This information relates to COVID-19 vaccine administration for students and employees of Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU students and employees who are eligible for vaccination under Virginia Department of Health guidelines may also receive vaccination through their primary health care provider or local health district. COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary and not a condition of enrollment or employment. We will update this page as information changes or more details become available.

Q: What is the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines?

A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Virginia Department of Health and VCU Health have developed frequently asked questions related to the safety and efficacy regarding the types of vaccines available.

For a quick reference of the three vaccines, download this guide from VCU Health.

Q: When can I get the vaccine?

A: At this time, VCU recommends you receive the vaccine wherever you can, whether that be VCU or your local state or health district. Anyone 16 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.

VCU continues to offer a number of on-campus vaccination opportunities by appointment. VCU faculty, staff and students can register here to be contacted for an appointment on-campus or visit to search all vaccination opportunities near you.

Q: Which vaccine will I receive?

A: The type of vaccine you receive through on-campus clinics will depend on availability. VCU encourages anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible with whichever vaccine is is available to you.

The following websites provide more information about the different vaccines:

Q: Is the vaccine required to work or attend in-person classes?

A: At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is optional. It is not a condition of enrollment or employment with the university. There are no legal penalties for refusing it, but we urge you to get it once you are eligible. Once enough people are vaccinated against COVID-19 and the positive effect is reflected in the COVID-19 data that public health authorities are monitoring, we can begin resuming more of the everyday activities we enjoyed before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: If I get vaccinated, do I have to report my vaccination status to VCU?

A: Vaccination and reporting your vaccination to VCU is voluntary and not a condition of enrollment or employment. In addition to guidance from public health experts, VCU relies on this timely information to make decisions that impact university operations. Vaccinated VCU community members may also be exempt from surveillance testing and extended quarantine.

If you are in the process of being vaccinated (if you have an appointment or are awaiting a second dose) and wish to report your vaccination at a later date, a link to this reporting form will remain available through your daily health check or myVCU portal.

Q: Does receiving the vaccine automatically clear me for Entry Pass?

A: Currently, you will need to continue to present your Entry Pass.

Q: What if my reaction to the vaccine lasts longer than 48 hours?

A: Research shows that reactions to the vaccine typically last no more than 48 hours. If you experience any reaction due to the COVID-19 vaccination, please follow our infection prevention guidelines and do not come to work. If the above side effects don’t get better on their own, employees should contact their health provider, and contact 804-MYCOVID to connect with Employee Health regarding guidance about returning to work or quarantining. Students should contact Student Health Services.

VCU employees will be eligible for Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL). Please coordinate with your manager and HR professional.

Q: Do we still need to practice COVID-19 prevention efforts after receiving the vaccine? And follow the university’s health and safety protocols?

A: The CDC reports that recent studies have shown that the vaccine prevents you from getting COVID-19 symptoms and severe disease. It is still not known to what extent the vaccines prevent you from contracting and spreading the virus and so it will be important to maintain social distance and wear masks even once you are vaccinated. You will still be required to complete your daily health check, and participate in the mandatory surveillance testing program should you be selected. Also, there will be a period of time in which people will still need to practice social distancing and wear face masks, even once some have had a vaccine. Nationwide and global distribution will take months, maybe years. Achieving herd immunity – the percentage of a population that needs to be vaccinated in order to protect a community from the disease – means getting 70 to 90 percent of people vaccinated.

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