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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 will require 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 receive a COVID-19 vaccination authorized 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 the COVID-19 vaccination portal to provide their records or reason for opting out by July 16, 2021. 

Please note that several other immunizations are required for all students by the State of Louisiana and the university. For more information, visit our immunizations web page.

Why is Loyola requiring COVID-19 vaccination?

This is a vital step for our community in order to have the kind of fall semester we all 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 for people older than 16. 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.

What is the deadline for students to submit proof of vaccination or apply for an exemption?

The deadline to submit your COVID-19 vaccination documentation or exemption request is July 16, 2021. We carefully selected this deadline in order for all students to be fully vaccinated and protected prior to the start of our move-in schedule and return to campus for the fall. Those who do not meet this deadline will have a public health hold put on their accounts and will not be permitted to move into residence halls or attend classes. 

Students who decline vaccination will be asked to upload additional documentation as applicable to your exemption request (i.e., medical, religious or philosophical reasons). Continue reading FAQs below for more details. 

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?

Fill out this form to share your vaccination records securely with the university. Once you submit the form, you will be sent a personalized link to log into the vaccination portal and upload your records. In the vaccination records portal you need to:

  1. Enter the manufacturer of your COVID vaccine. Choose one of the following: Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Other, Unknown.
  2. Enter the dates you received your COVID vaccine.
  3. Enter the location you received your COVID vaccine.
  4. Upload proof of your vaccination. This could be a picture of your white CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card; a copy of vaccination records; or anything that has your name, date of birth, and vaccine information.

Please note: You must receive your final dose of your approved COVID-19 vaccine of choice no later than July 16 in order to submit finalized vaccine records.

What if I already submitted my vaccine records during the Spring 2021 semester?

If you are a returning student and previously submitted your vaccine record, including a picture of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, when you submitted your vaccine survey during the Spring 2021 semester, then you already meet the vaccination requirement. 

You can access your previous records using the personalized link sent to your email from covid@loyno.edu (Subject line: Loyola COVID Vaccine Link). The email will provide a direct link to your vaccination records so you can confirm that you have submitted the necessary documentation. If you have any concerns or trouble accessing your previous record, you can start a new record by filling out this form or email covid@loyno.edu.

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 (this means at least two weeks after receiving your final vaccine dose) before arriving for their scheduled move-in time. The deadline for all students to submit vaccination records or an exemption request is July 16, 2021. 

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 unvaccinated individuals follow CDC 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 ensure that you report “cannot access the vaccine” on the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal. International students who’ve received one dose but have not completed their vaccine series should report the receipt of their single dose on the portal. In addition, all international students must fill out the special International Student Survey so that we can help coordinate receipt of the vaccine upon arrival to the United States. 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 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?

Fill out the requirements in the vaccination portal by July 16, 2021 to avoid having a public health hold placed on your account. You will not be able to move into your campus housing or attend classes on campus until you complete your exemption requirements in 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.

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 what we currently know. Specifically at Loyola, fully vaccinated students will be able to spend time with friends, participate in service learning, go to parties and concerts and get hands-on learning experiences in the classroom. Check our vaccine resource page to learn more about the benefits of being fully vaccinated and check out our Instagram account for more campus engagement opportunities and fun.

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.

Will I need to quarantine if I have been fully vaccinated?

Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Persons who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Although the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from vaccinated persons to others is still uncertain, vaccination has been demonstrated to prevent symptomatic COVID-19; symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission is thought to have a greater role in transmission than purely asymptomatic transmission.

What are the risks of getting vaccinated?

Vaccines have been authorized for 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. Patients should continue to follow all health and safety protocols, like wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands frequently for two weeks after their final dose.

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.