UCI’s Director of the COVID-19 Response Team David M. Souleles issued an email with an update regarding the flu vaccine and new COVID-19 bivalent booster on Oct. 21. The bivalent booster is now required in addition to the primary series under the current UC Vaccine Policy.
This email followed on the heels of a warning from the Orange County Health Care Agency that a severe flu season has arrived earlier than usual. Australia’s recent flu outbreak — which tends to serve as a comparative to the U.S. — is an indication that this could be the worst flu season we’ve seen in five years.
In order to protect against COVID-19 and the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying up-to-date with immunizations.
Though UCI is advising students and staff to receive the flu vaccine and bivalent booster as soon as possible, the official deadline to get both vaccinations is Dec. 1, according to the email.
Vaccination compliance is required for current UCI students and faculty. Non-compliance will lead to an academic hold for winter 2023 enrollment, which will only be released following immunization.
Students can request a medical exemption, disability exemption, religious exemption or defer from vaccination during pregnancy. Those seeking an exemption can visit the Student Health Center’s website to find further information and directions.
“For the convenience of students, faculty and staff, UCI is pleased to offer vaccination clinics on campus in partnership with Ralphs and Albertsons pharmacies,” the email reads.
These vaccination clinics can be found in the lower-level lobby of the Division of Continuing Education. These clinics are scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m on operating days. Health insurance agencies will be billed directly for this service.
Additionally, UCI has partnered with the School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Program in Public Health to host pop-up vaccination spots on Ring Road. Students covered by SHIP will receive these vaccinations free of cost; others will be charged a $21 fee.
Students can schedule a flu shot appointment through their Student Health Portal.
Asia Boyd is a Campus News Intern for the fall 2022 quarter. She can be reached at email@example.com.