The University of California Schools Can No Longer Ignore Public Push Back
Community members can now Opt-Out of Boosters but this fight is not over
On July 15, 2021, the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) announced that faculty, staff, and students would be required to take the primary series COVID-19 vaccine for “the safety and well-being of the entire university community”. On December 21, 2021, the UCOP updated the UC Vaccine Policy requiring all community members to receive the COVID-19 monovalent booster before January 31, 2022. While the UCs announced that medical and religious exemptions would be considered; for many, they were not easy to get.
After students paid tuition and were fully enrolled in classes in the fall of 2022, twenty one colleges announced that they would mandate the bivalent booster. This can get slightly confusing but essentially it means that a second booster dose is required for upper class students, faculty and staff and others who have already taken the old monovalent booster, and a first booster dose for any incoming freshmen who have not taken the old monovalent booster. Friendly reminder that the bivalent booster was rushed through development (as were all COVID-19 vaccines) with data collected from clinical trials on unlucky 8 mice and zero human clinical trial safety studies.
Among the UC schools, at least two announced that they had mandated the bivalent booster. The University of California at Irvine (UCI) issued an announcement on Sept 19, 2022, stating that the "Bivalent booster will be required under the UC Vaccine Policy, more information to come later in the quarter." The University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) stated that “Policy on Vaccination Programs also requires the new FDA-approved Moderna or Pfizer BioNTech Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines if it has been more than two months since your last vaccine/booster dose."
On October 2nd, Professor William Robinson from UCSB wrote a letter outlining three major concerns with the UC bivalent booster mandate, “first, we now know for certain that vaccination neither protects against infection nor prevents transmission, second…. we know that there are major risks associated with vaccination and third… the [clinical] trials were seriously compromised.” He sent his letter to UCSB administration urging them to reverse course on compulsory COVID-19 vaccination.
Again on October 21, 2022, UCI announced that all students and staff would be required to take the bivalent booster and the flu shot by December 1, 2022, but around that same time, the language mandating the bivalent booster could no longer be found on UCSB’s Website.
After some digging, we learned that no formal bivalent booster policy had been established by the UCOP. UCI and UCSB were intentionally misleading to their communities that the bivalent booster WAS a requirement as per UC Vaccine Policy when there was no such requirement in place. The UCOP establishes a systemwide UC Vaccine Policy, and as far as we know, the UC schools cannot act independently of this systemwide policy.
So, who gave the order for UCI and UCSB to go rogue in announcing that they had mandated the bivalent booster and how many community members relied on this false information and complied with their false claim that the bivalent booster had been mandated? With any luck, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
As it turned out, effective September 1st, the UCOP initiated a formal systemwide review that ran from September 16, 2022 through December 15, 2022, and the UCOP invited feedback from all UC community members on current COVID-19 vaccine mandates, masking and testing policies.
Thankfully, faculty members, parents and students were outraged that UCI and UCSB had announced a second booster mandate, and they immediately got to work. Just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, Professor Robinson and 10 other UC professors sent a letter to UC administrators urging them to reverse course on the bivalent booster mandate citing, among other things, mounting evidence of adverse events. They also sent the letter to nine UC student newspapers. They received no response from administration and not one student newspaper would print their letter.
We reached out to our community of members at No College Mandates and connected a team of UC parents who worked together to launch a letter campaign through the Align Act platform. Unlike a petition, every time someone signs the Align Act, the targets of the campaign get a signed copy of the letter uploaded by the UC parent team. To date, UC administrators, CA politicians and other UC decision makers have received thousands of emails with the letter and supporting research urging the UCs to not only reconsider mandating the bivalent booster, but also urging them to rescind all COVID-19 vaccines and restore medical freedom to every member of the UC community.
If you have not yet signed or forwarded the UC Align Act campaign, please help us collect more support.
As a result of community pressure, the UCOP issued updated interim amendment to the UC Vaccine Policy. You can read the full document here. This updated document allows community members to “opt-out” of taking booster shots, however, “[i]ndividuals who opt-out may be subject to campus-specific non-pharmaceutical interventions such as indoor masking.”
The updated policy was issued on December 12, 2022 and the systemwide review will end on January 27, 2023. The opt-out is now available to all UC community members (except healthcare workers who may not be able to decline their first booster) even though the Websites of some of the UC schools have not yet been fully updated to reflect this. UC students, faculty and staff must submit proof of a COVID-19 booster as of December 31, 2022 and no later than February 1, 2023. Despite knowing for over one year that COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission, the UCs continue to put forth that “getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and staying up-to-date with boosters is the best way to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our community safer.”
UC parents and professors are gearing up once again to push back against the updated interim amendments to the UC Vaccine Policy. They plan to cite more emerging data on COVID-19 vaccine failures and vaccine side effects in an effort to urge the UCOP and other decision makers that the updated amendments have not gone far enough. Not until informed consent is restored to each community member and everyone is given the right to choose which medical treatments would most benefit them after conducting an individual risk/benefit analysis will this fight end.
These are only a few examples of how the UC community has pushed back against these illegal, unethical, and dangerous COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and there is no question that pressure from letters, personalized emails and phone calls have forced leadership to walk back booster mandates.
Our voices are being heard, our efforts are working, and we won’t be silenced until all college and university COVID-19 vaccine mandates have been retracted.
Co-founder, No College Mandates
This is truly incredible. What a fraud, thank you for this great re-cap and all the efforts, Lucia. The same psychotic push for bivalent boosters is still going strong at NorthEast schools and especially private boarding schools. That is why we compel everyone not to apply to these wicked corrupt institutions. Speak with your money too.
Thank you for your tenacity on this. I am ever so grateful for your pressuring my sons university and ultimately them choosing not to mandate the vaccine. Thank you!