Vaccine Requirement & Reporting

COVID-19 vaccines are the most effective tool available to combat COVID-19 and bring the pandemic to an end, as evidenced by the significant drop in COVID-19 cases nationally, in Virginia, and on our campus over the past months as more people have become vaccinated. According to the CDC, the vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective. 

Requirement

To promote the health of our community and continue to move us forward as a community, the University will require all students, faculty, and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This requirement will go into effect as soon as one of the vaccines receives full approval by the FDA and will be subject to the exemptions described below. To meet this requirement, students, faculty, and staff may choose any vaccine fully approved by the FDA or subject to an FDA Emergency Use Authorization, which currently includes the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. International students will meet the University’s vaccination requirement by receiving any vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization.

Exceptions

As is our current practice for other required vaccines, students, faculty, and staff may seek medical or religious exemptions from the vaccine requirement. Faculty, staff, and students may also seek an exemption from the requirement to have a COVID-19 vaccine based on strong personal convictions. Information on how to seek an exemption will be provided in the near future. People who are not fully vaccinated will continue to be subject to arrival and prevalence testing and the University’s mask policy.

Deadlines

In order to be fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of the fall semester, you will need to receive the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of a one-dose vaccine at least two weeks prior to arrival on campus, which for many students is no later than Aug. 1, 2021. For information on where to obtain a vaccine, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov if you are in Virginia or vaccines.gov if you are outside of Virginia. 

Reporting

Our planning for the fall semester depends on knowing how many students, faculty, and staff are fully vaccinated. We are grateful that so many of you have taken the time to report your vaccine status. All students, faculty, and staff are required to report their vaccine status to the University by June 30, 2021, and to update their vaccine status within five days of any change in status. 

  • Undergraduate and law students should report their vaccine status and upload their vaccination card through their Student Health Center portal.
  • MBA and SPCS students should report their vaccine status by completing this form.
  • Faculty and staff should report their vaccine status by completing this form.

We will treat information about vaccine status confidentially, consistent with applicable laws and regulations. 

Vaccine FAQs

  • Why isn’t the University requiring the vaccine before it receives full approval by the FDA?

    The University strongly encourages every student, staff member, and faculty member to be fully vaccinated against  COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the fall semester. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. under an emergency use authorization are safe and effective. However, the University believes it is appropriate to wait for full FDA approval of at least one of the vaccines before requiring students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated.

    Students, faculty, and staff can protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting the vaccine. The vaccines are highly effective and, according to the CDC, the risk of a “breakthrough infection” among fully vaccinated individuals is very low and the symptoms are less severe among those fully vaccinated individuals who do contract COVID-19.

  • Who will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

    All members of the campus community — students, faculty, and staff — will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons or strongly held personal convictions. This requirement will go into effect as soon as one of the vaccines receives full approval by the FDA.

  • If one vaccine is fully approved by the FDA will that be the only one acceptable?

    No. All vaccines that have full approval or emergency authorization from the FDA are and will continue to be acceptable. These currently include the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

  • Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

    There is a significant amount of information available on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. Here are links to some of this information:

  • I have been vaccinated outside the United States. Will the University accept my vaccine or do I need to be re-vaccinated upon arrival in the U.S.?

    Consistent with CDC guidance, students, faculty, and staff who have received all required doses of a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization will be considered to be fully vaccinated. The University will work with students who have received a vaccine that is not authorized by the FDA or World Health Organization to determine whether revaccination is appropriate.  

  • I am currently outside the United States and am unable to obtain a vaccine in the country in which I am living. Will I be permitted to return to campus for the fall semester?

    Yes. The University recognizes that some students living abroad may not be able to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to campus for the fall semester. Students should notify the Office of International Education of this situation and the University will work with these students to connect them with COVID-19 vaccine providers upon their return to campus. Students in this situation will need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, must wear a mask indoors and in outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible, and participate in prevalence testing until such time as they are fully vaccinated.

  • Do I need to be vaccinated if I have already had COVID-19?

    Yes. It is possible to get COVID-19 more than once. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated even if they have had COVID-19. However, if you required treatment for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, the CDC recommends waiting 90 days before getting vaccinated. Please consult your healthcare provider regarding timing of vaccination after infection if you have concerns.

  • I participated in a vaccine trial and I do not know whether I received a placebo or a vaccine. What do I do?

    If you participated in a trial for vaccines, you should consult with your contact for the research trial to determine if/when other doses might be appropriate for your case.

  • How do I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

    For information on where to obtain a vaccine, please visit https://vaccinate.virginia.gov if you are in Virginia or https://vaccines.gov if you are outside of Virginia.

  • How do I report my vaccine status?

    The University needs information regarding the percentage of students, faculty, and staff who are fully vaccinated in order to determine which health and safety protocols can be relaxed and which must continue in place for the fall semester. Given the importance of this information, we ask all students, faculty, and staff to report their vaccine status as follows:

    • Undergraduate and law students should report their vaccine status and upload their vaccination card through their Student Health Center portal.
    • MBA and SPCS students should report their vaccine status by completing this form.
    • Faculty and staff should report their vaccine status by completing this form.

    We will treat information about vaccine status confidentially, consistent with applicable laws and regulations.

  • How do I apply for an exemption?

    The University encourages anyone who is able to get the vaccine to do so. As is our current practice for other required vaccines, students, faculty, and staff may seek medical or religious exemptions from the vaccine requirement. Faculty, staff, and students may also seek an exemption from the requirement to have a COVID-19 vaccine based on strong personal convictions. Information about applying for exemptions will be available in the next few weeks.

  • What does "fully vaccinated" mean?

    A person is fully vaccinated when two weeks have passed since their first dose of a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, or since their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, such as Moderna or Pfizer.

  • Am I permitted to ask others if they have been vaccinated?

    No. You should not ask students, employees, or visitors if they have been vaccinated.

    Managers may encourage their direct reports to report their vaccine status to the University and remind all direct reports that those who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear a mask, consistent with UR’s updated mask policy.

    Please remember that people wearing masks on campus may be choosing to do so irrespective of their personal vaccination status.

  • Can I require masking in my place of work?

    Faculty may require masking in classrooms or labs this fall due to the extended time spent in relatively close spaces. In general, we support the return to pre-pandemic conditions given the widespread adoption of vaccines and, per CDC and Virginia guidelines required masking for those who are fully vaccinated is not necessary. Individuals who have a qualified disability and seek to require masks as an accommodation should file a disability accommodation request and/or talk with their supervisor.

  • When I am vaccinated, what will the health and safety protocols on campus be for me?

    Faculty, staff, and students who are fully vaccinated:

    • Are not required to wear a mask indoors;
    • Are not required to maintain physical distancing;
    • Are not required to participate in prevalence testing;
    • Are not required to test following exposure to someone with COVID-19; and
    • Do not have to quarantine following exposure to someone with COVID-19.

    However, even fully vaccinated individuals who experience symptoms of COVID-19 should promptly notify their health care provider and should not attend classes or work until they have consulted a physician.