HOW TO REQUEST A COVID-19 VACCINE EXCEPTION

The University strongly recommends that all members of the community obtain the COVID-19 vaccine to protect the health and safety of our communities.

The University of California’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requires that all of those accessing the University’s locations and programs in person to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions and deferrals. Personnel who fail follow the University’s Vaccination Policy may be barred from Physical Presence at University Facilities and Programs, and may be subject to disciplinary action.  Review the Policy for more information regarding vaccination compliance.

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION APPLIES TO CAMPUS EMPLOYEES:  

 

All exception requests are initiated via the UCLA COVID-19 Action Center (formerly known as the UCLA Symptom Monitoring System)

The  COVID-19 Action Center enables UCLA employees to request a medical, religious, or disability exception from receiving or completing the vaccination series.  Once the request has been submitted, employees will receive instructions and forms via email. Prompt cooperation with the exception process and request for documentation will assist in expediting the request.  Additionally, UCLA Employee Disability Management Services and/or Employee and Labor Relations may contact you.

UCLA Occupational Health Services is the UCLA Location Vaccine Authority that oversees requests for medical exemptions, disability exceptions and pregnancy deferrals.

 

REQUESTS FOR EXEMPTION TO THE COVID-19 VACCINE PROGRAM

Medical Exemption

To request an exception to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine due to a contraindication or precaution to the COVID-19 vaccination recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or by the vaccine’s manufacturer, employees must initiate the COVID-19 medical exemption request via the UCLA COVID-19 Action Center . Contraindications and Precautions are limited and do not include conditions that are unrelated to vaccines or injectable therapies, such as food, pet, venom, or environmental allergies, or allergies to oral medications. An employee may also request a medical exemption via the UCLA COVID-19 Action Center  due to a COVID-19 Diagnosis or Treatment within the last 90 days.  After initiating a medical exemption request via the COVID-19 Action Center, they will receive information and forms via email.

 

Disability Exception & Pregnancy Deferral

Employees may request an exception to the COVID-19 vaccine due to a physical or mental disorder or condition that limits a major life activity and any other condition recognized as a disability under applicable law including pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition where reasonable accommodation is medically advisable. For purposes of this policy, a non-healthcare worker who is pregnant is not eligible on that basis alone for an Exception, but may be eligible for a Deferral for the duration of pregnancy.  For healthcare workers requesting a deferral due to a pregnancy-related condition, refer to the Order of the State Public Health Officer Health Care Worker Vaccine Requirement. To request an exception to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine due to disability or for a pregnancy deferral, employees must initiate the COVID-19 Disability Exception or Pregnancy Deferral Request via the COVID-19 Action CenterAfter initiating your disability exception or pregnancy deferral request via the symptom monitoring survey, instructions and forms will be sent to the employee’s email.

For additional information about medical and disability exceptions, or pregnancy deferrals, staff, faculty and other academic appointees, Residents and Post-Doctoral Scholars may contact RTWmail@irm.ucla.edu.

 

Religious Belief Objection

Employees may seek a limited exception due to an objection to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine based on the employee’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Requests for exceptions must be initiated via the UCLA COVID-19 Action Center. Instructions and forms will be sent via email. After initiating your religious objection request via the action center and returning the requested documentation, a representative from Employee and Labor Relations will respond to requests for religious exceptions from staff employees and Academic Personnel will respond to requests for religious exceptions from Faculty and other academic appointees.

For additional information, Staff may contact employee.relations@chr.ucla.edu; and Faculty and other Academic Appointees may contact apo@conet.ucla.edu.

 

WHILE YOUR REQUEST IS PENDING and IF APPROVED

For Non-Healthcare Workers: While your request for an exception or deferral to the COVID-19 vaccine policy is pending and if approved, indoor masking is encouraged.

For Healthcare Workers: While your request for an exception or deferral to the COVID-19 vaccine policy is pending, follow your location’s PPE policies.

If exposed to COVID-19, follow the testing and quarantining protocols described in the link: Exposure management, quarantine and screening/testing

Additionally, as an unvaccinated individual, please observe the following non-pharmaceutical interventions that help slow the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. These include, for example:

  • Staying home, especially when you, a household or family member is sick;
  • Quarantining when you have been exposed to someone else with the illness;
  • Avoiding large gatherings;
  • Physical distancing to the extent possible;
  • Frequent handwashing and cleaning;
  • You may be subject to additional mitigation measures as LA County Department of Public Health and Cal/OSHA mandates evolve;
  • Additional accommodations may also need to be explored depending on your circumstances.

 

APPROVED EXCEPTION OR DEFERRAL REQUESTS

If your request for an exception to the COVID-19 Vaccine is approved, you will be notified via email.

Employees who cannot wear face coverings due to a medical or mental health condition or disability, or who are deaf and hard of hearing or communicating with a deaf or hard of hearing person, an Accommodation must be an effective non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom if their condition or disability permits it. Please complete this form to Request COVID-19 Related Accommodation

Information about obtaining approved facemasks and PPE is located at the EH&S PPE Store. For a summary of recommendations and requirements while on UCLA properties, refer to the table linked here

Acceptable types of facemasks

Facemasks must be won over the nose and mouth. A disposable/procedure mask is acceptable, however, greater protection may be required under certain circumstances, including in higher-risk health and patient care environments. For details, please refer to the LACDPH’s face mask guidance and Cal/OSHA’s emergency temporary standards. Further information on facemasks is available on the CDC’s facemask page.

Examples of acceptable face masks:

  • Surgical masks
  • Non-woven KN95 masks
  • N95 respirators

Examples of unacceptable face coverings:

  • Scarves
  • Balaclavas/ski masks
  • Single-layer fabric masks and neck gaiters
  • Bandanas
  • Turtleneck collars

 

ACCOMMODATION FOR EMPLOYEES WITH A DISABILITY or WHO ARE PREGNANT

In addition to implementing the above interventions, employees with a disability, chronic medical condition or who are pregnant may have a need to request other job accommodations. A request for accommodation triggers the interactive process. Disability Management Consultants with Employee Disability Management Services will facilitate dialogue with you and your department about reasonable accommodations. In case of a disability, you may be required to provide medical documentation that confirms you are an individual with a disability and describes your functional limitations. In case of a pregnancy, you may be required to provide documentation from your health care provider that describes the recommended accommodations. Information regarding the job accommodation process and an accommodation request form is available at this link: disability accommodations.

 

STUDENTS AND STUDENT EMPLOYEES

If you are a student or student employee, to make a request for an exception to the COVID-19 vaccine, please use the UCLA COVID-19 Action Center and select the student option.  Also, see Ashe Center Student Information on Exemptions.

 

UCLA HEALTH EMPLOYEES

As an employee of UCLA Health, an email was sent to you that included important information about the COVID-19 vaccination policy, vaccines and information about how to request an exception.  Access the UCLA COVID-19 Action Center if you have a religious or medical reason to decline the vaccine.   Guidance is available here related to masking for UCLA Health Employees.

 

DENIED EXCEPTION OR DEFERRAL REQUESTS

If a request for Exception or Deferral is denied, you will have 14 calendar days from the denial date to submit proof that you have received your first dose of a COVID19 vaccine including the date you received it. You will have a total of 8 weeks from the denial date to submit proof that you are Fully Vaccinated or you will be denied physical presence at the relevant University Location(s) or Program(s).

 

CONTACTS

Employee Disability Management Services is the UCLA Responsible Office that facilitates vaccine exception requests based on medical, disability and pregnancy. This office additionally facilitates the job accommodation process for staff, faculty and other academic appointees, residents, post-doctoral scholars and student employees. Contact RTWmail@irm.ucla.edu

Employee Relations (Campus personnel) is the UCLA Responsible Office that facilitates vaccine exception requests based on a religious objection for campus staff personnel. Contact employee.relations@chr.ucla.edu.

Employee Relations (UCLA Health Employees) is the UCLA Responsible Office that facilitates vaccine exception requests based on a religious objection for UCLA Health Employees. Contact UCLAHealthLaborRelations@mednet.ucla.edu.

Academic Personnel Office is the UCLA Responsible Office that facilitates vaccine exception requests based on a religious objection for faculty and other academic appointees. Contact at apo@conet.ucla.edu.

UCLA Occupational Health Services is the UCLA Location Vaccine Authority that oversees requests for medical exemptions, disability exceptions and pregnancy deferrals. 

Ashe Student Health Center COVID-19 central information page and Contact Information.

UCLA Health Employee COVID-19 vaccine information hub. Contact at COVIDCallCenter@mednet.ucla.edu.

General questions related to COVID-19 at UCLA can be sent to covid19@ucla.edu.

 

RESOURCES

Policy: (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

FAQ's for Employees

UCLA COVID-19 and vaccine resources

Health & Safety - UCLA COVID-19

Building Ventilation Assessment Status

N95 and PPE Supply Store

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Underlying Medical Conditions

People Who May be at Increased Risk for Severe Illness

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 Contraindications and Precautions