The health and safety of the SOT Annual Meeting attendees, exhibitors, staff, and other meeting personnel, especially those in vulnerable populations (e.g., aged 65+, immunocompromised) are the Society’s highest priority.

With this in mind and considering the latest public health guidelines and research related to COVID-19, those attending the 2022 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in person in San Diego must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Others, including unvaccinated individuals or those under travel restrictions, are encouraged and invited to participate in the meeting remotely. As part of the enhanced 2022 meeting experience, most Scientific Sessions will be livestreamed, allowing for questions and answers among those on- and off-site. These same sessions also will be recorded and available to all registrants on demand—in San Diego and beyond.

The SOT Council did not make this decision lightly, but based on the Society’s commitment to improving public health and advancing the science of toxicology and California regulations for indoor events, this felt like the best path forward. Many other scientific associations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), have adopted similar policies.

The Society will continue to monitor safety, health, and travel guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local health authorities and will adjust its processes for the event, as needed, in accordance with these directives.

Annual Meeting FAQs

Health and Safety

Per California regulations, individuals participating in events in person at the San Diego Convention Center as part of the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo are required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Individuals who do not provide proof of vaccination will not be allowed to attend meeting activities in person.

No, SOT is accepting only proof of vaccination for in-person attendance. Unvaccinated individuals may participate in the meeting’s Scientific Sessions remotely through the 2022 enhanced meeting experience.

Software will be used to collect vaccination documentation. Details on this software and how to provide your documentation will be communicated soon. Your proof of vaccination will be confirmed on-site during badge pickup.

Masks will not be required unless required by local health authorities at the time of the meeting. In the case that masks are not required by local health authorities, mask wearing will be at the discretion of each attendee.

SOT is adhering to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines related to approved vaccines and the resultant fully vaccinated status. The definition of fully vaccinated as provided by these agencies at the time of the occurrence of the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo will be followed. As of December 13, 2021, the definition for fully vaccinated is for individuals to be two weeks post–second shot of two-dose vaccinations (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) or two weeks post–single shot of single-dose vaccinations (e.g., J&J/Janssen). Visit the WHO website for a complete list of vaccines deemed to have met the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy and that therefore qualify for the definition of fully vaccinated.

All individuals are asked to complete a self-health check before participating in the Annual Meeting and ToxExpo each day.

If you are experiencing any health concerns, please use the enhanced meeting experience—livestreamed sessions and on-demand recordings—to participate in your hotel room.

If needed, consult the list of California locations where you can obtain a free COVID-19 test. If you test positive, regardless of your vaccination status, please self-quarantine or seek medical attention.

Personal Safety and On-Site Security

In addition to convention center security, SOT employs security personnel to assist before and during the meeting. The personal safety tips outlined below are provided by these security experts.

Personal Safety

The best way to stay safe is to be aware of your surroundings and to avoid situations in which you feel uncomfortable.

Walk “smart” when you leave the San Diego Convention Center:

  • Take off your badge when you leave the convention center.
  • Establish a “buddy” system with another meeting attendee and don’t walk alone. Also, share schedules and check on each other periodically.
  • Know your destination and the best way to reach it. Avoid shortcuts that take you into unoccupied, unlighted areas or isolated streets.
  • Keep your cell phone charged and never let strangers borrow it.
  • Carry bags, purses, and valuables in front of your body. Jackets with pockets provide a convenient alternative to reduce the chance for lost or stolen handbags.
  • Be sure your laptop is in a secure place. Laptops are attractive, easy targets for thieves.
  • If you see something, say something! Report suspicious activity to authorities.

In Case of Protests

  • The possibility of demonstrators is very real given the nature of this conference. Events of this nature range from verbal confrontations, protests, and strikes to riots. We recommend the following procedures in the event of demonstrations:
  • To identify yourself as an official meeting attendee, always wear your name badge while in the San Diego Convention Center. When leaving the facility, remove your badge to appear to be a resident of the city. Avoid being distracted by your mobile phone.
  • If you see a demonstration or protest beginning, please contact any member of the SOT Annual Meeting staff, and they will start an SOT response. If you see actions that appear threatening, notify the nearest security officer.
  • Do not engage, defend either side, or subdue anyone in any type of disturbance. Demonstrators are usually trying to attract media attention. Don’t help them!
  • SOT representatives will respond to media inquiries. Do not participate in interviews or other media responses.
  • In the unlikely event that outsiders disrupt a Scientific Session or other event, SOT security officials have well-developed contingency plans in place. Please follow directions from the chairperson and avoid becoming involved in the situation.