Does Dominican require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

Yes. Dominican University will require all of our community members to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before the start of the fall 2021 semester. This includes faculty, staff, and students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs who intend to be on campus for any period of time starting in the Fall 2021 term. Medical and religious accommodations will be considered; please see below.

Why is Dominican requiring the campus community to be vaccinated?

Out of an abundance of care and protection for our community, Dominican will require all community members to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccines have proven safe and effective, and are a critical tool in stopping the COVID-19 pandemic. Requiring vaccination is the best means of ensuring the safety and well-being of our campus community while expanding the face-to-face learning experience this fall.

Which vaccines meet Dominican’s vaccination requirement?

Any vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet Dominican’s vaccine requirement, including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Where can students sign up to receive a vaccine?

There are multiple ways to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Find a list of current options on our Vaccine Access page.

Will vaccines be offered on campus?

Yes. We will continue to have vaccination clinics on campus throughout the summer. These clinics are open to the Dominican community and their families. Please monitor your DU email for details on when these clinics will take place, as well as how to register.

Is there a cost to receive the vaccine on campus?

No. There is no charge for a student to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on campus.

By when do students need to be vaccinated?

Returning students should be fully vaccinated and report their vaccination status via the Wellness Center Online Portal by August 15, 2021. New incoming students have until September 3, 2021 to complete those steps. Resident students must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination prior to their move-in date. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks following either the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Students in 100% online programs who do not plan to come to campus are exempt from this requirement except when required by outside agencies for internship purposes.

Is the vaccination deadline the same for resident students?

If you plan to live in the Residence Halls for the Fall 2021 semester, you must be fully vaccinated and have submitted your proof of vaccination via Wellness Center Online Portal prior to your move-in date. 

The only potential exception to this policy is for international students who do not have vaccination available in their home country and therefore must receive their vaccine upon arrival in Chicago. Residence Life will provide additional details in the coming weeks.

How do students report their vaccination status?

Students should upload their completed vaccination cards to the Wellness Center’s online portal.

How do faculty and staff report their vaccination status?

Please watch your Dominican email for a process for reporting vaccination status.

What happens if a student does not report vaccination status by the deadline?

If students are unable to be fully vaccinated before the deadline, they will be permitted to attend classes but will be required to test a minimum of once a week when on campus until they are able to be vaccinated. Willful failure to comply with Dominican’s COVID-19 vaccination policy could result in your Star Card being deactivated or a hold being place on your account that prevents future registration. Students are encouraged get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid this situation.

Are there exceptions to the vaccination requirement?

Yes. Medical and religious accommodations will be considered. Please note that students receiving a vaccination exemption will be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing while they are on campus. To request a medical exemption, you must submit a note from a licensed medical doctor explaining the nature and duration of the medical condition and identifying the specific vaccines that you cannot receive. To request a religious exemption, you must complete the required paperwork (pdf) and submit a typed and signed statement detailing your objection to immunization on religious grounds. The signed statement must state the specific religious belief that conflicts with the immunization. Please contact the Wellness Center by emailing wellness@dom.edu for support in this process.

What are the approved medical reasons to receive an exemption to the vaccine requirement?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided information on medical contraindications related to COVID-19 vaccines. Your personal medical provider should help determine whether you have a medical reason to not be vaccinated. Please contact the Wellness Center by emailing wellness@dom.edu to discuss medical reasons to not be vaccinated. 

Can students be exempted from the vaccine for non-religious, non-medical reasons?

Dominican’s policy requires that all students submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination. If you are concerned about the safety or effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, we recommend that you meet with one of our Vaccine Ambassadors to better understand vaccines and have your questions answered directly. You should also review the vaccine guidance on the CDC’s website.

Do students need to be vaccinated if they have already been diagnosed with COVID-19? What happens if someone contracts COVID-19 too closely to the deadline to get vaccinated before arriving on campus?

Yes, all students are required to be vaccinated, even if they have already had COVID-19. 

Students are encouraged get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid this situation. Students who are not able to meet the vaccination requirement due to a recent COVID diagnosis will be required to get vaccinated on campus or elsewhere as soon as they have met the appropriate window of time post-diagnosis.

Will vaccinated students still need to be tested on a regular basis in the fall?

At this time, we expect to significantly reduce asymptomatic surveillance testing for those who are vaccinated. More information on these topics will be provided as public health guidance evolves.

Will vaccinated resident students need to tested before move-in this fall?

No. Vaccinated students will not be required to test for COVID-19 prior to move-in, in accordance with the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Will masks and social distancing still be required?

At this time, yes. You still have to wear a face covering on campus if you were vaccinated, and Dominican’s policies regarding wearing a face covering, social distancing and hand washing still apply. More information will be provided as public health guidance evolves.

Do students enrolled in an online-only program still need to be vaccinated?

While the vaccine is required for all Dominican University students, those enrolled in programs that are completely online do not need to provide documentation through the Wellness Center Online Portal. The exception to this is any online student completing a field internship, such as students in the MSW program. Due to agency requirements, these students will have to submit proof of vaccination. Religious and medical exemptions can be requested.

If a student isn’t able to be vaccinated before arriving to campus, can they receive a vaccine on campus?

Yes. Students needing vaccination when they arrive will have access at Dominican’s on-campus vaccine clinics. Students who receive a two-dose vaccine upon arrival will not be considered fully vaccinated until they complete the full vaccine regime, and may have additional requirements during that time (such as increased testing).

If I have more questions about Dominican’s COVID-19 vaccination policy. Who should I ask?

If you have additional questions regarding Dominican’s COVID-19 vaccination policy, please email sse@dom.edu.