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COVID-19 Vaccination

Will Loyola require students to receive a COVID-19 vaccination for the 2021-22 academic year?

Yes, the university requires all enrolled undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who will be present for any amount of time on campus during the 2021 – 2022 academic year to be vaccinated (and boosted if eligible) against COVID-19 with an authorized vaccination approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). You may request an exemption from receiving the vaccination for reasons consistent with Louisiana state laws, but you must indicate this intention in the vaccination portal. All students must log into Loyola's Public Health Portal to provide their records or reason for opting out.  

Why is Loyola requiring COVID-19 vaccination?

This is a vital step for our community in order to have the kind of academic experience we want—with in-person classes and activities, athletic competitions, and minimal social distancing and masking requirements. The vaccines have been proven safe and effective, according to public health experts and agencies around the world, including the CDC, FDA, and WHO, and they are now widely available across the country. Just as we have always required other vaccinations for diseases ranging from measles to meningitis, this is the best way to keep our university community healthy and safe.

I plan to get vaccinated but won't have my records in time for the deadline. What should I do?

If you will not receive your full vaccination series by the deadline, you can still receive your first dose between now and your first day on campus. Once you submit documentation of your first dose to the portal, you will be marked "conditionally compliant.” This means you will still need to wear a mask and physical distance until two weeks have passed from receiving your second dose and you have received an email that your record has been verified as complete and in compliance.

How do I submit proof of vaccination to Loyola?

Go to the Public Health Portal or access the portal from the "Quick Links" page through your Single Sign On (SSO) by clicking on the "Medicat Public Health Portal" button. You'll be asked to log in using the following credentials: 

  • Your username is your full Loyola email address. For example: xxxxxxxx@my.loyno.edu  
  • Your password is your Microsoft password. If you have changed your Microsoft password, use what you changed it to. If you have not yet changed your Microsoft password, the default password is the first two letters of your first name, followed by the last 4 digits of your social security number, then an uppercase LU. For example: abXXXXLU 

If you cannot sign in, go to office.com to reset your Microsoft password. If you need assistance, please email support@loyno.edu using your loyno email address or call the Help Desk at 504.865.2255.

Once you log into the portal, follow the instructions for uploading your vaccine record or exemption documentation on the home screen. 

Do students need to be vaccinated before moving on to campus?

Yes, new students and continuing students living on campus are expected to be fully vaccinated, including getting their booster shot, before arriving for their scheduled move-in time. Booster shots are available through Student Health for eligible residential students. Call 504.865.3326 to make an appointment ahead of time.

Do parents and caregivers who help students move into residence halls need to provide proof of vaccination?

Residential Life allows each resident student to bring two guests to help during their scheduled move-in time. Your guests do not need to provide a record of vaccination. However, we ask that all guests on campus follow our campus visitor guidelines for the safety of our campus community, including masking and social distancing.

I am an international student and am unable to get a vaccine in my country before I return to campus, or I have gotten a vaccine that is not yet approved by the FDA. What should I do?

If you are an international student and cannot access the vaccine in your country, please fill out the special International Student Survey so that we can help coordinate receipt of the vaccine upon arrival to the United States. International students who’ve received one dose but have not completed their vaccine series should report the receipt of their single dose on the Public Health Portal. For those who may be directed to be vaccinated here, a grace period for vaccination will be allowed. If students have already received vaccines that are not authorized for emergency use by the FDA, Student Health Services will make individualized determinations about the need for additional vaccines based on which vaccines such students have received and relevant public health guidance.

I am studying abroad. Do I need to get vaccinated?

Although we encourage all students to be vaccinated, you are not required to be vaccinated if you are studying abroad for the entire Fall 2021 semester. If you are already vaccinated, we recommend that you submit your vaccination records to the portal now. You will be required to be vaccinated prior to returning to campus for any reason. If you plan to return for the Spring 2022 semester, you will need to provide proof of vaccination or submit an exemption request prior to the start of that semester.

I am taking classes entirely online. Do I still need to complete the vaccine requirement?

Anyone who will be on campus for any reason during the 2021 – 2022 academic year must fulfill this requirement. Students enrolled in online programs and who will not come to campus for any reason (live, eat, or play) do not need to submit records to the portal. If you are a student who attends entirely virtually and have received a notification that you need to submit your records, please email covid@loyno.edu and let us know your status as a virtual student so that we can update our records.  

I am already vaccinated, but I lost my vaccine card. How can I access my COVID-19 vaccine record for submission on the portal?

If you are a Louisiana resident, you can access your COVID-19 vaccination record through a new, optional feature of the state’s digital driver’s license, the LA Wallet app: COVID-19 Digital Vaccination Record Securely in LA Wallet. Louisiana residents can also get printed copies of their vaccine records from their parish health unit or print their complete immunization record through MyIR.

If you are not a Louisiana resident, check with the clinic or vaccination site where you received your vaccine to obtain your records or contact your state health department's immunization information system.

I have a medical, religious, or philosophical exemption. How do I submit an exemption request?

Submit your supporting documentation to the Public Health Portal. You will not be able to move into your campus housing or attend classes on campus until you complete your exemption requirements on the portal.

Please keep in mind that an exempted student may be excluded from campus and from classes in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus until the outbreak is over or until the student submits proof of immunization.

What documentation is required to submit a medical exemption?

Upload supporting documentation from your doctor stating that the vaccine is medically contraindicated. The letter must contain the signature of a licensed healthcare provider.

What documentation is required to submit a religious exemption?

Write a 300-word personal statement about your religious beliefs and upload supporting documentation from your faith leader.

What documentation is required to submit a philosophical exemption?

Write a 300-word personal statement explaining your viewpoint. You will have the option to upload supporting documentation if applicable.

My vaccination information submission has been rejected. What should I do?

Some of the common reasons a submission is rejected include: no name on the vaccination card, vaccination card was not legible, the lot number entered on the form did not match the lot number on the vaccination card, or the vaccination card image did not upload properly. If your submission was rejected, please reach out to covid@loyno.edu for instructions on how to fix your submission.

I need help finding a vaccination site. What resources can I use?

You can schedule an appointment for your vaccine through any provider or facility you prefer. We highly recommend you use the VaccineFinder, a free online service that searches locations that offer vaccination near your zip code. The Louisiana Department of Health has also provided a list of all vaccine locations organized by parish. 

Here are some other places offering vaccines: 

What are the benefits of being vaccinated?

We refer you to the Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC for a summary of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination based on current scientific data. The biggest benefit of being fully vaccinated is the significantly greater protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19 compared to those who are unvaccinated.   

What restrictions will be in place to keep unvaccinated students safe?

Students who decline the vaccine will be required to follow CDC safety guidelines for unvaccinated individuals, such as masking, social distancing, and completing mandatory quarantine if exposed to the virus. An exempted student may also be excluded from campus and from classes in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus until the outbreak is over or until the student submits proof of immunization. ADA accommodations will be provided for students meeting that criteria in classrooms and at activities on campus.

What are the risks of getting vaccinated?

Vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA and have been proven as a safe and effective defense against COVID-19. The vaccines have gone through all of the same steps and met the same standards that are used for developing other vaccines. No steps were skipped during the clinical trials and data review process for COVID-19 vaccines.

Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet on FDA.gov that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine. We recommend that you contact your health care provider if you have additional questions.

  1. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers
  2. Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers
  3. Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers

How much will it cost to get vaccinated?

While we remain in the pandemic, the federal government has ensured that vaccines are made available to those in need without cost to the individual.

Will I feel any symptoms after getting the COVID vaccine?

Getting the COVID vaccine will be very similar to the experience of getting any other shot, and a mild reaction is a normal sign that your body is building protection against the virus. Some side effects you may experience include pain or swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, headache, and fever or chills. Most side effects will be mild and resolve within a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting the vaccine from the CDC.

How long will it take for the vaccine to work?

The CDC estimates that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. With the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, patients need to receive both doses to be fully vaccinated. 

Do I need to get more than one vaccine shot?

You should follow the vaccine intervals recommended by the CDC and the manufacturer of the vaccine you receive. If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, you must receive both doses according to the recommended dosing schedule in order to meet Loyola's vaccine requirement. If you are out of the window of these vaccine intervals you will potentially have to start the series over.  

  • Two Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.
  • Two Moderna vaccine doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart.

For Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that require two doses, you should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval. However, your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. If you are outside of the 42 day window for the second dose you have to start the series over.

If you find yourself in this situation and need to be revaccinated, call Student Health Services at 504.865.3326 for help. If necessary, SHS can help you find a place to get your series started again once you arrive.

COVID-19 Vaccination | COVID-19 Booster Shots

Am I eligible for a booster shot?

If you meet the following criteria, you are eligible for a booster shot.

  • If you are 18+ and received your Moderna vaccination series (both shots) at least five months ago.
  • If you are 12+ and received your Pfizer vaccination series (both shots) at least five months ago.
  • If you are 18+ and received your Johnson & Johnson vaccine two or more months ago. If this is the case for you, getting a Pfizer or Moderna booster will give you added protection.

If you meet any of the following criteria, you are not yet eligible for a booster shot.

  • If you are currently COVID positive, please wait for symptoms to resolve before getting boosted.
  • If you received your Pfizer or Moderna vaccination series fewer than five months ago, you are not yet eligible for your booster dose.
  • If you had COVID and received monoclonal antibody treatment, you are not eligible for a booster until 90 days after that treatment. 

The CDC has expanded eligibility for an additional booster dose for certain individuals who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19:

  • People over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster 4 months after their prior dose. This is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19. 
  • Individuals 12 years of age and older who are immunocompromised are eligible for a second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose.
  • Individuals 18 years of age and older who are immunocompromised are eligible for a second booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose. 

Read the latest guidance from the CDC.

Which booster shot should I get?

Eligible individuals may choose between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for their booster dose. The CDC recommendations do allow for mixing and matching, so if you got Pfizer previously, you can get a Moderna booster or vice versa. Due to concerns around possible cardiovascular side effects, the CDC is not recommending Johnson & Johnson boosters at this time. Consult with your medical provider if you have any questions about the best option for you.

Where can I get my booster shot?

For your convenience we are offering Moderna booster shots at Student Health Services on Thursdays by appointment only 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. To register for an appointment sign up or call 504-865-3326.

For Pfizer please visit COVID-19 Vaccines | Loyola University New Orleans (loyno.edu) to find a site nearest you. NOLA Ready also hosts regular community vaccine events

How do I notify Loyola when I have gotten my booster?

Once you have gotten your booster shot, you should report your status on Loyola’s Public Health Portal.

  • Your username is your full Loyola email address. For example: xxxxxxxx@my.loyno.edu  
  • Your password is your Microsoft password. If you have changed your Microsoft password, use what you changed it to. If you have not yet changed your Microsoft password, the default password is the first two letters of your first name, followed by the last 4 digits of your social security number, then an uppercase LU. For example: abXXXXLU
  • If you cannot sign in, go to office.com to reset your Microsoft password.

Email covid@loyno.edu for help logging into the portal and more information.

What if I lost my CDC white card?

We will give you a new card with your booster dose.

What do I need to do prior to my appointment at SHS to receive my booster dose?

Log into your Medicat Public Health Portal and under the heading/tab FORMS, and complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Consent.

If it’s your first time at Student Health, you will also need to complete forms 1–4:

  1. Assignment of Benefits
  2. Consent to Treatment
  3. HIPAA Privacy Policy Acknowledgement
  4. Third-party Billing

Under the heading/tab INSURANCE, enter your policy information and upload a picture of your insurance card.

Lastly, if you haven’t done so already - upload proof you completed your COVID-19 vaccination series. Under the heading/tab UPLOAD, attach an image such as your CDC white vaccine card or snapshot of LA Wallet app.

There are no available appointments on the schedule!

We will continue to offer additional opportunities for booster shots as we receive additional supplies of vaccines. Please continue to check here for availability.

When am I considered full vaccinated vs. up to date on vaccines?

A person is fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving all recommended doses in their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine. Up to date means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine, and one booster dose when eligible. Getting a second booster dose is not necessary to be considered up to date at this time. If you received your booster shot less than 7 days prior to being exposed, then you will be considered "not up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations" and will need to follow the CDC's guidelines for quarantine. Please reach out to covid@loyno.edu immediately regarding potential exposure.