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Student vaccination requirement

Posted by on Monday, May 17, 2021 in .

New and returning students will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year. The requirement applies to all undergraduate,  graduate  and professional students this fall, and it will be handled in a manner consistent with other university policies governing student vaccine requirements.

Students can request accommodations for medical exemptions through the Student Access office and religious exemptions through the Equal Opportunity and Access office. To support timely processing in advance of the start of the academic year, accommodation requests should be submitted by June 15. 

Students must submit their vaccination record through the university’s vaccine tracker submission form, including those who received their vaccine from Student Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic, no later than one week before the first day of class of their fall academic program. A hold will be placed on a student’s course registration until the vaccination record has been verified unless they have an approved (or in-process request for) accommodation or they are an international student who will be vaccinated upon arrival in Nashville. A student’s enrollment at the university will be cancelled for the semester if the student is noncompliant.  

International students 

If a World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccination is not available in a student’s home country before returning to campus, the student will be able to receive a vaccination and a COVID-19 test once they arrive on campus. Consistent with CDC guidance, they should only perform essential activities, mask and physical distance for seven days after travel.  

International students can request accommodations for medical exemptions through the Student Access office and religious exemptions through the Equal Opportunity and Access office. To support timely processing in advance of the start of the academic year, accommodation requests should be submitted by June 15. 

More information about receiving a COVID-19 vaccination and other requirements upon arriving to campus will be shared directly with international students this summer. 

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be  safe and effective  at preventing infection by the virus, and experts believe getting the vaccine prevents serious illness and reduces potential transmission to others even if you do get infected. The rapid development and expansion of the vaccine is an unprecedented achievement in the history of medicine and is one in which scientists and clinicians at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center  played  leading roles. This underscores the power of our university’s relentless pursuit of innovation and our mission to be of service to our community.   

In partnership with VUMC, the university has worked to offer students, faculty and staff ongoing opportunities to receive the vaccine, including making appointments available to all students beginning in mid-April. The Student Health Center has also announced that it will offer the  Johnson & Johnson  vaccine beginning Monday, May 24, by appointment only. Students staying in Nashville for the summer are encouraged to call Student Health at 615-322-2427 to schedule an appointment. Time slots will be available 1–3 p.m. Mondays and 9–11 a.m. Thursdays. All World Health Organization-authorized vaccines will be acceptable; Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are included. Information will be provided for international students with difficulty accessing vaccines in their home country before they come to campus this fall.   

Am I required to get vaccinated if I’ve had COVID-19?

Yes. In line with CDC recommendations, Vanderbilt University requires all students to be vaccinated, including those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19. 

What happens if I don’t submit a vaccination record by the deadline?

Students must submit their vaccination record through the university’s vaccine tracker submission form, including those who received their vaccine from Student Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic, no later than one week before the first day of class of their fall academic program. A hold will be placed on a student’s course registration until the vaccination record has been verified unless they have an approved (or in-process request for) accommodation or they are an international student who will be vaccinated upon arrival in Nashville. A student’s enrollment at the university will be cancelled for the semester if the student is noncompliant.  

How do I submit my vaccination record?

Vanderbilt students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and staff can now submit their vaccination records to the Public Health Command Center using a password-protected, self-service portal. To submit a vaccination record, please visit the following link. 

I received my vaccination at VUMC/Student Health/Occupational Health, do I need to submit my record to VU? 

Yes, you will still need to submit your record to the university even if you received your vaccination at Student Health, Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic. VUMC (which includes Student Health and Occupational Health) does not automatically share your medical record with VU. 

What is needed to submit a vaccination record? What do I do if I lost my vaccine card? 

A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses will be needed. If you were vaccinated at VUMC or another medical provider, we can accept a screenshot of your vaccination record in MyHealth at Vanderbilt or from another medical provider’s online system.  Otherwise, you will need to contact the location in which you received your vaccine to obtain some form of documentation that shows your name and dates of the vaccine dose(s). You are welcome to upload documentation directly into the vaccine portal at the following link 

Which vaccines are approved?

All  World  Health Organization-authorized vaccines will be acceptable, including Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson.

I received a vaccine, but it is not WHO approved. What should I do?

The university will be accepting all World Health Organization authorized vaccines. The WHO continues to update decisions on vaccines routinely. We would recommend reviewing the WHO website for information regarding the vaccine you received and if it’s to be approved in the future.

If the vaccine you have received may be approved soon, we would recommend waiting to submit your records until such time. Once approved, the vaccine tracker portal will include an option for that vaccine.

If the vaccine you have received will not be approved in advance of the vaccine submittal deadline, we would recommend getting a WHO approved vaccine wherever you are located or when you arrive. More information about receiving a COVID-19 vaccination and other requirements upon arriving to campus will be shared directly with international students this summer. 

How do I submit an accommodation? 

Students can request accommodations for medical exemptions through the Student Access office and religious exemptions through the Equal Opportunity and Access office 

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