Vaccines for COVID-19

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

University COVID-19 vaccination 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.
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 and email it to helpdean@illinois.edu.
  2. The Governor’s executive order sets minimum testing expectations for those who are unvaccinated. From the beginning of this pandemic, the university has made clear that our top priority is to maximize safety for our entire community.

    If you are not fully vaccinated and you have an approved medical or religious vaccination exemption, you are required to test and receive negative results every other day.

    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 and receive negative results every other day 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. The Governor’s executive order sets minimum testing expectations for those who are unvaccinated. From the beginning of this pandemic, the university has made clear that our top priority is to maximize safety for our entire community.

    If you are not fully vaccinated and you have an approved medical or religious vaccination exemption, you are required to test and receive negative results every other day.

    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 and receive negative results every other day 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.

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.

Do NOT upload your vaccination card more than once. Please note you will need to continue to test until your COVID-19 vaccine record has been verified.

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. McKinley does NOT send notifications if a vaccine has been verified. Once the upload has been reviewed and approved, your COVID-19 vaccines will appear under the Immunizations tab in your MyMcKinley Portal.

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 takes time 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.

McKinley doesn’t send notifications if a vaccine has been verified. You will, however, receive feedback from McKinley if they are missing information or received unacceptable documentation.  Please check the inbox in your MyMcKinley to see if you have any secure messages. 

You can 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.

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 the Pfizer-BioNTech)

FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) vaccines:

  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen
  • 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

Testing

If you are fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days after final dose) with a university-verified Vaccination Record Card, you

  • 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 or group with increased cases 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 and receive negative results every other day.
  • 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 and receive negative results every other day 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.

Vaccine appointments

CUPHD is leading vaccine distribution for our county. The university does not control the vaccine appointments, timelines or community clinic locations.

Students can get vaccinated at CRCE by making an appointment in their MyMcKinley Portal. All individuals can find a nearby appointment at vaccines.gov and get vaccinated today.

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 vaccine 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.

Vaccine booster eligibility

At this time, the university does not plan to require booster shots, but they are strongly encouraged. Employees may receive a booster shot during work hours without the use of accrued vacation or sick leave.

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) is hosting Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics for those who are eligible. Mix and match of the approved vaccines is permissible. Please bring your original vaccination card if possible.

Moderna and Pfizer booster

  • You must live or work in Champaign County.
  • You must be fully vaccinated and six months must have passed since your final dose.
  • You must be:
    • 65 years of age or older
    • 18 years of age and older and be:
      1. an individual with underlying health conditions
      2. a resident of a long-term care facility
      3. a healthcare worker (this also includes COVID-19 testing center and lab employees)
      4. a first responder (this includes law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, etc.)

Johnson & Johnson booster

  • You must live or work in Champaign County.
  • You must be fully vaccinated and six months must have passed since your final dose.
  • You must be 18 years of age and older.

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 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?

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 or group with increased cases 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 and receive negative results every other day.

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 and receive negative results every other day 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.

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. All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated with a university-accepted COVID-19 vaccine.

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. Individuals are required to show their building access status to the following individuals:

  • Wellness Support Associates (WSAs)
  • Instructors (including TAs)
  • Supervisors
  • Academic advisors during meeting time
  • McKinley Health Center, Student Counseling Center and Faculty Staff Assistance Services
  • IHR civil service testing locations

The building access status screen only shows if someone is compliant or not – either through vaccination or testing. This is to protect everyone’s private health information. You are not required to share or prove your vaccination status.

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 takes time 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.

If your status still hasn’t updated, please follow these steps before reaching out to covidwellness@illinois.edu.

In the meantime, if your vaccination is verified by the university and you need to show your building access status immediately, please use the boarding pass: https://go.illinois.edu/BoardingPass

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

If you were vaccinated in Illinois, you can request a copy of your State of Illinois immunization record be sent to you directly from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Complete this form and email it to the address listed at the top of the document. A fax number is not required. IDPH will send you documentation which is an official State of Illinois record.

If you were vaccinated outside of Illinois, you can contact your local vaccine provider, local county health department or state health department.      

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.

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.