Vaccination Certification FAQ

November 22, 2021

To comply with a recent federal mandate, the University is taking additional steps to protect our employees and student workers against COVID-19. All faculty, staff (including temp/casual), and graduate and undergraduate student workers, adjuncts, professionals in training, residents, and fellows will be required to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination by December 3. Showing proof of vaccination—or filing an acceptable medical or religious exemption and agreeing to test regularly—is a condition of employment. More information on how to prepare to upload documents is available on Vaccine Certification as well as training resources on how to upload documents to MyU.  Employees who do not submit either proof or an exemption may be subject to discipline, including possible termination.

Below are some frequently asked questions that will provide more details.

Vaccinations

Is the definition of "fully vaccinated" the same as under attestation? Are booster shots required? 

The definition is the same at this point and at this time, booster doses recommended by the Centers for Disease Control are not required to be considered fully vaccinated. Currently, the system that the University has set up will only allow employees and those covered by the policy to enter their initial one- or two-dose vaccination. 

What if I have only received one dose of a two-dose vaccine?

Certify the dose(s) you have received before the December 3, 2021, deadline. You will need to follow the weekly testing requirements until you complete your second dose. You will be able to upload the information on your second dose once it is completed in the My Info tab in MyU and follow the steps to upload your second dose.

Compliance

What happens if an employee doesn’t meet the deadline?

If an employee does not submit their proof of vaccination or a medical or religious exemption by December 3, their local human resources staff will contact them and their supervisor to see if there are barriers that can be addressed. If there are no barriers and the employee refuses to complete the process, progressive discipline discussions may begin in January, which could eventually result in termination.

Will a new employee starting after December 3 need to have proof of vaccination or an exemption on their first day?

Yes, and we are building this into the pre-hire process so it will be handled at the same time as other required first-day activities, such as completing the I-9 submission.

 

Are vendors and contractors included? What about volunteers?

Vendors, contractors, and volunteers are not covered by this requirement.

 

Why am I required to certify my vaccination if I’m working from home?

The University must meet the requirements under the federal executive order to continue receiving federal funds. As with the attestation process, the University has opted to require this of all employees; those working remotely need to comply so they can visit their University workplace or campus as needed. 

Submission Process

How do I submit my proof of vaccination or exemptions?

Employees received an email on Nov. 22, 2021, directing them to a new section in the My Info tab of MyU, where they can upload their proof of vaccination, medical exemption form, or religious exemption form. New employees will receive similar instructions after their hire. Tips to help your upload work better are available.

 

What if I lost my vaccine card?

You can request your immunization record from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Will I get a notification when I submit my information?

No. You will not receive an email saying you have successfully certified your vaccine or that your exemption has been approved. You only receive an email if there is a missing document or another issue with your certification or exemption. 

Exemptions

What is needed to qualify for a medical or religious exemption?

You can find information from the Centers for Disease Control at Workplace Vaccination Program and Vaccination Guidelines.

 

Does the religious exemption form require a notary?

Yes. Information on finding a notary is available on the Certification page.

 

Will the University pay to have my form notarized?

Banks and credit unions typically offer free notarization to customers. On the Twin Cities campus, University Student Legal Services offers notary services to students, faculty, and staff. An appointment must be scheduled in advance.  

 

How quickly will I be approved for an exemption?

You can assume your exemption request is approved when you submit it. Human resources staff will make sure the form is complete and contact you with any questions.

 

If an employee says they already had COVID and believe they are immune, can that qualify as a medical or religious exemption?

No. This is not a sufficient reason for a medical or religious exemption because it does not align with current guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Testing for Those With an Exemption

Will the University pay for employee testing under the requirement?

For now, the process will remain the same as under our attestation process. Employees have access to paid testing through their department or they can access tests on campus or in their community. For those who are hourly, you will continue to receive paid time off to get a weekly test, if needed. More information is available on testing for employees.

 

Will student employees with a medical or religious exemption also have to test weekly?

Yes. Test results do not need to be submitted to the University.

 

Do those who test weekly have to submit their results to their supervisor or HR department?

No. The University will continue to use the honor system for testing, subject to any future federal requirements.

 

Data Privacy

Who will have access to my vaccination information?

The information you provide will be treated as private. It may be shared within the University if a University employee needs the information to perform their job; for example, staff with roles in supervision, health and safety, legal, and human resources. It may be shared outside the University only with those who are authorized to have access under federal or state law, including representatives of the Minnesota Department of Health.