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Vaccination for Researchers and Research Support Staff

Learn about the UC San Diego vaccine policy and how the campus provides vaccination support for research teams.

Personnel working in biological research facilities face occupational health risks due to biological agents. In an effort to mitigate these risks, UC San Diego offers many vaccines free of charge to research teams handling infectious agents, biological toxins, or animals infected with an infectious agent or biological toxin.

Vaccinations are in accordance with Cal/OSHA standards, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UC San Diego IBC, and UC San Diego Center for Occupational & Emergency Medicine (COEM) recommendations. Only vaccinations recommended by the EH&S Occupational Health Nurse at COEM medical care providers may be provided at COEM free of charge.

Vaccinations are voluntary; however, completion of the Vaccination Acceptance / Declination Form is required when handling certain agents/toxins.

Available vaccines

Below is a list of infectious agents and biological toxins for which there is a vaccine available for researchers and research support staff. This list applies to modified and attenuated versions of these infectious agents and portions of biological toxins that elicit an immune response. Agents or toxins that require a medical consultation are denoted by the symbol ¥.

Note: Not all vaccines are effective against every strain of the infectious agent or biological toxin, and some vaccines require periodic booster shots over time due to waning immunity. Based on the risk assessment for a research project, the IBC may determine the university should or should not offer a vaccine regardless of the list below.

Infectious Agent/Toxin Vaccine Regulation/Recommendation
Bordetella pertussis Tdap Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Clostridium tetani Td, Tdap CDC
Corynebacterium diphtheriae Td, Tdap Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Diphtheria toxin Td, Tdap UC San Diego IBC
Haemophilus influenzae type b Hib Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Hepatitis A Virus Hepatitis A vaccine CDC
Hepatitis B Virus Hepatitis B vaccine Cal/OSHA BBP §5193, Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Hepatitis D virus Hepatitis B vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199
Human Papillomavirus HPV vaccine CDC
Influenza Virus Influenza vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Japanese Encephalitis Virus Japanese Encephalitis vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Measles Virus MMR vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Mumps Virus MMR vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Neisseria meningitidis Meningococcal vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Pertussis toxin Tdap UC San Diego IBC
Polio Virus IPV vaccine CDC
Rabies Virus¥ Rabies vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Rubella Virus MMR vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Salmonella typhi Typhoid vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Streptococcus pneumoniae Pneumococcal vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Tetanus toxin Td, Tdap UC San Diego IBC
Vaccinia Virus¥ Smallpox vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Varicella-Zoster Virus VZV vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC
Vibrio cholerae (toxin producing) CVD 103-HgR CDC
Yellow Fever Virus Yellow Fever vaccine Cal/OSHA ATD §5199, CDC


Researchers and research support staff working with infectious agents and biological toxins or animals infected with an infectious agent or biological toxin that have an available vaccine can request the vaccination if they meet the following requirements:

  • Listed on a Principal Investigator’s (PI’s) approved Biological Use Authorization (BUA)
  • Identified by the PI as working with the specified agent/toxin on the Hazard Control Plan
  • Completed all Laboratory and Biosafety trainings required for handling of the agent/toxin
  • Read and signed the Hazard Control Plan for the specified agent/toxin


Vaccines and Hazard Control Plans (HCPs)

Principal Investigators must ensure that all researchers and/or research support staff working in their lab or vivarium when applicable are aware of and offered the vaccines and medical consults available to them as listed in the table above. The PI/Supervisor is responsible for completing, updating, and assigning Hazard Control Plans to all personnel working in their laboratory or vivarium.

The Researcher or Research Support Staff is responsible for reviewing, understanding, and acknowledging Hazard Control Plans assigned to them and completing a Vaccination Acceptance / Declination Form when working with an infectious agent or biological toxin listed in the table above. For agents denoted with the symbol ¥ in the table above, the researcher or research support staff is required to attend a Medical Consultation prior to completion of the Vaccination Acceptance / Declination Form. 

Templates for creating Hazard Control Plans are available on the My Research Safety Web portal. Ask your PI or lab contact for assistance. Learn more about creating a Hazard Control Plan.

Frequently asked questions

What do I do if I’ve already received the vaccination that is offered to me?

If you do not wish to receive the vaccine that is being offered due to previous vaccination or exposure to an infectious agent or biological toxin, complete the Vaccination Acceptance / Declination form checking the “decline” box. If declining a Hepatitis B vaccination due to previous vaccination, the researcher must also provide prior Hepatitis B vaccination documentation to the Occupational Health Nurse.

Do I have to pay for the vaccination?

The University offers vaccinations through COEM free of charge to the researcher and research support staff if all procedures detailed in this policy are followed. If you choose to receive the vaccine through your personal health care provider, the cost of the vaccination will not be covered by the University.

Do I have to get the vaccine from COEM?

You can choose to receive the vaccination through your personal health care provider. However, the cost of the vaccination will not be covered by the University.

When do I need a medical consultation to accept or decline the vaccination?

Due to the increased risks associated with the Rabies and Vaccinia Virus, researchers must receive a Medical Consultation from the Occupational Health Nurse prior to completing the Acceptance / Declination Form.

What if I received the vaccination a long time ago and am not sure if I still have antibodies?

Please contact the Occupational Health Nurse at COEM.

What can I do if I declined a vaccine in the past, but have changed my mind and now wish to accept the vaccination?

Researchers and research support staff who initially decline the vaccination but now wish to accept the vaccination can contact the Occupational Health Nurse and fill out a new Vaccination Acceptance / Declination Form. You may change your mind at any time regarding accepting or declining a vaccination.

How do I get a copy of my vaccination history?

Please contact the medical provider who you received the vaccine from to retrieve a copy of your medical records.

Questions? Contact COEM.

The UC San Diego Biosafety Medical Surveillance Program is designed in accordance with requirements of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition, and Cal/OSHA BBP Standard §5193 and ATD Standard §5199.