COVID Vaccinations

The promise of a fulfilling Fall 2021 semester with in-person classes, events, and social interactions will require the continued commitment of our entire University community to keep University campuses and other locations safe and healthy.

We can have a successful and rewarding fall semester if we take final steps together: Get the Vax today!

Students

All University of Minnesota students enrolled online or in person (including all undergraduate, graduate, professional, and Post Secondary Enrollment Option) must complete this Student COVID-19 Immunization Vaccination Form by Oct. 8, 2021. The form asks students to either submit their vaccination information or submit documentation of a religious or medical exemption. 

If students do not provide the Vaccination Form, they will be out of compliance with the University’s vaccination requirement and prohibited from registering for classes in the future.  

If you have questions about the student vaccination requirement, please view the FAQ below and the Vaccine FAQ from UMD Health Services.

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I have a medical or religious exemption for the COVID vaccination. What should I do?

Students who seek a medical exemption need to submit a form signed by their health care provider. Students who seek a religious exemption will need to submit a notarized form affirming that exemption. Documents must be uploaded using the COVID-19 Vaccination Form.

What will happen if I don’t comply with the requirement?

If a student fails to comply, a registration hold will be placed on the student’s record, preventing registration for future courses until the student complies with the requirement. To remove the registration hold, students must comply by completing the Student COVID-19 Immunization Vaccination Form.

Do Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO), fully online, and part-time students need to be vaccinated?

Yes. All enrolled online or in-person students must comply with the vaccine requirement. This includes PSEO students. While online students are not on campus, our greater commitment to the health and well-being of all members of our community, no matter where they are, means that online students are included in this requirement.

What vaccines are acceptable to meet this requirement?

Currently any FDA fully or emergency approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson) are acceptable, as are the vaccines authorized or approved by the World Health Organization.

How does this requirement affect international students who have been unable to be vaccinated or who received a different vaccine in their home country?

International students who received a full vaccination series of any of the vaccines authorized or approved by the World Health Organization are considered fully vaccinated. 

For international students who have not been able to receive a vaccine in their home country, have not been able to complete a vaccination series in their home country, or have received a vaccine not authorized or approved by the World Health Organization, they may receive an FDA-approved vaccine in Minnesota. Alternatively, they may contact their campus health service to request a medical exemption.  International students who require a vaccine can find multiple locations available across the state.

The University encourages any international student who might need help in complying with the vaccination requirement to reach out to UMD Health Services.

Will students who have exemptions be required to submit to regular COVID-19 testing?

At this time, there are no testing requirements for students who have an exemption. That said, we expect all community members to follow the University’s MTest guidance.

Faculty and Staff

With input from broad shared governance consultations and using guidance from public health and medical experts, the University is asking employees to confirm their current vaccine status and agree to follow public health and testing guidelines. Here is what faculty and staff need to know:

Employees may go to MyU (starting on Tuesday, August 24) and complete their attestation.  By Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 (or for new employees, within three weeks of receiving an email asking individuals to certify), employees must go to MyU and complete an agreement form that includes two options from which each employee must choose one:

  1. They are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and agree to follow the University’s vaccination and testing requirements while working at the University; or
  2. They decline to certify they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and agree to comply with the University's testing requirements while working at the University. Individuals choosing this option are encouraged to submit a revised form at a later date to certify that they have become fully vaccinated.

Filling out the form takes less than a minute. Employee responses are confidential, but may be shared with University personnel who need to know the information to perform their jobs including campus health and safety, legal, and human resources personnel. 

Faculty and staff who do not supply this information by Sept. 17, 2021 (or for new employees, within three weeks of receiving an email asking individuals to certify) may be subject to employment discipline, the details of which are being developed and will be communicated here when available.

  • Questions about this process and expectations should be discussed with supervisors/managers or unit Human Resources leads. You can contact your local human resources staff or call the OHR Contact Center at 612-624-8647 (800-756-2362) or [email protected] if you need help. 

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What are faculty and staff being asked to attest as to their vaccination status?

Employees are asked to attest via MyU that:

  1. They are fully vaccinated and agree to comply with vaccine and applicable testing requirements, or
  2. They decline to certify they have been fully vaccinated and agree to comply with applicable testing requirements.

Is the University requiring proof of vaccination for faculty and staff?

No. Only completion of the certification form and compliance with University testing protocols are necessary.

Is certification required of all faculty and staff, even if I’m not working on campus?

Yes. All faculty and staff will be asked to complete the certification process, which is an expectation of employment. Those who are working remotely still need to complete the certification so they can visit and return to campus when needed.

What is the deadline to comply with this process?

5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 (or for new employees, within three weeks of receiving an email asking individuals to certify).

What will occur if individuals do not comply with this process?

Individuals who do not complete the process will be out of compliance with the University’s protocols, and may be subject to employment discipline. Discipline will be consistent with employee group policies and contracts, and will be communicated once finalized.

If I choose not to get vaccinated, what will I be required to do?

Individuals who choose not to get vaccinated will be asked to certify that they will comply with the University’s applicable testing requirements while employed at the University.

What testing protocols are considered part of this process?

COVID-19 Testing Requirements means the following, subject to changes imposed by the University in the future:

Not Fully Vaccinated Fully Vaccinated
Symptoms of COVID-19 Get tested immediately Get tested immediately
Exposure to someone with COVID-19 Get tested immediately, and, if negative, get tested 3-5 days after exposure Get tested 3-5 days after exposure
Work with employees, students, or guests/visitors in person or remotely Get tested every week Not required
Domestic travel Get tested 1-3 days prior to travel and 3-5 days after travel Not required
International travel Get tested 1-3 days prior to travel, 1-3 days prior to returning, and 3-5 days after travel Get tested 1-3 days prior to travel and 3-5 days after travel

Vaccine Availability

Multiple vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and have been shown to be effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalizations due to COVID-19. 

The Minnesota Department of Health is coordinating the vaccination effort in Minnesota. Find the latest information on vaccine data, distribution, and availability on the MN Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine website

UMD Health Services may offer the vaccine to students through vaccine clinics in Fall semester 2021. Updated information will be posted on the Health Services website.

The Minnesota Department of Health keeps its citizens informed through their “Who’s Getting Vaccinated?” website and the “vaccine connector,” a tool that helps find out when, where, and how to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Community vaccination sites are established in Duluth that provide vaccines to eligible individuals. 

General Questions

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I’m young and healthy, why should I get vaccinated?

In the United States, we have a long history of helping each other. If a river is flooding, everyone in the community comes to pile sandbags on the riverbank against the rising water. However, if one neighbor doesn’t sandbag their stretch of riverbank, despite the efforts made by others, everyone gets flooded through the gap.

Vaccination is the same kind of community effort. We participate to keep ourselves and each other safe. It may be our right to make a personal health decision, but the decision to not get vaccinated does affect other people—health care providers, children too young to be vaccinated, and medically vulnerable people in particular. If we are not protecting each other, we are putting each other at risk.

Why get vaccinated if you can still get sick?

We know that being vaccinated does not eliminate the chance of getting COVID-19, especially the delta variant, but it does help keep people out of hospital beds and the ICU. When hospital beds fill up, it sets in motion events that no one wants: cancer surgeries delayed, accident victims unable to access intensive care, and already exhausted health care workers pushed closer to the brink.

If I’m vaccinated, why do I have to wear a mask now?

If it helps, this is kind of like asking, “Cars have seatbelts, why do we need airbags?” Because they reduce the risk of injury in two different ways. Properly worn masks and vaccines reduce the risk of infection in different ways. Combine them and reduce the risk even further.

 

Do I need a booster shot?

According to the CDC today, for maximum protection (probably) yes.* People whose immune systems are moderately to severely compromised can receive a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines now. Others who received these vaccines will be able to get a booster eight months after their second shot starting as soon as Sept. 20. It is anticipated that a booster for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be recommended as well, but those vaccinations started later and the CDC is still reviewing the data. *Please see this link for the fine print.

Can I get the vaccine if I have an impaired immune system, autoimmune disorder, or other underlying health condition?

Probably yes! See the CDC guidelines here and/or talk to your physician.

Where can I Get the Vax?

Vaccine Approach

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Is the vaccine required for students?

Yes, students must be vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they qualify for a medical or religious belief exemption.

Is the vaccine required for all faculty and staff?

No, vaccination is not required for faculty and staff. However, the University is asking all faculty and staff to certify that they are complying with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing protocols.

Why are students required to get the vaccine and staff are not?

Immunization requirements for students have been in place for many years. The addition of COVID-19 vaccinations will be consistent with previous requirements. However, immunization requirements have not existed as a condition of employment at the University so the University is choosing a certification process for employees.

Can I ask my students/colleagues if they have been vaccinated?

No.

Who will have access to my vaccination status?

Your personally identifiable information is private information, but may be shared with University school officials and personnel who have a need to know the information to perform their jobs including campus health and safety, legal and human resources personnel, and other individuals or entities authorized by law. In the event of a failure to complete the form, your supervisor will be notified.

How can I find out more about vaccination policy at the University?

Additional Resources

Additional information regarding vaccinations can be reviewed at the following locations:

Questions

While vaccination planning continues at the University, please reach out to [email protected] if you have questions.