COVID-19 Vaccines

On This Page


About the Vaccine

UCSC Student Health Center will have access to the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

The Moderna vaccine is:

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is:

Current Vaccine Availability

The Student Health Center will receive about 200 COVID-19 vaccines per week starting in February.

We follow distribution guidelines from the County of Santa Cruz Health Agency, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the University of California. They have divided the vaccine distribution into tiered phases. We have moved through state Phase 1A (see below), and are now in state Phase 1B. Currently, we are scheduling Group #1B-3 (employees working on-site). As open appointments are available we are starting to work through employees who fall into other groups

Distribution Plan

The following groupings are based on state vaccination phasing and UC distribution guidance. The vaccine distribution plan could change as state or UC system guidelines change.

STATE PHASE 1A: Health Care Workers

STATE PHASE 1B includes the UC Groups below:

  • UC Group #1: Employees and students age 65+
  • UC Group #2: Employees working on-site in: Child care, First responder, Food & Agriculture
  • UC Group #3: Employees working on-site in categories outside those listed in Group 2

You will be notified when it's time to schedule your vaccine. You will not need to contact Student Health Services.

Alternative option: Because the initial doses may not be enough for all eligible people, we encourage you to check with your primary care provider about getting a vaccine. Depending on their vaccine availability, they may have vaccines for you.


UCSC plans to have vaccines for currently enrolled UCSC students and currently employed employees. UCSC will notify the campus community about vaccine availability as they become available. You will not need to contact Student Health Services.

We do not offer vaccines to the public. Members of the public should contact their healthcare provider for vaccine information, or visit the County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency vaccine website.

California residents can use to get notified when they are eligible for the vaccine.


On-campus COVID-19 vaccines will be free to all registered UCSC students and currently employed staff and faculty. 


If you have been contacted by UCSC Student Health Services saying that you are now eligible to receive an on-campus COVID-19 vaccine, here's how to schedule and what to expect at your appointment. We're glad that you're taking this opportunity to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the UCSC community.

Citas para la Vacuna COVID-19 instrucctiones in español.

Current Vaccine Dates

  • The Vaccine Clinic is currently full. More dates will be available soon.


UCSC Haybarn at 94 Ranch View Road at the base of campus. (Map) (Parking information)

Before You Schedule

As we roll out this new system across campus, we realize there may be delays or interruptions. We’re working hard to get you the vaccine as quickly and as easily as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Here's what you can do to make your appointment go smoothly:

How to Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment

Log into the UCSC patient portal, Health e-Messenger. Use your CruzID and Gold password. If you haven't logged in before, see the Health e-Messenger registration instructions (instrucciones en espanol) before scheduling.

  • If this is your first time on Health e-Messenger go to Medical Clearances and sign the Notice of Privacy Practices.
  • Choose “Appointments” from the left menu.
  • Click the “Schedule Appointment” button.
  • Enter your phone number.
  • Enter your address/verify that your address is correct.
  • Choose the date and time you want. If you see "No appointments are available for the specified range," that means the clinic is currently full. We will add more appointment slots as soon as we can.
  • Check your UCSC email for a confirmation email. The email has a barcode; please bring the barcode to your appointment either on your smartphone or on a printout.
  • If you have technical difficulties, call at 831-459-2500.

What to Expect At Your Appointment

  • Stay home if you're sick. Do not come to your appointment if you have a cough, fever, or other cold or flu symptoms, have had a recent COVID-19 diagnosis within the past 14 days, or have had a close contact exposure to someone with COVID-19 in the 14 days before your appointment. Instead, stay home and call your primary care provider immediately.
  • Complete your consent form on the morning of your appointment before you arrive. You will get an email with a link to your consent form. You can also log into the UCSC patient portal, Health e-Messenger, using your CruzID and Gold password. Choose  “Consent Forms” and complete the forms you see there.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. You will need to expose your entire upper arm and top of your shoulder.
  • Wear your mask and stay socially distanced. You'll be checked in and vaccinated by staff wearing masks and gloves. 
  • Check in with your barcode from your confirmation email or from your Health e-Messenger homepage. You can show us the barcode on your smartphone or on a printout.
  • Be prepared to wait. After you've been vaccinated, you will be required to wait for 15-30 minutes as a nurse monitors you for allergic reactions.
  • Take your vaccine card. We will give you a COVID-19 vaccine administration card for your records. It is important that you save this card and return with it when getting your second dose.

After Your Appointment

  • Monitor yourself. If you have any adverse reactions after you are home, call 911 immediately for emergencies or contact your healthcare provider. Learn about normal side effects and what to expect after your vaccine.
  • Put your second vaccine appointment in your calendar. Your second dose appointment will be scheduled for you 28 days (Moderna) or 21 days (Pfizer) from the first dose, and at the same time.
  • Protect yourself and others. Remember that the vaccine will not protect you until a week or two after your second shot. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.​

Frequently Asked Questions About the Vaccine

University of California Health COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Vaccine Safety

Is the vaccine safe? 

Yes. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine as well as the emergency use of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. UCSC’s vaccination locations operate safely using the CDC’s guidance for immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Does the vaccine have side effects?

As with all vaccines, sometimes the vaccination causes mild side effects. These include pain or redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pains, chills, nausea, vomiting, swelling/tenderness of glands in the underarm area. These are not harmful. Here’s what to expect after getting your COVID-19 vaccine

What happens if I have an allergic reaction to the vaccine?

Allergic reactions are rare. SHS will monitor you for allergic reactions before you go home. If you have hives, swelling, or wheezing (respiratory distress) after vaccination, call 911. Use the CDC's v-safe app to let the CDC know about any reactions you have. 

What are the ingredients of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines?


Vaccine Timing and Protection

Does the vaccine protect against all variants of COVID?

Yes, the vaccine is 94% effective (Moderna) and 95% effective (Pfizer) against all currently known types of COVID-19.  

Am I protected against COVID-19 when I get the first vaccine?

You need to get both doses. According to the State of California: “Getting the second dose of the vaccine will make it more effective. When the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to you, and after you receive your first dose, you should schedule the second dose appointment before leaving your doctor’s office.” 

What if I miss my second dose?

Call your healthcare provider to get the second dose as soon as possible.The vaccine isn’t as effective with only one dose. Two doses are required. Use the CDC's v-safe app to get reminders about getting your second dose.

When I'm vaccinated, can I stop socially distancing or wearing masks?

No. Even with a vaccine you may still be able to spread COVID-19. Keep wearing masks, washing your hands and watching your distance until the vaccine has been widely distributed.

What should I do if I get my first vaccine but then feel sick with COVID-19 symptoms?

Stay home and call your healthcare provider.

Will I be affected if other people on campus don’t get the vaccine?

You will be protected from people with COVID-19 if you get both doses of vaccine, even if others do not.

I've been fully vaccinated and then I was exposed to a COVID-19 positive person. Should I quarantine?

If you were exposed to a COVID-19 positive person but you’ve been vaccinated, the CDC says you are not required to quarantine if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
  • You must still wear your mask to avoid spreading COVID-19 to others. Even when vaccinated, you can still have the virus in your nose or mouth. It won't make you sick but you can spread to others if you cough, sneeze, laugh, sing, etc.


Vaccine Distribution

If I am not onsite now, but will be working onsite in Spring Quarter, will I be able to get a vaccine from the campus?

With limited doses, priority has been given to individuals currently working on-site before outreach to those who will be working on-site in future quarters. Everyone who has the option to be vaccinated through their healthcare provider or another venue should take full advantage of that opportunity.

How did you determine who is considered an onsite employee?

Data is pulled from UC Path to identify employees within various job titles (e.g. dining workers, custodians, etc) and from Qualtrics submissions. Qualtrics is the tool used for employees who are working on-campus to submit their symptom check questionnaire. Employees using Qualtrics in the winter quarter were included in the names of those working on site in the State Phase 1b, UC Group 3b category.

I have heard of individuals who are younger than me and have no health risk factors getting invites to make vaccine appointments. How is that possible?

The first priority area of vaccination for campus were those who fell into State Phase 1a, which included any personnel working in Student Health Services, the testing lab, or testing kiosks. As the campus moved into State Phase 1b, the priority shifted to campus personnel 65+, followed by those working on-site. If someone met the age threshold or if they have been on-site working in winter quarter as defined by their use of the Qualtrics daily symptom check, they have been prioritized before those who are younger than 65 or have not been on-site.

With the changes in the state allocation model, and the uncertainty surrounding the future of the UC Santa Cruz vaccine clinic, if I have already received a first dose of the vaccine from campus, can you guarantee me that you will be able to give me the required second dose?

We have been told by the Office of the President that the state has indicated that clinics operating before the new distribution model will get the needed second doses for distribution. We are monitoring this closely, and will alert individuals if anything changes.

Since the state has expanded their eligibility to include individuals aged 16-64 with health risk factors, will the campus now take into account my health risk factors to determine if I can get a vaccine from the campus clinic?

The state continues to expand eligibility categories and in February included a list of health risk factors that can now be considered for eligibility in the 16-64 year old population starting March 15th. The UC Santa Cruz clinic has prioritized the 65+ age group and those working on-site. We have not received enough doses to cover this entire population, and are not expanding eligibility at this point. With changes to the state distribution model, it is not clear whether we will remain an eligible vaccination site or what our dose allocation will be. 

I was able to make an appointment for next week, but if there is uncertainty in the vaccine supply could my appointment be cancelled? How will I know?

Any changes to appointments will be communicated to you via an outreach from the Student Health Center.

If I am currently working on site during Winter Quarter and have been completing the Qualtrics daily symptom check but did not receive an invitation to register for an appointment, what can I do?

If you think there may have been an error please contact Associate Vice Chancellor Jean Marie Scott at  A team will review your situation and provide guidance with respect to your eligibility.


Vaccine Requirements

Will the vaccine be required?

At this time, the vaccine is strongly encouraged but not required. We work closely with UCOP and are following their guidelines. If you choose not to get the vaccine when it becomes available to you, you will need to complete a declination form. More information is coming soon.

I've been asked to upload proof of my off-campus vaccination - how do I do that?

If you are asked for proof of your off-campus vaccination, use the COVID-19 Vaccine record card you received after your vaccination. Log into Health e-Messenger with your Cruz ID and gold password. Go to Messages and select COVID-19 Questions. Attach an image of your record card and send.


Who Should Get the Vaccine

Should I get a vaccine even though I’m young and healthy?

Yes. If you get COVID-19, a vaccine will protect you from long-term effects and will lessen your risk of serious symptoms. Getting a vaccine helps stop the spread of COVID-19 to others who are at greater risk such as grandparents, professors and staff, neighbors, friends with medical conditions, etc.

Where can off-campus students or family members get vaccinated?

They should contact their primary care provider for vaccine information, or visit the County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency vaccine website.

I have a high-risk medical condition but I'm not in the group currently eligible for vaccination. Can I get the vaccine now?

UCSC is strictly following the CA State and Santa Cruz County vaccine administration phases. At this time, people aged 16-64 with underlying medical conditions are not in a specific priority group and most likely won't be eligible for vaccination until their age group comes up. Please contact your primary care provider directly for further questions.

Can I get the vaccine if...

  • ...I already have or had COVID-19? Yes, as long as you have recovered and are no longer in isolation.
  • ...I received any other vaccine recently? Wait 14 days after your last vaccination before you get the COVID-19 vaccination.
  • ...I am under 18? Moderna is only available for those 18 and older and Pfizer is available for those 16 and older. When the vaccine is available for students, please contact us if you need help finding a vaccine that is approved for your age range.
  • ...I am pregnant or breast-feeding? Typically yes, but you should talk to your OBGYN first.
  • ...I am immune-compromised? Typically yes, but you should talk to your healthcare provider first.
  • ...I have a history of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)? Talk to your healthcare specialist first. Depending on the history, we may ask you to get approval from your allergist or other specialist before giving you the vaccine. Get more information about allergies and COVID-19 vaccines.
  • ...I have mild seasonal, food, pet or dust allergies? Yes, the vaccine is safe for those with egg allergies, other food allergies and celiac disease. There are no preservatives. People with mild seasonal, pet or dust allergies may receive the vaccine.


Our nurses can also answer your questions at the time of your appointment.