COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Vaccine

All individuals ages 5 and older are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in Santa Barbara County. Details about vaccine administration, including appointment availability and scheduling, can be found on the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department website.

The UC Office of the President has established a systemwide vaccine policy that requires all employees and students to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, before they will be allowed in any UC facility or office or to participate in-person in any UC program. Details are available at UCnet and in FAQs for employees and for students. Information also is available regarding requests for vaccine policy exceptions and deferrals.

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Detailed guidance regarding campus activities for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals is available in the Campus Mitigation Protocols section of our Latest Updates page.

Current Status of Vaccinations 

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (SBCPHD) has announced that all individuals ages 5 and older are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

UC’s final SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy requires all faculty, academic appointees, staff and students to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or of an approved exception or deferral in order to access any UC or campus facilities, including university housing; attend classes; or participate in university programs.

At UC Santa Barbara, those who received their COVID-19 vaccines from a provider other than Student Health should upload their vaccine documentation through the Student Health Patient Portal Gateway. Those who receive vaccinations through Student Health do not have to upload their vaccination information.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments continue to be available locally through the California Department of Public Health portal MyTurn. Registration by telephone also is available in multiple languages at the CA COVID-19 Hotline (1-833-422-4255). 

The website Vaccines.gov also provides information about vaccine availability at nearby locations. Residents of Ventura County can make vaccination appointments here, and those in San Luis Obispo County can do so here.

Anyone needing assistance in making an appointment can call 2-1-1 and select option 4 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily).

Flu Vaccination

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, the potential confluence of infections from COVID-19 and influenza poses a threat to the health and safety of the UC community and the public at large. Therefore, beginning Nov. 19, the UC Office of the President is making influenza vaccinations mandatory for all students and employees. Effective throughout the 2021-22 flu season, the order requires that all students and faculty and other academic appointees and staff members who live, work or learn on any UC campus show proof of flu vaccination of an exemption or accommodation. Medical exemptions and accommodations may be requested. The UC Office of the President has developed FAQs for employees and FAQs for students. Additional information is available at Flu Vaccination Mandate 2021-22 and on The Current.

COVID-19 Boosters

Following the FDA emergency use authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine booster and guidance from the CDC, the California Department of Public Health now recommends booster shots for individuals who received a J&J (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine more than 2 months ago, and for those who received a Pfizer or a Moderna vaccine more than 6 months ago.

COVID-19 booster shots are widely available free of charge from some local health care providers and at local pharmacies, with appointments available through the MyTurn site. At this time, boosters are not required by the University of California, and it is not necessary to upload any information when a booster is received.

General FAQs

Answers to questions about the COVID-19 vaccines

In Santa Barbara County, vaccine eligibility includes all individuals ages 12 and above. 

Vaccination appointments may be scheduled through the California Department of Public Health Portal MyTurn, or through multiple sites listed in the COVID-19 Vaccine Information section of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department website. Information about vaccine availability at nearby locations can found at Vaccines.gov. Residents of Ventura County can make vaccination appointments here, and those in San Luis Obispo County can do so here.

COVID-19 vaccinations also are available weekly by appointment at Student Health for faculty and staff members and students. New students also may make appointments to obtain COVID-19 vaccines now, even before their academic term begins.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Information section of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s website provides detailed information about vaccine availability throughout Santa Barbara County, including County Public Health Department vaccination clinics, and pharmacies, health care providers and other community-based vaccination sites. Instructions and links for scheduling appointments also are listed.

COVID-19 vaccinations also are available weekly by appointment at Student Health for faculty and staff members and students. New students also may make appointments to obtain COVID-19 vaccines now, even before their academic term begins.

The single-dose Johnson& Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine is currently available at several U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. Details can be found on their websites.

No proof of citizenship or immigration status is required. Some COVID-19 appointment websites ask for health insurance information. Those who don't have health insurance should enter “not applicable.” UCSB students insured by the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) can find their insurance information in the StudentHealth app through Anthem Blue Cross.

Yes, but when you make your vaccine appointment in Santa Barbara be sure you are receiving the same TYPE of vaccine you originally got (i.e. Pfizer, with your second dose 21 days later, or Moderna, with your second dose 28 days later). If you passed your date to get a second vaccine, it's still important to get it as soon as possible, even if it's late. Bring your original vaccine card with you to your appointment so information about your second dose can be recorded. If you have lost your vaccine card and don't know which vaccine you originally received, you should request your records from the provider who gave it, or if you obtained it in California, you can request a State of California Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record. A complete record of all immunizations received in California may be requested by completing the online form and uploading a government-issued picture ID such as a current driver's license.

Without the 2nd dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, you will not have the maximal and long lasting protection provided by these vaccines. In the vaccine trials, one dose was found to be inadequate to sustain the immune response after several months; you need the "booster" effect of the 2nd vaccine to keep being protected from COVID-19. Both CDC and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department strongly recommend that the second dose is needed before a person is considered fully vaccinated.

If you missed the recommended time interval for your COVID-19 vaccine (21 days after the 1st dose for Pfizer, and 28 days for Moderna), a second dose may be given within 42 days, or six weeks later without diminishing the booster effect. Even after 42 days, it's still recommended to get the 2nd dose of these vaccines.

COVID-19 booster doses for the general public have been approved for that purpose under the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines. Please see the CDC website for more information about booster doses.

UCSB Student Health is not able to provide COVID-19 booster shots to the entire campus, but they are widely available at local pharmacies, with appointments available without charge through the MyTurn site. At this time, boosters are not required by the University of California and it is not necessary to upload any information when a booster is received.

Both vaccines use mRNA technology to stimulate an immune response to create antibodies for future protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, they have differences in their composition and storage. A more detailed explanation that can be found on The Current in a Q&A with Scott Grafton, M.D., the campus’s COVID-19 coordinator and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, and Charles Samuels, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.

Additional information about the individual vaccines is available on the CDC website:

Explanation of the three vaccines is available on the CDC website. The California Department of Public Health has issued recent updates about the single dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department also has answered safety questions.

The vaccines approved by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization have been endorsed by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and by a special group of California experts following clinical trials involving tens of thousands of patients. Monitoring of ongoing vaccine safety is continuing through the CDC, and vaccine recipients are invited to enroll after they receive their first dose to add their experiences as part of this monitoring.

The COVID-19 vaccine is provided free of charge. However, health care professionals may charge insurers for the cost of administering the vaccine.

Yes. There is currently not enough information to indicate whether or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again, so you should get the COVID-19 vaccine even if you have already recovered. You cannot receive the vaccine if you have an active COVID-19 infection or are completing a quarantine period after a possible exposure.

All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings in all shared indoor campus spaces, including vehicles used during the course and scope of university employment, business or activities. Per Cal/OSHA, a face covering is a surgical mask, a medical procedure mask, a respirator worn voluntarily or a tightly woven fabric or non-woven material of at least two layers. Additional guidelines related to the use of face masks can be found in Campus Mitigation Protocols

Vaccinated individuals are not required to maintain a specific physical distance, whether indoors or outdoors. For non-vaccinated individuals, Cal/OSHA recommends the use of face coverings outdoors when working within 6 feet of other people. 

Students and faculty and staff members who received their COVID-19 vaccinations from Student Health can access their information through the Patient Portal Gateway. Information can be requested through the State of California Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record. A complete record of all immunizations received in California may be requested by completing the online form and uploading a government-issued picture ID such as a current driver's license. 

General COVID-19 questions should be directed to ucsb-covid19@ucsb.edu or (805) 893-3113 (weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Questions related to COVID-19 vaccines should be directed to covid19-vaccine@ucsb.edu.

Vaccine Policy FAQs

The UC Office of the President has established a systemwide vaccine policy that requires all employees and students to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 before they will be allowed in any UC facility or office to participate in person in any UC program. More information is available at UCnet and in FAQs for employees and for students.

The UC Office of the President has established a systemwide vaccine policy that requires all employees and students to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 before they will be allowed in any UC facility or office to participate in person in any UC program, including UC athletics and education abroad. More information about the policy is available at UCnet and in FAQs for employees and for students.

Using the Student Health Patient Portal Gateway, faculty, staff and students must submit proof that they are fully vaccinated or submit a request for a COVID-19 vaccine policy exception or deferral by Monday, Dec. 13, for students enrolling for winter quarter 2022, or returning to campus after being away for fall quarter. Newly hired employees will have 60 days from their start date to comply with the policy, but they must obtain weekly campus COVID-19 testing until they are compliant. “Fully vaccinated” means that two weeks have passed since the final dose in the COVID-19 vaccine series. Faculty, staff and students who obtain their COVID-19 vaccines on campus at Student Health do not have to submit any further documentation.

The UC COVID-19 vaccine policy will allow for medical exemptions consistent with Centers for Disease Control guidance and manufacturer labeling on contraindications and precautions In addition, accommodations based on disability or religious belief may be requested, and deferrals are available for those who are pregnant. More information is available at Requesting a COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Exception or Deferral.

Students and faculty and staff members without a documented and confirmed COVID-19 vaccine will be required to wear face coverings inside all campus facilities and to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing through Student Health. The campus’s asymptomatic COVID-19 testing program will continue to be available.

Students living in university-owned housing must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus. More information can be found in Summer Sessions’ COVID-19 FAQs. Students may submit their COVID-19 proof of vaccination online through the Student Health website.

UCSB faculty and staff members and students who obtained their COVID-19 vaccines outside of UC Santa Barbara Student Health should submit their  COVID-19 vaccination information online through the “Medical Clearances” section of the Student Health Patient Portal. Instructions can be found on the Student Health website.

Any COVID-19 vaccine authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), or by the World Health Organization (WHO) through an Emergency Use Listing (EUL), will satisfy the vaccination requirement.

The WHO has developed a process for assessing and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics during 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 on the  WHO’s website (click on link to status of COVID-19 vaccines in the EUL/PQ evaluation process).

Individuals who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with one of these vaccines do not need additional doses of a COVID-19 vaccine licensed or authorized by the FDA, at least initially (but may be subject to subsequent booster requirements). Those who are not fully vaccinated generally will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine licensed or authorized by the FDA vaccine no less than 28 days after their last international vaccination. In the interim, they will be treated as if they are not fully vaccinated.
 

International students will be allowed on campus but they will be referred to a vaccine site to get vaccinated immediately, unless they qualify for a university-approved exception, accommodation or deferral. They must apply for a temporary deferral to the UC SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy through the Student Health Student Health Patient Portal Gateway under the “Medical Clearances” section. Questions may be directed via email to COVID19-vaccine@ucsb.edu.

COVID-19 vaccinations are available by appointment at Student Health for faculty and staff members and students. Student Health is offering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine, those who receive it qualify as fully vaccinated 2 weeks after administration. New students can make appointments to obtain COVID-19 vaccines now, even before their academic term begins. This single-dose Johnson& Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine is also currently available at several U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. Details can be found on their websites.

Until you are fully vaccinated, you will need to wear a face covering at all times when inside any UCSB-owned or UCSB-operated facility, or at any location on or off campus at which you are conducting university business, except for your residence (Note: face coverings are recommended when outdoors if a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained). You will also need to complete the UCSB Daily COVID-19 Screening Survey and obtain a weekly screening COVID-19 test on campus scheduled through the UCSB Student Health Patient Portal Gateway.

The University will accept any FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine as fulfilling the mandate. If you participated in a trial of a vaccine that has received authorization from either entity, and you can show that you did not receive the placebo (that is, your record has been “unblinded”), then you will be considered in compliance with the policy. For Novavax clinical trial participants: If you participated in the trial long enough to receive your CDC Vaccine Card, you may present a copy of that card as proof of your initial compliance with this policy, even though Novavax has not yet received FDA or WHO authorization. Boosters may be required later.

Yes. Both the original vaccine documentation and an English translation should be submitted online through the “Medical Clearances” section of the Student Health Patient PortalInstructions can be found on the Student Health website.

Yes. The policy applies to all UC students as a condition of in-person access to UC locations and programs (even if those programs do not take place at a UC location, such as an athletics event or study abroad). Students must be fully vaccinated and have submitted their vaccine documents, or have submitted a request for a vaccine exception or deferral, by their EAP departure dates. UCSB students should submit their information online through the “Medical Clearances” section of the Student Health Patient PortalInstructions can be found on the Student Health website.

Until you are fully vaccinated, you will need to wear a face covering at all times when inside any UCSB-owned or UCSB-operated facility, or at any location on or off campus at which you are conducting university business, except for your residence (Note: face coverings are recommended when outdoors if a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained). You will also need to complete the UCSB Daily COVID-19 Screening Survey and obtain a weekly screening COVID-19 test on campus scheduled through the UCSB Student Health Patient Portal Gateway.

Your request for a COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption must be specific for that vaccine and signed by a licensed healthcare provider, as detailed in the UC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy.

While your request is being processed, you may access campus as long as you follow the required protocols that include wearing a face covering at all times when inside any UCSB-owned or UCSB-operated facility, or at any location on or off campus at which you are conducting university business, except for your residence (Note: face coverings are recommended when outdoors if a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained). You also will be required to complete the UCSB Daily COVID-19 Screening Survey and to obtain a weekly COVID-19 test on campus scheduled through the UCSB Student Health Patient Portal Gateway.

On the morning of the 15th day after your final COVID-19 vaccine dose, your clearance badge will show that you are fully vaccinated. It takes 14 days after your final dose for the vaccine to be considered fully effective.

No, the vaccine mandate does not apply to most non-affiliated visitors to campus. More details can be found in the UC COVID-19 vaccine policy. All unvaccinated visitors are required to follow current campus and public health guidelines aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19. These may include wearing face coverings in indoor spaces on campus.

Visitors to UC Santa Barbara campus are encouraged to complete the On Demand Screening Survey and should reference the university's interim visitors protocol for additional information. The screening survey requires either COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival on campus. Some areas and programs have additional requirements. These include (but are not limited to) UCSB Arts and Lectures and UC Santa Barbara Athletics. Prior to coming to campus, visitors should check with departments and program organizers for the most up-to-date protocols.

At this time, COVID-19 booster vaccines are not required for compliance with the UCOP Policy, but we encourage everyone eligible to get their booster shot for maximal protection against COVID-19. This may change in the future depending on public health guidance and the COVID-19 prevalence in the community.

Vax Facts

Related Resources

Information about the COVID-19 vaccines and about the guidelines and policies directing their administration is available from numerous sources.