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COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement FAQ

Who is required to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

Traditional undergraduate students are required to be up to date on their COVID vaccinations. Students in graduate programs and the Bachelor's Degree for Professionals program, as well as faculty and staff, are strongly encouraged to remain up to date on their COVID vaccinations; however, proof of COVID vaccination will not be required.

Why are undergraduate students required to be vaccinated?

The decision to mandate the COVID vaccination for traditional undergraduate students is based on numerous factors, including the efficacy of current vaccines against severe disease, the effectiveness of vaccines against reducing spread of COVID, the types of activities students engage in and whether they increase risk in community spread, whether the risk of contracting COVID from on-campus activities is higher than would be expected in normal everyday activities in the community, recommendations from the American College Health Association, recommendations and requirements from Ventura County Public Health, and how university officials have treated vaccine requirements previously. In short, university officials agree that the COVID vaccines should be strongly recommended for everyone given their benefits, particularly for reducing severe disease. However, a mandate is only required for traditional undergraduates, primarily because their risks of contracting COVID is likely higher than would be expected in our community currently given the types of activities they engage in (e.g., living together in residence halls, engaging in group activities like team sports, going to large parties, etc.).  Indeed, this is similar to why university officials mandate other vaccines for undergraduate students only like MMR or Meningitis. 

How is proof submitted?

Tradiational Undergradaute students: If at least three days have passed since you registered for classes, submit vaccination documentation by going to the Health Services Health Forms webpage and following the steps below:

  1. Click on the purple Student Health Portal button to sign in with your university username and password.
  2. Once in the Student Health Portal, click on My Forms in the upper left.
  3. Click on the Immunization History form and complete it.
  4. Upload a legible scan or photo of your immunization card on that form or by clicking Document Upload.
  5. You will receive a secure email after your record is reviewed by Health Services.

How do I know if I am up to date on my COVID vaccinations?

For specific information on when you should receive each dose of your COVID vaccinations and whether you are up to date on your COVID vaccinations, please see the CDC website.

I have some doses of my COVID vaccination but I am not eligible for my next dose or booster yet. What do I do?

If you are not yet eligible for your next dose or your booster based on the CDC's eligibility criteria, you will receive a temporary exemption to the COVID vaccination requirement until you are eligible. Once eligible, individuals must receive their next vaccine dose within 1 week in order to be compliant with Cal Lutheran policy.  

Do I need all of my COVID vaccination doses if I already had COVID?

Yes. Cal Lutheran requires boosters regardless of prior COVID infection status. As noted on the CDC website, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone ages 5 years and older, regardless of a history of symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. This includes people with prolonged post-COVID-19 symptoms and applies to primary series and booster doses. This recommendation also applies to people who experience SARS-CoV-2 infection after receiving any COVID-19 dose.  

I have COVID-19 antibodies, so why do I need the vaccine?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement saying antibody testing should not  be used to assess immunity. You can read the full message on the FDA website.

Will exemptions for the COVID vaccination requirement be considered?

Limited exemptions based on medical or religious reasons are considered. Students may access the exemption request forms located at the bottom of the Health Services Health Forms webpage.

Will any COVID-19 vaccine fulfill the requirement?

All vaccines authorized by the FDA or World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted to meet the requirement. In the United States, this includes the the Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna vaccines.

Where can I find information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines?

The CDC and WHO have extensive information and resources available regarding the various COVID-19 vaccines.

Who makes decisions regarding Cal Lutheran’s Covid-19 policies and protocols?

The University has a multidisciplinary committee who advises the University President on COVID-19 related matters. Each member of the committee brings to the table a unique set of experience from their respective fields (e.g., health, education, residential life, facilities, and more). They also bring their own training and expertise (e.g., Ph.Ds, MAs, PA-C). All who serve on the committee read articles in their respective fields and gather information from colleagues at various institutions. Several of them are further charged to consult with the experts at the Ventura County Health Department. 

Is this an unusual requirement?

No, colleges often require vaccines. All incoming traditional undergraduate students at Cal Lutheran were already required to submit proof of Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis, Measles-Mumps-Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Meningitis ACWY vaccinations.

Is this requirement legal?

Cal Lutheran administrators consulted legal experts during the development of our COVID-19 vaccination requirement policy, and established it in accordance with all applicable laws.

Does asking for vaccination proof violate HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)?

No, HIPAA does not apply to employers or student health records. HIPAA prevents a third party from sharing your private health information without your permission so it does not apply in this situation.

Am I eligible to receive the vaccine if I am an undocumented immigrant or international student?

Yes, undocumented immigrants and international students are eligible for the free vaccines with a Cal Lutheran ID.

How can I get the vaccine?

Contact your local pharmacy or your primary care provider or visit the vaccine information website in your county. Links to the county websites for Cal Lutheran locations are below:

What if I am having trouble accessing the vaccine?

We will work with students, faculty and staff who have limitations on accessing vaccinations. International students who are unable to obtain the vaccine prior to their arrival at Cal Lutheran will be expected to start the immunization process during their first week on any of our campuses.

Will there be an option to take classes virtually if I don’t want to get vaccinated?

Traditional undergraduate students with a documented disability that is directly impacted by COVID-19 challenges and would prevent in-person attendance should contact Disability Support Services to register for services and request an official accommodation.

Can I be tested instead of getting the vaccine?

The vaccine is required for all traditional undergraduate students, graduate students living on campus, staff and faculty unless you have an approved medical or religious exemption.

Are visitors to campus required to be vaccinated?

We encourage all our guests to be vaccinated in order to keep our community and visitors safe. We ask that everyone stay home and use virtual meeting options if they are not feeling well, particularly if they have a fever, cough, sore throat or any other cold or flu symptoms.