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 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 before they can return to campus.
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 was July 16, 2021. Those who have not met this deadline 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
Once you log into the portal, follow the instructions for uploading your vaccine record or exemption documentation on the home screen.
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.
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. If you have any concerns or questions about your uploaded records, you can email email@example.com.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 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.
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.
Will I need to quarantine if I have been fully vaccinated?
Fully vaccinated individuals at Loyola are required to report exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 on the Public Health Portal accessible through the Quick Links in SSO.
Symptomatic: Isolate immediately and get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
No Symptoms After Exposure: Get tested 3-5 days after exposure and submit proof of negative test, self monitor for symptoms for 14 days, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for at least 14 days (or as required by current guidelines)
Fully vaccinated people who live in a household with someone who is immunosuppressed, at increased risk of severe disease, or unvaccinated (including children <12 years of age) should also consider masking at home for 14 days following a known exposure.
Most fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine or be restricted from work following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as long as they follow the testing and masking recommendation above.
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.
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.