EGAP shall defer to the host institution’s policies on COVID-19 vaccination and masking policies during events. EGAP strongly recommends that all meeting attendees (including EGAP members, workshop participants, and EGAP/Regional Hub staff planning to attend the full event) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A person is considered “fully” vaccinated when two weeks have passed since they completed a COVID-19 Vaccine series (for example, 1 dose of the Janssen/J&J vaccine, or 2 doses within no more than 2 weeks of the Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac/CoronaVac, BIBP/Sinopharm, Comirnaty, Covaxin, AZD1222/Vaxzevria, Novavax/Nuvaxovid, Covovax/Covavax vaccine). In addition to the vaccination recommendation, all attendees must comply with the masking policy in place for each event per the host institution’s policies.
Travel to EGAP meetings and workshops requires transit through large public facilities in areas with varying levels of COVID-19 prevalence and prevention measures. In addition, many countries require vaccination in order for international travelers to enter the country. EGAP meetings and workshops involve attendees being indoors together for extended periods of time, with attendees often speaking loudly. These are activities with elevated risk for transmission of COVID-19. Moreover, COVID exposure potentially means disruptions to work and family life, risks to vulnerable family members, and the financial burden of not being able to travel home until after a period of quarantine. The vaccination policy is aimed at reducing these risks in order to promote equity and encourage the participation of those for whom these health and financial risks are particularly burdensome, including those with a higher risk of complications from contracting COVID-19.
We understand that for some, access to vaccination or preference for vaccination may be complicated, particularly as EGAP and members of the network have devoted considerable effort and resources to studying questions of access and preferences regarding vaccination. Vaccination against COVID-19 is not guaranteed to prevent contracting the virus. Some may experience a couple days of side effects (usually a sore arm, tiredness, muscle pain, or nausea that subsides after a day or two).
Nevertheless, multiple peer–reviewed studies also show that they are very effective in reducing risk of getting COVID, as well as the risk of becoming seriously ill, hospitalized, or dying due to COVID. COVID vaccines are also proven to be safe, with over 10 billion doses administered worldwide. For more information from the World Health Organization, see here. EGAP leadership has decided upon this vaccination requirement after evaluating the balance of these considerations.
EGAP is a research network institutionally based at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. As a UC Berkeley-sponsored event, participation is voluntary and signature of the UC general waiver will be required:https://riskservices.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/uc_general_waiver.pdf