Vaccination and booster requirement

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a mandate that all state employees and university students must be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

University COVID-19 vaccination and booster requirement

  • All students, faculty and staff (except those who are fully remote and never come to campus or university-affiliated buildings) are required to be fully vaccinated with a university-accepted COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If you have not already done so, you are required to receive a final dose and submit your Vaccination Record Card to the MyMcKinley Portal. You should submit as soon as you receive your final dose.
  • The University of Illinois System is requiring that all faculty, staff and students receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot as soon as they are eligible. We plan to provide time for everyone to receive their booster (when they are eligible) to meet this new requirement.

COVID-19 vaccination and booster exemptions

Exemptions for students
  1. All students who are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons must request an exemption and submit any relevant documentation. You will receive an interim exemption while your submission is being reviewed.

    To request a medical exemption, submit through the MyMcKinley Portal.

    To request a religious exemption, fill out this form.
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated and you have an approved medical or religious vaccination exemption, you are required to test.

    If you are not fully vaccinated with a university-verified record and you do not have an approved medical or religious vaccination exemption, you are required to test until you are fully vaccinated.
  3. This policy is enforceable through existing progressive discipline processes, which may result in dismissal.
  4. Individuals who are not able to be vaccinated and are not able to participate in the on-campus testing program cannot be on campus or at a university-affiliated location off campus and must be fully remote.
Exemptions for faculty and staff
  1. All faculty and staff who are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons must request an exemption through the ADA Division of the Office for Access and Equity by filling out the request form and submitting any relevant documentation: ADA Division Online Employee Accommodation Request Form. You will receive an interim exemption while your submission is being reviewed. 
  2. If you are not fully vaccinated and you have an approved medical or religious vaccination exemption, you are required to test.

    If you are not fully vaccinated with a university-verified record and you do not have an approved medical or religious vaccination exemption, you are required to test until you are fully vaccinated.

    Employees who are required to test are not required to test on their non-work days or on remote days, if working a hybrid remote schedule.

    Employees working at remote, off-site university facilities should follow the established testing frequencies at their location.
  3. This policy is enforceable through existing progressive discipline processes, which may result in loss of employment.
  4. Individuals who are not able to be vaccinated and are not able to participate in the on-campus testing program cannot be on campus or at a university-affiliated location off campus. The feasibility of a remote work accommodation will need to be assessed in partnership with the ADA division interactive process and in consultation with their unit.

Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccines applies to vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and vaccines currently authorized for emergency use (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The following COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted by the university for building access and compliance.

FDA approved vaccines:

  • Comirnaty (known as Pfizer-BioNTech)
  • Spikevax (known as Moderna)

FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) vaccines:

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

Which COVID-19 vaccines will the university accept for building access and compliance?

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccines applies to vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and vaccines currently authorized for emergency use (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The following COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted by the university for building access and compliance.

FDA approved vaccines:

  • Comirnaty (known as Pfizer-BioNTech)
  • Spikevax (known as Moderna)

FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) vaccines:

These COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted by the university for building access and compliance. If you cannot get one of these vaccines before you arrive 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?

If you are fully vaccinated with a university-verified record in the MyMcKinley Portal, you are not required to participate in the testing program. The only exception is if you receive a notification that you are in a location with increased cases (targeted testing) and need to test every other day for a period of time.

If you are not fully vaccinated and you have an approved medical or religious vaccination exemption, you are required to test.

If you are not fully vaccinated with a university-verified record and you do not have an approved medical or religious vaccination exemption, you are required to test until you are fully vaccinated.

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.

When should individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 receive a vaccine or booster? Should they wait?

The university is following guidance from the CDC that says individuals who previously recovered from COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated with a university-accepted COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 should receive a vaccine or booster as soon as possible. An exception to this guidance, according to the CDC, is that those who have received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma during COVID-19 treatment should wait 90 days before getting the vaccine. If you have received one of these treatments, you should consult with your healthcare provider.

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.

I lost my vaccination record card and need a replacement. What should I do?

If you were vaccinated in the state of Illinois and need a copy of your vaccine record, you should first contact the place where you were vaccinated. If they are unable to supply a sufficient record, you can request a copy of your State of Illinois immunization record be sent to you directly from the Illinois Department of Public Health’s I-CARE system. Complete this records release form and follow all instructions listed at the top of the form to submit to IDPH. You can also access your records through IDPH’s immunization portal, Vax Verify.

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.