4/27 – Vaccination and Testing Update

April 27, 2021

Dear Trojans,

I’m proud that our community is leading the way in vaccination efforts in Los Angeles. As of this week, USC has directly administered more than 67,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses to our patients, faculty, staff, and students, and we have supported the delivery of over one million doses in our community in collaboration with our partners. I want to thank everyone who has received the vaccine, worked on USC vaccine efforts, or helped their friends and family receive their vaccine.

As vaccination increases and cases fall, USC is making a number of important changes to ensure we remain on a trajectory towards a safe and successful in-person restart this Fall.

Surveillance testing requirements
Beginning May 3, students, faculty, and staff who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to participate in surveillance testing (Pop Testing) to access campus or take part in on-campus activities. You are considered fully vaccinated after two weeks have passed following a second dose of a two-dose series (such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines) or a single dose of a single-dose series (such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Your Trojan Check will require surveillance testing until your COVID-19 records are submitted and reviewed.

Those who are not fully vaccinated, including those who submit personal declinations, will be required to continue testing at current intervals: once per week for faculty, staff, and graduate students; and twice weekly for undergraduate students.

Regardless of vaccination status, access to campus will continue to require Trojan Check for students, faculty, and staff.

The university’s surveillance policy will continue to be reevaluated and may be adjusted in the future as the public health situation evolves.

COVID-19 vaccine policy
While the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), students, staff, and faculty are required to upload either a proof of vaccination or a personal declination by June 1.

Once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants full approval for these vaccines – expected later this summer – our draft policy requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty, and staff participating in any in-person USC activity or coming to a USC campus or facility. 

Any faculty, staff, or student who is unable to receive an FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine due to a disability or religious practice, belief, or observance, may request an exception to this policy once enacted. Further details will be announced by the university in the future. A person who is granted an exception may be required to use additional personal protective equipment or take other actions, such as participation in ongoing testing as directed by the university for the health and safety of the university community.

Uploading your vaccine record
If you received your vaccinations at USC Student Health or Keck Medicine of USC, your student/employee vaccination records are updated automatically within seven days. Beginning April 28, your Trojan Check will include a “vaccine” badge only visible to you.

Those who received their vaccines at a location other than USC Student Health or Keck Medicine of USC must upload a photo of their vaccine cards to MySHR (in the “Upload Documents” section). Please allow five to seven days for your records to be processed once they have been uploaded. Once processed, your Trojan Check will be updated.

Personal declinations, which will be accepted while the vaccines remain under EUA, can be submitted via this form, which can likewise be uploaded to the MySHR “Upload Documents” section. Note: declinations forms are no longer accepted, as of revised university policy dated June 29

Vaccines administered outside of the United States
Individuals receiving vaccinations other than those approved in the United States should likewise submit proof of those vaccinations to MySHR. At present, we are accepting all international COVID-19 vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or any governing regulatory body. We are continually evaluating efficacy data for these vaccines and further recommendations on additional doses of a COVID-19 vaccine may be updated in the future.

Universal entry testing and travel 
While the university is adjusting its weekly surveillance testing requirements, universal entry testing for all students returning to the campus area from outside of Los Angeles, regardless of vaccination status, remains in effect. This includes students, as well as 2020 and 2021 graduates who are returning to campus for Commencement ceremonies next month, as well as students and employees who begin returning to campus over the summer or in the Fall.

Testing is available to students on both the Health Sciences and University Park campuses. For more information or to make an appointment, visit Pop Testing.

Please ensure you make arrangements to be tested upon your return to ensure you are fully compliant with Trojan Check.

Travel remains a risk to increased spread of COVID-19, and all individuals are recommended to follow California Department of Public Health and CDC guidance on travel, including testing and quarantine requirements for unvaccinated individuals.

Vaccines available on campus this week
If you are on or near campus, USC Student Health has availability of the Pfizer vaccine to administer to students and employees this week. To make an appointment:

  1. Log in to https://usc.edu/myshr using your USC NetID and password.
  2. Go to APPOINTMENTS and select “COVID-19 VACCINE (PFIZER 1st dose)”

In addition, this week, through Saturday, May 1, Keck Medicine of USC will be accepting walk-in appointments at its Healthcare Center 3 (HC3) vaccination clinic, located on the Health Sciences Campus at 1516 San Pablo Street.

Additional resources for appointments may be found at the links below: 

Please continue to follow updates on our COVID-19 Resource Center and the We Are SC site. General questions about the USC campus vaccination and testing programs may be directed to the COVID-19 hotline, (213) 740-6291, or covid19@usc.edu.

Stay safe, be well, and Fight On!

Charles F. Zukoski

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs