Vaccination FAQ

May 9, 2022

The University is taking steps to protect our employees and student workers as outlined in the COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol Requirements for University Employees and Student Workers. 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 as 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

What constitutes proof of vaccination?
Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include a COVID-19 vaccination card; an immunization record from a healthcare provider, pharmacy, public health, or state immunization site; medical records; or any official document that verifies the name of the vaccine, dates of vaccination, and the name of the vaccine provider. The Minnesota Department of Health has a variety of resources to help you locate your vaccination record if you cannot find it, including the Docket app that helps you track your vaccinations.

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, 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. 

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 requires this of all employees and those working remotely need to comply so they can visit their University workplace or campus as needed. 

What if I have only received one dose of a two-dose vaccine?
New and current employees are required to have both doses of a two-dose COVID vaccine to be considered vaccinated by the U of M at this point in time. Vaccine boosters are recommended, but not required. 

Submission Process

How do I submit my proof of vaccination or exemptions?
If you are a new employee, your supervisor or human resources staff will work with you to complete a paper version of the form. New employees will receive additional information after their hire.  

I don’t have access to the technology necessary to submit my proof of vaccination. Who can help me?
Talk to your supervisor, who can assist you with uploading your proof of vaccination or exemption or connect you with your unit HR staff.

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 often 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?
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.