Vaccine FAQs

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  • Who is required to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

    All members of the campus community — students, faculty, and staff — are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons or strongly held personal convictions.

  • 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.

  • Why didn’t the University require the vaccine before it received full approval by the FDA?

    The University has been strongly encouraging every student, staff member, and faculty member to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 vaccine since vaccines became widely available. 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 believed it was 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.

  • 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.

    International students who have received a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization have met the University’s vaccine requirement.

  • 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.  

  • 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 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. 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. All members of our community should follow the University’s mask policy.

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

    Faculty, staff, and students who are fully vaccinated should continue to follow all applicable University health and safety protocols. More information about those guidelines for the fall 2021 semester are available here