UC Berkley Sends a Concerning Mandate Email
I received an email from Cal Parents (they’re just forwarding to parents/guardians) regarding the University Health Services Updates on the flu vaccine requirement, flu shot clinics, and COVID-19 bivalent boosters sent by University Health Services Director Anna Harte MD and UHS Associate Vice Chancellor Guy Nicolette MD to all UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students on Monday, Sept. 19th.
The email states, among other things, that UHS is offering flu shot appointments that can be booked via the online portal eTang (link provided in the email/message) or via drop-in flu shot clinics in October. The flu vaccine mandate, updated revision of 9/1/22, strongly recommends all students, faculty, and staff receive a flu shot for the current season (administered 8/1/22 or later) and requires documentation of immunization or declination by 12/1/22. To comply, students need to either get the shot on campus, elsewhere and add the info to the medical clearances section in eTang, or decline by reading and acknowledging the flu vaccine info web page and submitting a declination via a portal “to support the health & well being of the campus/community.”
It also states that it is
“strongly recommended that anyone who is eligible for the bivalent booster receive it as soon as possible, especially:
anyone with underlying health conditions that put them or family members/those they live with at higher risk for severe disease.
if it has been more than 6 months since their last dose of any COVID vaccine.”
It continues to explain that COVID-19 bivalent boosters will be offered to students at UHS vaccination clinics and that the UC COVID-19 vaccine police requires that they stay up to date with the CDC recommendations for vaccines, which now include the latest bivalent booster. Given current limited supplies of the new bivalent booster, students will not yet be penalized if they are unable to get it within the next few months, as long as they have received a primary series with at least one booster as soon as they become eligible. They then add, “please note that compliance may be enforced at a future date—don’t delay and don’t forget to upload your vaccine info on eTang as soon as you get it.”
They close with how much they appreciate the students’ “cooperation in maintaining the health” of the campus community.
Nowhere within the email is there mention of how to boost their immune systems through diet, exercise, vitamins, etc., but there is a blanket claim with no supporting data that getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to protect themselves during flu season. Nowhere within the email is their any statement or disclosure regarding potential risks, side effects, adverse effects, or how UHS tracks/reports adverse effects or follows up. There is no disclosure regarding what manufacturers/shots they’re using or a list of ingredients, nor is there any disclosure regarding liability/recourse or lack thereof. Nowhere is there any statement regarding potential conflicts of interest, biases, financial remuneration, grants etc., that may have influenced the above.
Please know that I am working hard fighting all of this. Thank you for all you do.
A Cal Alum