All individuals ages 6 months 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, including a booster shot if eligible, 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.
Current Status of Vaccinations
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (SBCPHD) has announced that all individuals ages 6 months and older are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
UC’s final University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs 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, under the "Medical Clearances" section. 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 on the Ventura County Recovers website, and those in San Luis Obispo County can do so on the Recover SLO website.
Anyone needing assistance in making an appointment can call 2-1-1 and select option 4 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily).
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, the University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs requires that all faculty, students, and staff receive or affirmatively decline annual influenza vaccination. Employees may satisfy this requirement by self-attestation through the Student Health Patient Portal, under the "Medical Clearances" section.
Following the FDA emergency use authorization of the updated COVID-19 vaccine booster and guidance from the CDC, the California Department of Public Health now recommends the new bivalent Pfizer or Moderna booster shots for EVERYONE over the age of 12 years old. The bivalent vaccines or “updated boosters,” contain two mRNA components of SARS-CoV-2 virus; one of the original strain and one common. Between the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of the omicron variant. At this time, only the new Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is authorized as a booster shot for adolescents aged 12 and above, while the new Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is authorized as a booster shot for persons aged 18 and above. UC Santa Barbara Student Health has the bivalent Moderna shots available by appointment for students.
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. Boosters are required by the University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs, for eligible faculty, students, and staff.
Eligibility for a COVID-19 booster is 2 months after a previous COVID-19 vaccine dose. If you have recently had a COVID-19 infection, you may wait no longer than 90 days to get a COVID-19 booster, but we encourage you to get the booster sooner.
Students, faculty, and staff should check their confidential record in the Student Health Patient Portal to determine if their booster shot is recorded under the "Medical Clearances" section, which provides an opportunity to upload your vaccine records and enter the dates of vaccinations.
Answers to questions about the COVID-19 vaccines
In Santa Barbara County, vaccine eligibility includes all individuals ages 6 months 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 be found at Vaccines.gov. Residents of Ventura County can make vaccination appointments here, and those in San Luis Obispo County can do so here.
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.
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.” UC Santa Barbara 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 has appointments available for Moderna COVID-19 booster shots. COVID-19 Vaccines and booster shots are widely available at local pharmacies, with appointments available without charge through the MyTurn site.
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 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.
Effective June 13, masks are no longer required but are strongly recommended in indoor spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status, except when working alone in private offices. Universal masking is still required in high-risk settings such as healthcare facilities. 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 Student Health Patient Portal. 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.
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, including a booster shot if eligible, 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, including a booster shot if eligible, 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, new faculty, staff and incoming students must submit proof that they are fully vaccinated or submit a request for a COVID-19 vaccine policy exception or deferral. 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. New students must be in compliance before arrival on campus.
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 who have exception or deferral requests pending will be required to wear face coverings inside all campus facilities and to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing through the campus COVID-19 Testing Center.
Students living in university-owned housing must be in compliance with the University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs prior to arriving on campus. Students, faculty and staff may submit their COVID-19 proof of vaccination online through the Student Health Patient Portal under the "Medical Clearances" section.
UC Santa Barbara 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).
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 University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs through the Student Health Patient Portal under the “Medical Clearances” section. Questions may be directed via email to COVID19email@example.com.
COVID-19 vaccinations are available by appointment at Student Health for students. COVID-19 vaccines are widely available in California free of charge from local health care providers and at local pharmacies, with appointments available through the MyTurn site.
Until you are fully vaccinated, you will need to obtain a weekly screening COVID-19 test on campus scheduled through the UC Santa Barbara Student Health Patient Portal.
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. 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. UC Santa Barbara students should submit their information online through the “Medical Clearances” section of the Student Health Patient Portal. Instructions can be found on the Student Health website.
Until you are fully vaccinated and have obtained your booster dose (if eligible), you will need to obtain a weekly screening COVID-19 test on campus scheduled through the UC Santa Barbara Student Health Patient Portal.
I was previously granted an exemption from one or more entry immunization requirements when I first started at UCSB. Will that exemption cover COVID-19 vaccines, or will I have to submit a request specifically for one or more of the COVID-19 vaccines?
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 to obtain a weekly COVID-19 test on campus scheduled through the UC Santa Barbara Student Health Patient Portal.
The vaccine mandate applies to all non-affiliated visitors using campus facilities. 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 include wearing face coverings in indoor spaces on campus and completing the On Demand Screening Survey. Please see the university's interim visitors protocol for more details.
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 PCR test within 48 hours of arrival on campus, or a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test within 24 hours upon 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.
All COVID-19 vaccine boosters recommended by the CDC are required by the University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs as a condition for physical presence at locations and in university programs, unless they have been granted an exception under the Vaccine Program Policy. Students may have their registration blocked for future class enrollments if they are not compliant with the University of California - Policy on Vaccination Programs.
Eligibility for the current bivalent COVID-19 Booster is 2 months after your last COVID-19 vaccine dose, including WHO-authorized international COVID-19 vaccines not available in the United States. If you have recently had a COVID-19 infection, you may wait no longer than 90 days to get a COVID-19 booster, but we encourage you to get the booster sooner. (If your COVID-19 diagnosis was not made through the campus COVID-19 testing program, please upload this information through the Student Health Patient Portal under "Messages" then "New Message" in order to be exempted from any testing requirements.)
Students, faculty and staff should check their confidential record in the Student Health Patient Portal to determine if their booster shot is recorded under the "Medical Clearances" section, which provides an opportunity to upload your vaccine records and enter the dates of vaccinations.
Information about the COVID-19 vaccines and about the guidelines and policies directing their administration is available from numerous sources.
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