5/25 – Letter to international arrivals re: vaccine requirements for Fall 2021

May 25, 2021

From: Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health; Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Winston B. Crisp, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear USC International Students,

We are very much looking forward to your arrival on campus, and know you are busy making preparations for next semester. As you plan for your arrival at USC for the fall 2021 semester, please review the following health and safety requirements.

Vaccination Requirements and Deadlines

USC is requiring all students, faculty and staff to submit proof of vaccination for COVID-19 in order to access campus facilities for the fall semester. Your safety is our top priority.

If you have applied to live in university housing through USC Housing, you must receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit a medical or religious exemption form. If you are not able to get vaccinated by the Housing deadline of July 15, you will be expected to get vaccinated upon arrival to USC. Your USC Housing assignments will be held for you. If you anticipate that you will not be fully vaccinated with a U.S. FDA or WHO EUL vaccine by July 15, please email USC Housing, housing@usc.edu, immediately. Failure to notify housing by July 15 may result in forfeiture of your housing assignment.

All other students (including those who have not applied to live in university housing through USC Housing and continuing international students who are currently in the United States and do not plan to travel internationally before the start of the fall semester) must submit proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or upload a declination form through mySHR before arrival on campus. (Note: declinations forms are no longer accepted, as of revised university policy dated June 29)

What Qualifies as “Vaccinated”?

If you are arriving from outside the United States, you likely fall into one of the following groups.

·     I am fully vaccinated

·     You have received a vaccination approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use listing (EUL) to meet USC vaccination requirements. The current list is available on the WHO website.

·     Two weeks have passed since your final vaccine dose.

·     You have submitted proof of your vaccination through mySHR.

·     I am not fully vaccinated – You have not been vaccinated at all, have only received one dose of a two-dose vaccination series before arrival, or have received a vaccine that is not on the WHO list. You will need to re-start your vaccine series with Pfizer, or take the single Johnson & Johnson/Janssen dose when you arrive to the United States.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must adhere to USC’s testing guidelines:

·     Testing — If you are not fully vaccinated, you will be required to test through the USC Student Health Pop Testing program (twice weekly for undergraduates, once weekly for graduate students) to have access to campus facilities.

If you are not fully vaccinated and are arriving from outside the United States, you must also adhere to California’s quarantine guidelines:

·     Quarantine — If you are not fully vaccinated or have not completed a WHO-approved vaccine series, and you are arriving from outside of the United States, you are required to quarantine for seven (7) days after your arrival. If you are currently in the U.S. and do not travel internationally before the start of the fall semester, you are not required to quarantine.


USC Housing is evaluating if travel quarantine arrangements can be made for international arrivals who have housing contracts for university housing. Additional information and updates will arrive from USC Housing, housing@usc.edu, in the coming weeks. Students who are not contracted to live in USC Housing must make their own housing arrangements for quarantine.

Students may leave quarantine to receive medical services. If accessing USC Student Health, students are encouraged to have their TB screening, followed by COVID-19 vaccination on the same day.

After your quarantine is over, you can access campus (classes, etc.) if you test regularly (twice weekly for undergrads, once weekly for grad students) until you are fully vaccinated.

Getting Vaccinated in the U.S.

If you are not fully vaccinated and arriving from outside the U.S., you will be expected to get vaccinated through USC Student Health upon arrival to Los Angeles.

If you are partially vaccinated (one dose out of two required doses) with a vaccine from outside of the U.S., your vaccine series will re-start with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccines (currently Pfizer two-dose series and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen one-dose vaccines are available through USC Student Health).

Students arriving to Los Angeles from abroad prior to August 15 who need access to immunization and other medical services and accompanying insurance must make arrangements for summer enrollment into the current year’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). The customary summer Student Health Fee is waived for early international students arriving over the summer who require COVID-19 vaccination or COVID testing. Email studenthealth@usc.edu with the subject line “Summer Health Insurance for Fall Arrivals” for information.

For general questions, contact covid19@usc.edu.

For specific questions related to USC Student Health and immunization requirements, you may make an appointment to speak to a representative of USC Student Health through the appointlet system, or email studenthealth@usc.edu.

We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles and having the USC Trojan Family together again in person.