The University of California announced on July 15 that it will require all students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the upcoming fall term across all UC campuses.

The policy is permanent, and will apply to any future booster shots for the vaccine. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The vaccination policy requires all students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated  two weeks before the first week of instruction in order to access university facilities and programs in-person. 

Previously, the UC system said they planned to require COVID-19 vaccine only after vaccines received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are currently no COVID-19 vaccines that have received full approval from the FDA, and all vaccines being currently administered are under emergency use authorization.

According to the policy, UC students, staff and faculty will only be given an exemption for the following reasons: medical conditions, disabilities or religious beliefs. Unvaccinated individuals without exceptions or deferrals will be “barred from physical presence at university facilities and programs,” according to the policy, including university housing and in-person classes. Deferrals will be given to those who are pregnant, and will take the vaccine at a later date.

The specific exception and deferral procedures for UC Santa Barbara are still being developed and will be communicated in the coming weeks, according to a campus-wide email sent by Chancellor Yang.

According to COVID-19 preventative strategies stipulated in a UC memo, face coverings will be optional both outdoors and indoors for fully vaccinated individuals, and required indoors for those with exceptions or deferrals. In addition, all campuses are required to provide a vaccination center on site or maintain a list of accessible vaccination centers off-site where individuals can receive the vaccine. 

The policy is permanent, and will apply to any future booster shots for the vaccine.


Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at