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Student vaccination requirement

Posted by on Monday, May 17, 2021 in .

New and returning students are 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

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 Friday, August 6. 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. Non-compliant international students with the hold will receive a survey from the ISSS office to determine their status.

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 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

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

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. In addition, the Student Health Center will also offer the Pfizer vaccine beginning on Monday, August 9. Students may call Student Health at 615-322-2427 to schedule an appointment.

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.   

Additional FAQ

Which vaccines are approved?

All World Health Organization-authorized vaccines are acceptable; Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are included.

Am I required to get vaccinated if I’ve had COVID-19 or have the presence of antibodies?

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

How do I submit my vaccination record?

Vanderbilt students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and staff should 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 is 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 or you can email it to commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu and they can add it for you.

I am having trouble entering my vaccination information into the tracker/system. (Any questions regarding how they can only enter one dose or can’t upload an image, etc.)

Email the Command Center at commandcenter@vanderbilt.edu if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system.  Include a picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses and they will assist you behind the scenes.

For international students – I have not been vaccinated yet and do not have access to a WHO approved vaccine in my home country.  What are my options for vaccination upon arrival?  Should I consider obtaining a non-WHO approved vaccine in my country and then a WHO approved upon arrival?

The Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine and Pfizer two-dose vaccine are both currently available through Student Health.

Students interested in receiving the Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer vaccines at Student Health can call the Student Health Center at (615) 322-2427 to speak with one of their nurse managers to schedule an appointment. Scheduling will not be available through myHealth.

Students who prefer to receive Moderna, can receive Moderna at Metro Nashville or other community locations. More information is provided at https://www.asafenashville.org/ (for vaccination through Metro Nashville Public Health) and at https://www.vaccines.gov/ (for vaccines at other community locations).  

For international students – I do not have access to a WHO approved vaccine and am trying to determine how to handle

The university accepts all World Health Organization (WHO) authorized vaccines.  The WHO continues to update decisions on vaccines routinely and will continue to do so in the future. You can find more details on the WHO website.

If the vaccine available to you will not be approved in advance of the vaccine submittal deadline, we would recommend getting a WHO approved vaccine wherever you are located or doing so upon arrival in Nashville (if you are currently out of the country and one is not available to you).

If you are considering getting a non-WHO approved vaccine at your current location and following up with a WHO approved after arrival, we would first recommend that you consult with your local healthcare provider to get their perspective on mixing two different vaccines before making a decision.

Students interested in receiving the Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer vaccines at Student Health can call the Student Health Center at (615) 322-2427 to speak with one of their nurse managers to schedule an appointment. Scheduling will not be available through myHealth.

Students who prefer to receive Moderna, can receive Moderna at Metro Nashville or other community locations. More information is provided at https://www.asafenashville.org/ (for vaccination through Metro Nashville Public Health) and at https://www.vaccines.gov/ (for vaccines at other community locations).  

For international students – I have already received a non-WHO approved vaccine in my home country and my healthcare provider has advised that I wait a period of time before receiving a WHO approved vaccine.  What should I do?

You may consider applying through the medical accommodation process to seek an accommodation until such time that either the vaccine you received becomes WHO approved or the waiting period recommended by your doctor concludes and you can be revaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine. Students can apply for medical accommodation through Student Access at the following link: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/student-access/how_to/get_accommodations/index.php.  Faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows can apply through the Equal Opportunity and Access office.

For international students – I have access to Pfizer or Moderna in my home country.  However, I will only be able to receive one dose prior to arrival.  What should I do?

If you have received one dose of a two dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) before arriving in the United States, you have a few options to consider when arriving in the United States.

You can schedule a second dose of Pfizer at Student Health. Students interested in receiving the Pfizer vaccine at Student Health can call the Student Health Center at (615) 322-2427 to speak with one of their nurse managers to schedule an appointment. Scheduling will not be available through myHealth.

You can also receive a second dose of Moderna at Metro Nashville or other community locations. More information is provided at https://www.asafenashville.org/ (for vaccination through Metro Nashville Public Health) and at https://www.vaccines.gov/ (for vaccines at other community locations).

My vaccination information/card is in a language other than English.  Do you accept records in other languages?

A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. Individuals can submit official documentation of the vaccination in whatever form provided in their country as long as it shows the person’s name clearly in English, the manufacturer and date of each vaccine dose.  While records in English are preferred, the Command Center will accept other languages as long as the name is in English and it clearly shows the manufacturer and date of each dose.

Do students in online programs need to submit vaccination records?

If the education program in which you are enrolled has any sort of on-campus or in-person component (even if you visit campus for one hour on one day or only 3 days during a semester), then you must fulfill the vaccination requirement.

How do I submit an accommodation request?

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