All incoming students (undergraduates, graduates, transfers, and re-admits) are required to comply with the Santa Clara University Immunization Requirements (2023-2024).
All current students refer Santa Clara University Immunization Requirements(2022-2023) for more information.
All Santa Clara University students, faculty, and staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. SCU requires the COVID-19 primary series plus a booster OR one dose of the bivalent/updated vaccine. Students must be complete or in progress of vaccination by August 1, 2023.
All immunization records must be uploaded to the Cowell Health Portal prior to August 1, 2023. Please note that new and incoming students will not be able to access the Cowell Health Portal to upload documents until after June 16, 2023. Students who fail to upload verification by this deadline may have a hold placed on their registration, preventing them from adding or dropping courses.
To request a medical immunization exemption, students can have their doctor complete the Exemption Form. Upload the completed form to the Cowell Health Portal. (All the requests will be reviewed by Medical Director to determine if the exemption is accepted)
All exemption/extension requests are due no later than August 1st. The review of requests will begin on July 1st. We strongly encourage you to upload your documentation sooner rather than later to allow adequate time for review.
If you do not have access to records, you may be able to submit a titer test. A titer is a laboratory test, ordered by a medical provider, that measures the presence and amount of antibodies in the blood. A titer may be used to prove immunity to disease. This option should only be used by those who no longer have access to immunization records.
If getting the necessary immunizations would cause significant financial hardship, you can email the Cowell Center at email@example.com and request an extension until you are covered by the University Student Health Insurance. Before doing so, please upload any immunization records you do have. Extensions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the deadline for completing the immunization requirements?
The deadline to complete all immunization requirements for new incoming students is August 1st.
There will not be a deadline extension; however, if you are missing any of the required immunizations, the easiest way to get immunizations done is to make an appointment at a CVS Minute Clinic. They carry most vaccinations and they accept the university's health insurance. You can schedule an appointment online at a local CVS Minute Clinic or find other walk-in clinic options or book an appointment at https://myturn.ca.gov/.
Will I get a confirmation email once I fulfill the requirements?
No. It is incumbent on you to check that you have fulfilled the requirements on your Cowell Health Portal.
What if I'm an international student and my home country does not provide the required immunizations?
The easiest way to get immunizations done is to make an appointment at a retail pharmacy. They carry most vaccinations and they accept the university's health insurance. You can schedule an appointment online at a local Walgreens and CVS.
What happens if I do not upload my immunizations?
Students who fail to upload the necessary information by August 1st will have a hold placed on their course registration preventing them from registering for courses until the information has been properly submitted.
Prior to a first appointment at Student Health Services, students are required to complete a Consent to Treatment form. To fulfill immunization requirements, students must complete their Health History form and upload their official Immunization document from their provider.
What should submissions look like?
All documents must clearly state the student's name and date of birth in English. A signature or stamp from your physician or clinic is required for your official immunization record. Incomplete documents will not be accepted.
What should lab results look like?
All laboratory results must include the full report including a numeric value and reference range.
If I submitted my immunization records or the Immunization Checklist, do I need to fill out the required immunization fields on the Cowell Health Portal?
Yes, you are still required to fill out the immunization date fields that are visible on the Cowell Health Portal. Your documentation will not be reviewed unless the date fields are filled out.
Do I still have to submit my immunization/lab reports if my physician's office signs and completes my provided immunization record?
The immunization record is sufficient along with lab reports when applicable. Once your physician's office completes, signs, and stamps the immunization record, you must complete the following:
1) Upload your official immunization record AND
2) Fill out applicable immunization date fields on the Cowell Health Portal. Your documentation will not be reviewed unless the date fields are filled out.
Who can I contact if I still have questions?
If you have questions or need assistance, please email Student Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communication via email is the most efficient way for immunization-related questions to be answered and the Cowell Center staff will reply to emails within 24-48 hours. We prefer to keep our phone lines reserved for more urgent health-related needs of our campus community, and email will help ensure your question gets routed to the correct staff member.
For the latest campus-wide information, please visit Prepared SCU: COVID-19 Campus Updates.
Students need to upload proof of COVID vaccination(s). Please upload your official vaccination card into the Cowell portal. Make sure that the image you upload shows your name, the date(s) on which you received the vaccine, and the type of vaccine (e.g., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J).
Directions for Uploading Proof of COVID Vaccination into SCU’s Cowell Center Portal
Students need to upload their immunization record by going to the SCU Portal and following these steps:
In the SCU Portal students will be asked to log in to their SCU account
Students can then click on Cowell Center | My Student Health Portal
Students need to authenticate the login by entering their date of birth
Students can then begin populating the required information
Click on “Immunizations”, and enter the type and date of all immunizations
Students must also upload an “official immunization record” into “Scanned Documents” i.e. document or photo of the document) to verify the information
For COVID, once inside the chart, under the home tab, click on the “Enter My COVID-19 Vaccination Information” tab and upload a copy of your COVID vaccination record and complete the required information. You must provide one jpg showing all your vaccinations.
If students do not see this tab, scroll down to “Medical Clearances” and upload the required information. Be sure to upload a picture of your vaccination card.
You will need to upload documentation of your vaccination. This could be a picture of your physical vaccine card, or a digital vaccine card. If you upload a digital vaccine card, please make sure that your name and birthday are included on the digital card so we can confirm your information. If you received your vaccination in California, you can look up your vaccination record at https://myvaccinerecord.
How can I confirm if I uploaded this already?
Check your electronic health record by logging into the Cowell portal; from the menu (left side) find medical clearances and click on "update" next to "Covid". If you see an uploaded image and have entered the dates you received the vaccines, then you are all good. You may receive a reminder email, these are sent out to the entire student body, please do not stress if you receive this email and have already confirmed that you have uploaded this information.
What vaccines meet the University's requirement?
Vaccines meeting the University requirement include those approved by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and/or any other COVID-19 vaccine which has received emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization (WHO) or another national regulatory organization. As of June 29, 2021, the vaccines that have received approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) include:
- Pfizer/BioNTech (8/23/21 Received FDA Approval)
- Astrazeneca-SK Bio
- Serum Institute of India
- Johnson & Johnson/Janssen
Why is there no religious exemption for students?
Due to the ongoing risk posed by COVID-19,, SCU will only consider requests for medical accommodations from students. This decision has been made in the best interest of our University community and surrounding neighborhoods, including those in our community who are medically vulnerable.
COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Policy for Graduate Students in Online Programs
Graduate students who are enrolled in an online educational program may seek an exemption to the University’s vaccination requirement if they attest to the Cowell Center that they will neither be on-campus nor use campus facilities. Should a student with an approved exemption visit the campus to use campus resources, participate in campus activities, or complete a residency requirement, the individual must comply with the vaccination requirement. To seek this exemption, graduate students should contact their respective college or school, which will work with the Cowell Center to register the exemption.
COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Policy for Graduate Students who have Completed 90% of Program Requirements
Graduate students who have completed at least 90 percent of their program requirements and are unvaccinated may seek an exemption to the University’s vaccination requirement in order to complete their degree program if the remaining required courses are offered in an online format. Such students must attest to the Cowell Center that they will neither be on-campus nor use campus facilities. Should a student with an approved exemption visit the campus to use campus resources, participate in campus activities, or complete a residency requirement, the individual must comply with the vaccination requirement. To seek this exemption, graduate students should contact their respective college or school, which will work with the Cowell Center to register the exemption.
I have received a complete two-shot vaccination in my home country, but the vaccine has not yet received emergency use authorization from the WHO or FDA. Should I get a duplicate vaccine series after I enter the US?
Yes - unless you received Covaxin. Covaxin is under active consideration by the WHO, and may be approved by the time fall quarter starts at SCU, in which case you may not need additional vaccination doses if you completed vaccination with Covaxin in your home country.
Will international students and students coming from outside of the US who have been vaccinated in their countries need to be re-vaccinated in the United States with a vaccine that is authorized for use in the US?
SCU will accept COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In the interest of health and safety, if you are outside the US and you only have access to a non-FDA/WHO-authorized vaccine (e.g. Sputnik V), we still recommend that you get vaccinated with the non-FDA/WHO-authorized vaccine as soon as possible.
SCU will continue to review guidance from US authorities on how to manage students who have received vaccines not approved by the FDA or WHO. Students who are partially vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not approved by the FDA or WHO will be required to receive a vaccine no later than 14 days after arrival in the US. In the interim while on campus, you may be subject to special safety measures, like quarantine, frequent asymptomatic testing, and more extensive masking requirements.
SCU is planning to assist students needing additional vaccinations or boosters upon arrival in the US, based on guidance at that time.
Is it okay if my proof of vaccination is in another language?
If your vaccine documentation has no English translation included, please include a translation when submitting it. We will follow up with you if there are further questions about the document.
If I have an underlying condition, can I get a vaccine?
People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people with underlying medical conditions. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Talk to your doctor if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Will the vaccines work on new COVID variants?
Early research suggests that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offer protection against new variants of COVID-19. Whether the protection is at the same level as for the dominant strain of COVID-19 remains to be determined. So far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway.
I received individual doses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, is that still sufficient?
Yes, as long as each dosage was on or after your first birthday and you received two dosages of each separated by at least 28 days.
I received the first dosage of MMR before my first birthday, what do I do?
You must receive a third dosage.
If I had Chicken Pox as a child does that mean I am cleared for the Varicella requirement?
No, even if you had Chicken Pox as child, you still need to get a titer (blood test) to prove immunity.
I only got the titer for Varicella, is that sufficient?
Yes, if the titer is positive, that will satisfy the Varicella immunity requirement. If titer is negative, documentation of 2 doses required.
I got the first dose of Varicella before my first birthday, what do I do?
You must receive a third dosage.
Is the TB screening mandatory?
Students outside of the US coming from high TB burden countries are required to submit a laboratory report of a negative Quantiferon or Tspot blood test completed in the United States or Canada within 1 month of starting classes at SCU. Students outside of the US from countries of origin that are not “high TB burden” as designated by the World Health Organization may be exempt from this requirement. View a complete list of the World Health Organization's list of High TB Burden Countries.
What if I had the BCG vaccine?
A history of BCG immunization does NOT fulfill this requirement.
What if I had a reactive/positive T-Spot or QuantiFeron-TB Gold test?
You must submit proof of the positive result and a normal/negative Chest X-Ray done within 6 months prior to entry to SCU to confirm that you do not have active Tuberculosis (TB).
Do I have to receive a dose of Menactra or Menveo (Meningococcal ACWY/MCV4)?
You must receive a dose of Menactra or Menveo (Meningococcal ACWY/MCV4) on or after the age of 16. These vaccines are approved for adults through the age of 55 years. It is not required if you are over 21 years of age.
I got the Meningococcal vaccine before my 16th birthday, what do I do?
You will need another dose of the Meningococcal vaccine to satisfy the requirement.
Do I have to receive a Meningococcal B (Trumenba, or Bexsero) vaccine?
If you are residing in campus housing, you will have to receive a Meningococcal B (Trumenba, or Bexsero) vaccine.
Do you allow titers for Meningococcal?
No. We only accept documentation of the vaccine.