Why is there a TB clearance requirement?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that can be spread by respiratory transmission, and therefore can pose risk to others attending classes, living in residence halls, using other University facilities or attending University events. The TB clearance requirement was implemented following the recommendations of the California Department of Public Health. Read more about the policy here.
Why is there an immunization requirement?
There has been an increase in outbreaks of vaccine–preventable illnesses over the past five to ten years, and now many illnesses that we thought were disappearing are returning. Although many of these diseases are considered “mild”, they can cause serious illness and death; for example, pertussis was responsible for hospital stays for hundreds of people in California during the past two years, including intensive care admissions and in a few cases, death. Recent outbreaks of measles also have resulted in hospitalizations, and new cases of mumps across the country threaten the health and fertility of non-immune students.
The diseases targeted by this Policy include those that are spread by respiratory transmission, and therefore can pose risk to others attending classes, living in residence halls, using other University facilities or attending University events. The required vaccines and screening reflect recommendations by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for Colleges and Universities, the American College Health Association (ACHA), and the CDC Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices. Read more about the policy here.
What are the consequences for not meeting the requirements?
Failure to comply by the deadline may result in a block for your enrollment in classes for the following semester. Enrollment holds will be placed for students who are not compliant with one or more of the requirements. An enrollment hold/block will prevent you from enrolling in classes for the next semester.
We know that due to COVID-19 it might be harder to complete some of these requirements by the deadline of July 31, especially if you are needing to get vaccines/titers as access to see providers or visit clinics may be more limited. Please try and complete as much as possible and we will continue to monitor the situation and update our website as things evolve.
Why is TB screening/testing necessary if I’ve had the BCG vaccine?
The BCG vaccine does not provide lifelong protection against TB, and is not known to be effective against adult pulmonary TB (the most infectious kind of TB disease), so screening and testing may still be necessary. Read more about the BCG vaccine here.
Why do I need a Varicella titer if I had chicken pox?
Not everyone who has chicken pox or shingles necessarily develops Varicella immunity, so a blood titer to prove that you are "positive" for immunity is required. A doctor's note stating that you had chicken pox or shingles is not sufficient.
What qualifies as an acceptable medical record?
A medical record should include your name (in the Latin alphabet), plus the type, date and outcome of each vaccine/titer administered. There is no set format for these records, but it should be clear that they were prepared by a licensed medical provider.
We accept the following file types: PDF, PNG, JPG, JPEG, and GIF. Normally, photos taken on a phone in one of these formats are fine, as long as all information indicated above can be seen clearly in your photos.
If you'd like a template for your doctor or provider to fill out, you can use this Immunization Form. Please note that once you upload the completed form, you will still need to enter the dates of each of your immunizations on the Medical Clearances page on eTang.
What if my records are in a language other than English?
Ask your medical provider to prepare a copy of your vaccine/titer records in English (or contact a medical translation service). If we cannot interpret your records, you may be required to re-complete certain vaccines/titers.
If your medical provider is unable to assist, look into community resources for translation services.
My PDF/image files are not uploading properly to eTang.
Try re-sizing your files/photos; uploads cannot be larger than 4MB each. Alternately, you may submit your documentation to Health Records (previously called Medical Records) via mail, fax, or in-person. We are unable to accept medical information or records via e-mail, as it is not a secure method of transmission.
What if the vaccine/titer is not available in my country?
You should still complete all other vaccines and/or testing, and submit your documents by the formal deadline.
You may schedule an appointment to receive the outstanding vaccine(s) or titer(s) at UHS once you are eligible for services. Schedule your appointment promptly to avoid an enrollment hold for non-compliance.
If you are in the Berkeley area but do not have a medical provider, look into community resources for TB testing and immunizations.
What if I don’t have SHIP?
Even if you have waived out of SHIP, you still need to comply with the TB and Immunization requirements.
You may schedule an appointment to receive the outstanding vaccine(s) or titer(s) at UHS once you are eligible for services (you can still be seen at the Tang Center without SHIP, but you will need to pay out-of-pocket). Schedule your appointment promptly to avoid an enrollment hold for non-compliance. The cost of UHS services varies if you do/don't have SHIP insurance (sample fees with/without SHIP).
If you are in the Berkeley area but do not have a medical provider or do not want to be seen at the Tang Center, look into community resources for TB testing and immunizations.
What if I have an allergy or medical contraindication to a vaccine?
You will need to download a Medical Exemption Request form and have it filled out and signed by your medical provider, then submit via mail or fax well before the deadline to allow sufficient time for review. Medical exemption requests will be evaluated individually by the UHS Medical Director.
UHS Administration - attn: Medical Director
2222 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-4300
(510) 642-1801 - attn: Medical Director
Can I request a personal/religious belief exemption?
Personal/religious exemptions for the immunization and TB Clearance requirements are not permitted. For more detail, review the University of California Immunization Exemption Policy.
If you need assistance with the compliance process, please contact us.