Vaccines for COVID-19

For the Fall 2021 semester, it will be required that all students, faculty and staff who are able to do so will be fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after the final dose) with a university-accepted vaccine. Those who are unvaccinated will continue to be required to participate in the on-campus COVID-19 testing program.

University COVID-19 vaccination guidance for students, faculty and staff

  1. For the Fall 2021 semester, it will be required that all students, faculty and staff who are able to do so will be fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after the final dose) with a university-accepted COVID-19 vaccine.
  2. If you are not vaccinated, there is NOT an exemption process for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Instead, all unvaccinated individuals are required to participate in the on-campus COVID-19 testing program.
  3. The university is following Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance and accepting vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization. If you are not able to access one of the university-accepted vaccines, you will be able to receive an accepted vaccine upon your arrival to campus.
  4. Individuals should submit their Vaccination Record Card in the MyMcKinley Portal and have it verified. Until it is verified, you must participate in the COVID-19 on-campus testing program. See more information on uploading your Vaccination Record Card below.
  5. If you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 and you are able to do so, you should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Visit vaccines.gov to find available appointments or walk-in hours in your local area.
  6. We acknowledge that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. For those individuals, the COVID-19 testing program will continue to be required.

Uploading your Vaccination Record Card for verification

Please read below for more information and directions for submitting your vaccination information through the McKinley Health Center for verification.

How to upload your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card
  1. Log into the MyMcKinley Portal: https://mymckinley.illinois.edu
  2. Click on the “Forms” button in the menu header.
  3. Choose “COVID-19 Vaccine Record Consent.”
  4. Fill out the form.
  5. Upload a photo of your completed COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. (A cell phone image is fine.)
  6. Click submit.

After you submit, the McKinley Health Center staff will verify the accuracy of your vaccine record. Once the upload has been reviewed and approved, your COVID-19 vaccines will appear under the Immunizations tab in your MyMcKinley Portal. Uploaded cards will be reviewed by mid-summer.

If you have any issues, please email the COVID Wellness Answer Center at covidwellness@illinois.edu or call 217-333-1900.

Note: You must provide a certified English translation if your vaccine card/records are not in English. If your vaccine card already has the translation preprinted on your card in addition to your native language, this is acceptable as long as the name of the vaccine and your name is on the card in English. This is the same process as required for immunization records.

How to know your upload was submitted

If you have previously uploaded a Vaccination Record Card, please be patient. It could take several weeks for your vaccination to be verified after you submit it. Once your vaccination has completed verification, records can take 12-24 hours to appear in the Safer Illinois app.

You can also check to see if your record has been verified by visiting the Immunizations section of your MyMcKinley Portal. Select “View History” and then click “Print” and there should be a full list of your verified vaccination records. Although you may see your vaccination record in the McKinley system, your vaccination status may not be immediately reflected in the Safer Illinois app.

Verification process for Building Access

Starting Monday, June 21, if you have a university-verified Vaccination Record Card, you will no longer be required to submit a saliva sample regularly for compliance and building access. Individuals who do not submit vaccination records will continue to be required to participate in the COVID-19 on-campus testing program.

Please note if you are required to test, you will need to continue to do so until your COVID-19 vaccine record has been verified. Individuals who have a verified Vaccination Record Card on file will still have full access to the COVID-19 testing program and may continue testing.

If you have reviewed the information below and you still have questions or concerns, please contact the COVID Wellness Answer Center via email at covidwellness@illinois.edu or call 217-333-1900.

If you were vaccinated anywhere other than the McKinley Health Center or CRCE and have already uploaded your Vaccination Record Card and provided consent

On Monday, June 21, you should receive a status change on your Safer Illinois app that shows your record has been verified. It should also be in place in the Boarding Pass.

You can also check to see if your record has been verified by visiting the Immunizations section of your MyMcKinley Portal. Select “View History” and then click “Print” and there should be a full list of your verified vaccination records.

If you uploaded your card and provided consent and you do not see these changes, please check the following before contacting the Wellness Answer Center:

  1. Has it been at least three weeks since your submission? It can take up to three weeks for the McKinley Health Center to verify your record by confirming it with university and other vaccination databases.
  2. Are you sure you completed your submission? To check, visit the Immunizations section of your MyMcKinley Portal. If it is not displayed there, it may not have been saved, and you may need to submit again.
  3. Did you receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine? For building access and compliance, the university is following CDC guidance and accepting vaccines authorized for emergency use by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization.
  4. Have you provided a verified English translation if your record is in another language?
  5. Is your Safer Illinois app updated? Do you have your Safer Illinois app set to share your Health Provider Test Result and Vaccine information in your settings?
  6. If you are required to test, you will need to continue to do so until your COVID-19 vaccine record has been verified.
If you have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in the state of Illinois but have not already uploaded your Vaccination Record Card and provided consent
  • The state immunization data registry will be used to verify your immunization.  
  • This verification process could take 4-6 weeks, so please be patient.
  • When your record has been verified, you will receive a status change on your Safer Illinois. It should also be in place in the Boarding Pass.
  • If you are required to test, you will need to continue to do so until your COVID-19 vaccine record has been verified.
If you have been vaccinated for COVID-19 outside the state of Illinois (including in another country) but have not already uploaded your Vaccination Record Card

Please submit your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and provide consent in the MyMcKinley Portal as soon as possible if you want your vaccination to replace regular COVID-19 on-campus testing for compliance and building access.

Here are instructions to submit and provide consent:

  1. Log into the MyMcKinley Portal
  2. Click on the “Forms” button in the menu header.
  3. Choose “COVID-19 Vaccine Record Consent.”
  4. Fill out the form.
  5. Upload a photo of your completed COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. (A cell phone image is fine.)
  6. Click submit.

It may take three weeks for the McKinley Health Center to verify your record by confirming it with university and other vaccination databases.

If you are required to test, you will need to continue to do so until your COVID-19 vaccine record has been verified.

If you have not already been vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Visit vaccines.gov to find available appointments or walk-in hours in your local area. 
  • If you are not able to access one of the university-accepted vaccines, you will be able to receive an accepted vaccine upon your arrival to campus.
  • The university acknowledges that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated.
  • If you are required to test, you will need to continue to do so until your COVID-19 vaccine record has been verified.

Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccines applies to vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen, in addition to COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). You can find this list from the WHO in the right-hand column of this webpage. These COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted by the university for building access and compliance for Fall 2021.

If you cannot get one of these vaccines before you return to campus, you will be able to receive an approved vaccine upon your arrival.

Testing

If you have a university-verified Vaccination Record Card, you will no longer be required to submit a saliva sample regularly for compliance and building access. Individuals who do not have a verified vaccination record will continue to be required to participate in the COVID-19 on-campus testing program.

Vaccination appointments & locations

Continue to check your university email and check the locations below often to learn about available appointments.

Distribution

CUPHD is leading vaccine distribution for our county. The university shares information from CUPHD when it is relevant to faculty, staff or students. The university does not control the vaccine appointments, timelines or community clinic locations.

Champaign County residents with questions about vaccines should contact CUPHD by phone (217-239-7877) or email (coronavirus@c-uphd.org).

Area Pharmacies
  • Please continue to check the websites of local pharmacies for available appointments.
  • Area pharmacies may add new appointment slots throughout the week, so continue to check their websites frequently.
  • You can use vaccines.gov to look for available appointments nearby.
Community clinics

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is providing vaccination opportunities through community clinics located throughout the county. Please continue to check the CUPHD website to see if there are any appointments available.

FAQ

For additional questions about COVID-19 vaccinations, the Illinois Department of Public Health has compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions.

University guidance

Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for students, faculty and staff?
  1. For the Fall 2021 semester, it will be required that all students, faculty and staff who are able to do so will be fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after the final dose) with a university-accepted COVID-19 vaccine.
  2. If you are not vaccinated, there is NOT an exemption process for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Instead, all unvaccinated individuals are required to participate in the on-campus COVID-19 testing program.
  3. The university is following Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance and accepting vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization. If you are not able to access one of the university-accepted vaccines, you will be able to receive an accepted vaccine upon your arrival to campus.
  4. Individuals should submit their Vaccination Record Card in the MyMcKinley Portal and have it verified. Until it is verified, you must participate in the COVID-19 on-campus testing program. See more information on uploading your Vaccination Record Card below.
  5. If you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 and you are able to do so, you should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Visit vaccines.gov to find available appointments or walk-in hours in your local area.
  6. We acknowledge that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. For those individuals, the COVID-19 testing program will continue to be required.
Which COVID-19 vaccines will the university accept for building access and compliance for Fall 2021?

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccines applies to vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen, in addition to COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). You can find this list from the WHO in the right-hand column of this webpage

These COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted by the university for building access and compliance for Fall 2021. If you cannot get one of these vaccines before you return to campus, you will be able to receive an approved vaccine upon your arrival.

Do I still have to participate in the on-campus COVID-19 testing program after receiving a vaccine?

Starting Monday, June 21, if you have a university-verified Vaccination Record Card, you will no longer be required to submit a saliva sample regularly for compliance and building access. Individuals who do not have a verified vaccination record will continue to be required to participate in the COVID-19 on-campus testing program.

Please note that even individuals who have a verified Vaccination Record Card on file will still have full access to the COVID-19 testing program and may continue testing.

I have recovered from COVID-19. Should I be vaccinated?

The university is following guidance from the CDC that says individuals who previously recovered from COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. For the Fall 2021 semester, it will be required that all students who are able to do so will be fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after the final dose) with a university-accepted vaccine before beginning the fall semester if they plan to be on campus with no additional health and safety obligations. Individuals who are not able to be vaccinated and/or who have not had their record submitted and verified will be required to participate in the COVID-19 testing program.

Is there an exemption process for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement?

The university acknowledges that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. You do not submit an exemption form for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Instead, unvaccinated individuals must continue the on-campus testing program to maintain compliance with university requirements.

Am I required to show my COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to anyone at the university?

You are required to upload your Vaccination Record Card to the MyMcKinley Portal if you do not want to continue the on-campus COVID-19 testing program. This gathers and stores this information in a secure system, because vaccination records are private health information. This will be the official record of who is vaccinated on campus. No one else should ask to see your record. And no other units should be requesting or collecting vaccination records for any reason. 

Am I required to show my COVID-19 verified vaccination record screen to anyone at the university?

No. You are not required to show the vaccination status screen in your app to anyone. However, you are required to show your building access screen to Wellness Support Associates, supervisors and instructors during class time. The Building Access screen only shows if someone is compliant or not – either through vaccination or testing. This is to protect everyone’s private health information.

I uploaded my vaccination card. Why isn’t the change reflected in my Safer Illinois app?

If you have previously uploaded a Vaccination Record Card, please be patient. It could take several weeks for your vaccination to be verified after you submit it. Once your vaccination has completed verification, records can take 12-24 hours to appear in the Safer Illinois app.

How do I know when it’s my turn to get the vaccine?

All University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign faculty, staff and students are now eligible for vaccine appointments. The university encourages members of the community to be vaccinated if and when they are able to do so. We also acknowledge that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated.

CUPHD is leading vaccine distribution for our county. The university shares information from CUPHD when it is relevant to faculty, staff or students. Please also continue to check the websites of local pharmacies for available appointments.

The university does not control the vaccine appointments, timelines or community clinic locations. Champaign County residents with questions about vaccines should contact CUPHD by phone (217-239-7877) or email (coronavirus@c-uphd.org).

I am fully vaccinated (it has been 14 days since my final dose). Do I still have to wear a face covering on campus?

Consistent with our practice of following CDC and public health COVID-19 guidance, all university students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear a face covering in university spaces indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

I am a student and received my first dose of the vaccine on campus (at CRCE or another location). When will I be able to receive my second dose?

Students who have received their first vaccination will be offered dates for second vaccination opportunities before and for a few weeks after the end of the semester. Scheduled dates for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine will be on the McKinley website and opening dates for scheduling will be communicated via massmail. You may still get your second vaccination dose even if you are not enrolled in classes this summer. The CDC recommends you get your second vaccination within six weeks of your first shot.

For questions, please contact studenthealthcenter@illinois.edu.

I am an international student who is able to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in my home country. However, I will have to be on campus before I’m able to receive my final dose, and it is not available in Champaign-Urbana. What should I do?

From a health perspective, according to the CDC, you should take whatever vaccine is made available to you first. It is important to be vaccinated as soon as possible once it’s your turn and not wait.

To meet the university COVID-19 vaccine requirement, the university is accepting vaccines approved by the CDC and the World Health Organization. Based on guidance from the CDC and CUPHD, you must have completed all doses in an accepted vaccine series reflected on your Vaccination Record Card to meet the university requirement. The CDC says COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. Both doses of the series should be completed with the same product.

If you cannot get all doses of an approved vaccine before you return to campus, you will be able to receive all doses of an approved vaccine upon your arrival. You may consider moving back to campus early in order to be fully vaccinated sooner. However, if you are not able to be fully vaccinated before the start of the Fall 2021 semester, you should receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Until you are fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after the final dose) with a university-accepted vaccine and your Vaccination Record Card has been submitted and verified by the McKinley Health Center, you are required to continue the COVID-19 testing program.

What should I do if I am fully vaccinated but experience COVID-19-like symptoms?

The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals who experience COVID-19-like symptoms get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible. Fully vaccinated individuals will still have full access to on-campus testing for the Fall 2021 semester.

I am a student and won’t be in Champaign-Urbana during the timeframe to get my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Should I still get the first dose locally if I can get an appointment?

Yes. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is advising that all individuals who are eligible and able take the first opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If possible, you are encouraged to return to the same location for your second dose. But if that is not possible, any student will be able to get their second dose at any state mass vaccination site. Students may also be able to receive their second dose through an area pharmacy or their local health district.  

Should I still get my flu shot?

Yes, you should still get a flu shot. Please get one now if you have not already done so.