COVID-19 Vaccines

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Vaccine Booster Shots

  • Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you to make an appointment for a vaccine booster in your community. 
  • Vaccine booster clinics at UCSC will be announced here as they are planned. 

Booster Eligibility 

  • Pfizer - Received second dose at least 5 months ago
  • Moderna - Received second dose at least 5 months ago
  • Johnson & Johnson - Received single dose at least 2 months ago

If you originally received a vaccine that is not listed above, please contact the SHS COVID Messaging Team if you have any trouble accessing a booster: Log into Health e-Messenger and select Messages > New Message COVID-19 Questions

  • People currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to be vaccinated until they complete their isolation period and their symptoms are greatly improved.
  • Vaccines are available for currently enrolled UCSC students. Students who are newly admitted but not yet active are eligible for vaccines and testing must call 831-459-2500 to schedule. For the primary COVID-19 vaccine series, students should also call the Student Health Center.

  • 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. 


On-campus COVID-19 vaccines will be free to all registered UCSC students. Off campus locations will vary, please check with the particular clinic you are visiting. 

The University of California, Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) does not require a referral for off campus COVID-19 vaccinations or COVID-19 diagnostic testing, retroactive to March 2020. A referral is needed if any other service is performed during the visit. The COVID-19 immunization is a preventative service and as such there is no out-of-pocket cost to the student when the service is performed by an in-network Anthem PPO provider.

If you have paid out of pocket for any of these services or have received a bill from a provider for these services, please see the message on the UC Student Health Insurance Plan website to learn about your options. 

To upload proof of vaccine:

For students:

  1. Log in to Health e-Messenger with your CruzID and Gold password. Confirm your date of birth.
  2. Select Medical Clearances on the left-hand side, then COVID-19. Click the green Update button.
  3. Upload a copy of your vaccine card, and don’t forget to fill out your vaccine type and dates of your doses. Click Done and you’re compliant!

For employees: Log in to Health e-Messenger with your CruzID and Gold password. The experience is slightly different than students, so follow these illustrated step-by-step instructions for uploading your proof of vaccination. If you have questions about the vaccine policy and whether it applies to your situation, you can
email or view the HR 
COVID-19 Vaccine Policy FAQ's for employees

Remember: If you got vaccinated on the UC Santa Cruz campus, your vaccine record is already on file.

Vaccine Policy 

The UC system COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requires faculty, staff, and students to obtain a booster shot as soon as they are eligible. Covered individuals are required, subject to limited deferrals, exceptions, and associated non-pharmaceutical interventions, to be fully vaccinated, including boosted (if booster eligible), against COVID-19 before physically accessing the University’s Locations and Programs. UCSC Immunization Information.

You can qualify for a booster if it has been at least 2 months since you received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine or 5 months after your second Moderna or Pfizer vaccine dose. How to stay Up to date with Your COVID-19 vaccines.

For students who have received an international COVID-19 vaccine, please contact the SHS COVID Messaging Team to determine if you need a booster: Log into Health e-Messenger and select Messages > New Message COVID-19 Questions.

Save a copy of your digital COVID-19 vaccine record.

Alternative Vaccine Sites

If you are unable to get a vaccine at the Student Health Centers’ vaccine clinics, we encourage you to check with vaccine providers in your community at

Transportation tip: Santa Cruz Metro offers free bus rides to anyone going to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment within Santa Cruz County.

Exception process

  • Employees can initiate a request for exception by accessing one of the three processes below. (NOTE: If you are a UCSC student who is also employed by the campus in any capacity, do not use these three processes. Rather, read the instructions for students.) Here are the three options for requesting an exception:
  • Students can logon to Health e-Messenger and go to Downloadable Forms for Pregnant/Medical/Disability/Remote on the left navigation and then download, complete, print, and sign the appropriate form. When completed scan/photograph your form and upload back to the same location. (this starts the process to review, a submitted request is not an approval). For technical questions about how to upload exception requests visit - Health e-Messenger/Messages/New Messages COVID-19 questions. For questions about religious exemption policies or denials please email

  • Student Religious exceptions should be made at this link.  After completing this form Dean of Students will reach out.

  • If you have an approved religious or medical exemption, you do not need to fill out an additional form for a booster.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Get answers to frequently asked questions about vaccines. 

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

Stay home and call your healthcare provider.

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)
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
  • You must self-monitor for symptoms and wear a mask indoors for 14 days after your last known exposure. 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.
  • Test for COVID-19 3 - 5 days after your last known exposure.

Can international students get a COVID-19 test at the airport?

Having trouble getting vaccines in your country? You can get vaccinated right when you arrive at the airport. Now you can get free COVID-19 tests at the airports at San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Orange County (SNA) John Wayne), and San Jose. Testing hours and vaccine supply may be limited, so get more information by calling the airport before your arrival.