vaccine call list.
    • Your appointment will be canceled and you will not be given a vaccine at the time of your appointment if you schedule yourself as a first dose recipient and you are actually in need of a second dose. 
  • Please note: students who get a COVID-19 vaccine through UHS will not be charged for the vaccine or any administrative fees related to the vaccination. It is customary for health care providers to bill insurance for administering the vaccine, which is allowed by CDC guidelines and is why the MyTurn website, pharmacies and others ask for insurance information. When the vaccine rollout began, UHS had been charging to recover costs through insurance plans but has discontinued this practice due to unintended difficulties involving student accounts. If you received a charge on your CalCentral student account it should have been reversed. If not, please contact the SHIP office.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the vaccine?

You’re encouraged to contact your health care provider and/or visit the California Department of Public Health My Turn website to check your eligibility, receive a notification when vaccines and appointments are available in your area, or book an appointment.

Who is eligible to get vaccines?

According to COVID state guidelines, persons at risk of occupational exposure to COVID-19 through their work in any role in education settings are eligible to be vaccinated, further referenced by those guidelines as all staff of universities. This may include faculty and staff and also may include postdocs, graduate student instructors, graduate student researchers, readers, tutors, student assistants, and any other form of campus employee. Please note that eligibility requirements are set by the vaccination provider and UC Berkeley is not able to guarantee eligibility.

What verification is needed at community vaccine sites?

You’re advised to bring a pay stub and your UC Berkeley photo ID to your vaccination appointment. Please note that verification requirements are set by the vaccination provider and you may be asked to provide additional documentation.

What about graduate and professional students who are employed by the campus?

We understand that graduate and professional students have a complicated relationship to the categories of “staff,” and “faculty,” as well as now navigating new categories of “remote” and “in-person.” Whether you are working remotely, in-person, a Graduate Student Instructor, a Graduate Student Researcher, Reader, Tutor, Student Assistant, or any other form of campus employee, vaccine providers may consider you to be eligible as an employee under the CDPH guidelines to receive a vaccine. Each vaccinator is permitted to make its own eligibility determination based on its supply of vaccine and its interpretation of CDPH criteria, and we are providing the best guidance we can based on what we know at this moment. 

Therefore, if you are a graduate student employed by the campus, we encourage you to contact your health care provider and/or visit the CDPH My Turn website to check your eligibility, receive a notification when vaccines and appointments are available in your area, or to book an appointment. Please be sure to review instructions from providers carefully; their criteria may be more restrictive than the state’s, and may change daily depending on vaccine allocation and changing state guidelines.

What about students on SHIP?

We are still unsure about our vaccine allotment going forward, but the campus does hope it will receive doses to vaccinate Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) members sometime in the Spring. UHS is required to initially prioritize vaccinations for students living with disabilities or specific significant underlying health conditions, according to state guidelines.  If you are not insured through SHIP, we recommend reaching out to your healthcare provider directly. If you are temporarily uninsured, please contact SHIP.  In the meantime, we recommend that if you can get vaccinated through an external vaccination site, please do so.

How is campus planning for vaccine distribution?

The campus COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, convened in December, is dedicated to ensuring that UCB is well-positioned to meet and exceed vaccination targets for the UCB community.  We meet weekly to review and adapt evolving guidance from public health and UC partners, address supply chain and organization challenges, and operationalize vaccine clinics.  Initial clinics were held at the Tang Center and starting on February 3 the vaccine clinic will move to the ASUC Student Union, MLK Building Pauley Ballroom: this will allow us to expand our clinic as the vaccine supply improves.  The vaccine clinic is by invitation only for those that we are able to vaccinate based on the Phases.

Will the vaccine be mandatory for any portion of the campus population?

At this time, COVID-19 vaccines are strongly encouraged, to ensure protection for our staff and those we serve, but they are not required.  This may change in the future.

When is the campus getting the vaccine?

UHS received its first allocation of vaccine from UCOP/CDPH on January 12th and the campus’ vaccine supply will be determined on a weekly basis as we get more from the state, county or city. We provide a weekly update on our vaccine webpage about vaccine appointments that are upcoming.

How much vaccine is the campus getting?

UCB has been preparing and advocating strongly in order to take a leadership role in vaccine provision for anyone within the UCB community as they become eligible, according to the state distribution plan. However, the full scope of UCB (and the UC system) role in vaccination continues to evolve, and our role determines the total number of doses distributed to us. The timeline also depends heavily on vaccine supply. UHS is informed of how much vaccine will be arriving less than one week in advance.We do expect that vaccines will be more widely available by the summer. 

Who will be getting the vaccine, how will it be phased?

Currently as we get vaccine we are directed by the state of California and CDPH to vaccinate students as their health care provider, vs staff as their employers. In March we shifted and are now offering students vaccines as we get vaccine allotment. 

We expect that by the spring/summer, vaccines will be widely available through most healthcare providers.

What kind of vaccine will the campus be getting?

We have been getting both Moderna and Pfizer vaccine.

How will the vaccine be distributed?

Initial clinics were held at the Tang Center and then on February 3 the vaccine clinic moved to the ASUC Student Union, MLK Building Pauley Ballroom: this allowed us to expand our clinic as the vaccine supply improves. As we get more vaccines we will continue to open up to more students via invitations. 

Will SHIP cover the cost of vaccines?

Yes, it appears that the COVID vaccines should be fully covered by health insurance plans.  In this case, UHS will bill SHIP directly for vaccinations obtained at Tang.  The early phase of vaccine distribution is funded by the federal government.

Is campus going to pay for vaccinations?

Cost of the initial phase of vaccination (essential workers at higher risk for COVID-19) will be covered by a combination of the federal government, occupational health, and insurance funding.  Our understanding from federal regulations is that health care plans are required to pay fully for COVID vaccinations, and there is no out-of-pocket expense to individuals.  In some cases UHS will be able to obtain payment directly from health plans, such as SHIP; in other cases, individuals will be able to submit to their health plans for reimbursement of the expense.  If a student experiences a problem getting reimbursed from a health plan, the SHIP office is available to help.

How can I get a vaccine from University Health Services?

Campus individuals will be contacted and offered vaccinations in alignment with CDC and county guidance on priority vaccination groups.  If/when you are identified as a priority group, you will receive email instructions on how to make an appointment for vaccination with UHS.  We will also update this website as the distribution progresses.

If I get the vaccine, do I need to continue regular surveillance testing and preventative measures?

Effective April 1, 2021 campus surveillance testing requirements have changed for fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students. You’re considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your final vaccine dose.

  • Vaccinated students living in on-campus housing or participating in athletics will still be required to get tested, but the frequency will change from twice weekly to once a week.

  • For everyone else, weekly testing will not be required for 90 days from the date you are fully vaccinated (14 days after final dose).