How do I provide proof of vaccination to Shenandoah?
Have you had a booster shot?
COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
SU is requiring that individuals within certain groups — those who have high levels of contact with others at the university or pose a greater risk to our community — be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they have an SU-approved medical or religious exemption.
- All students living in university housing
- President, vice presidents, and deans
- All students, coaches and staff involved in both university-sponsored (NCAA) athletics and intramural sports activities
- All students, faculty and staff involved in any music, theatre, dance or other group practice, rehearsal, ensemble or performance, whether for a class, a co-curricular activity, or a public event (this includes SCAA staff and teachers)
- All nursing/pharmacy/health professions/music therapy students, faculty and staff who a) are in-person for teaching, studying or clinical rotations or b) interact in-person with individuals in (a)
- All students doing in-person student-teaching
- All Department of Public Safety (DPS) employees
- Anyone working/volunteering in SU’s Childcare Center
- Anyone working in/with student housing
- All employees working in person at the Wilkins Wellness Center and Counseling Center
- Any student, faculty or staff member traveling on university-sponsored or university-supported group or individual travel
- All students who are serving as Hornet Ambassadors, Orientation Leaders, Resident Advisors or FYS Mentors
- Anyone who regularly works with visitors, including Brandt Student Center (BSC) Info Desk employees, BSC staff, Student Financial Services staff, and all Admissions employees
- All food services employees
- All students participating in university-sponsored internships and select volunteer opportunities
You can ask. There is no federal or state privacy law that prevents you from doing so. You want to be careful, however, about follow-up questions that may make your colleague or a student feel compelled to provide you with information about their personal medical conditions, including whether they have a disability (e.g., “Why haven’t you gotten the vaccine?”). Those who have uploaded their vaccine card should have a “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine!” icon badge in the Shenandoah Go app.
The CDC states that individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after they receive their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Shenandoah is requiring faculty and staff members who are mandated to receive a vaccine (see above) to also receive a booster dose by Jan. 14, 2022, if eligible for a booster.
Additionally, several categories of students must receive boosters, if eligible, by Jan. 14, 2022, unless previously exempt from vaccination:
- Resident Assistants/Residential Life Staff
- Graduate students in the schools of health professions, nursing, pharmacy, as well as undergraduate nursing students in clinical rotations
- All students who had a Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine
You are eligible for a booster dose if it has been 5 months since you had your second Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech shot, or 2 months since your single Johnson & Johnson/Janssen shot. For more information, please see the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website at cdc.gov. In most cases, the preferred booster is an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer).
If your licensed medical provider recommends that you not receive the booster for medical reasons (or at least not by Jan. 14), you may submit a provider’s note to the Office of Human Resources (for employees) or to the Wilkins Wellness Center (for students) and you will be considered temporarily or permanently booster ineligible.
Please follow the guidance found in SU’s Personal Conduct and COVID-19 Preventative Measures Policy, which in accordance with the CDC’s guidance.
Students may contact the Wilkins Wellness Center and faculty and staff may contact HR with any questions or concerns.
See the Personal Conduct and COVID-19 Preventative Measures Policy that specifies:
- Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear Masks whenever they are in any public indoor spaces
NOTE: From Jan. 13, 2022, through Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, everyone — regardless of vaccination status — is required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces across SU locations:
- Except when eating or drinking in the dining facilities
- Except in residential spaces
- Except when student-athletes are competing/practicing
- Except when an individual is alone in a space (i.e. office, study room, etc.)
Properly wearing a new, well-fitted mask is essential to best protect yourself and other members of our community. See CDC mask guidance for additional information.
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is welcome and strongly encouraged to wear a Mask and socially distance whenever indoors and in close proximity to others.
Students and employees only need to complete the symptom checker on days when they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
All students, faculty and staff must download the Shenandoah Go app in order to:
- Fill out the symptom checker, not daily, but only if you experience symptoms that could be related to COVID-19
- Report a positive COVID-19 test or exposure
- Receive important updates and notifications
If you deleted or haven’t yet downloaded the Shenandoah Go app, please add it to your phone today. When creating a new account, please use your SU email address to register.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in August 2021 for people who are 16 and older; the FDA does not consider the vaccine experimental.
In addition, the FDA does not consider the other two COVID-19 vaccines being administered in the U.S. as “experimental” either — they received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA with enough safety and efficacy data that the vaccine manufacturers and the FDA fully expected formal approval to be forthcoming, and, as noted above, the FDA recently took that additional step with one of these COVID-19 vaccines.
The COVID-19 vaccines were developed efficiently through increased collaboration, use of newer technology, and funding due to the severity of the global pandemic. The EUAs were based on data from clinical trials including tens of thousands of people — as comprehensive as the data generally submitted for fully approved vaccines.
Vaccine effectiveness studies, according to the CDC, provide a growing body of evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines offer similar protection in real-world conditions as they have in clinical trial settings, reducing the risk of COVID-19, including severe illness, among people who are fully vaccinated by 90 percent or more. (Most vaccine effectiveness data now available are related to mRNA vaccines.)
None of the clinical trials for the vaccines raised any material safety concerns, but now with tens of millions of doses given in what is probably the most closely observed vaccination effort in U.S. history, the safety record of these vaccines is extremely good.
In light of the foregoing, as well as the devastating impact of the pandemic, SU felt comfortable making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment (and continued employment) for employees, and a condition of in-person attendance (and admission) for students. In addition, the EEOC updated its COVID-19 guidance in late May 2021 to make clear that employers had the legal right to require their employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment and the Virginia Attorney General issued an advisory position in late April 2021 in which he concluded specifically that Virginia public institutions (which are more restricted than Virginia private institutions) may condition in-person attendance on receipt of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.
If you do not fall into one of the identified groups, you are not required to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines at this time.
If those who are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine aren’t fully compliant, they will no longer be eligible to work or study in person at SU (unless they have a SU-approved medical or religious exemption).
Yes, you should get vaccinated now (unless your primary care physician believes it’s contraindicated for you). The more people who become vaccinated, the less the virus has a chance of spreading through a population and also mutating.
The process to request an exemption for both students and employees is described on the SU website, and involves completing and submitting a form that also can be found on the SU website.
Each request will be evaluated individually but, generally speaking, the following will be considered:
- History of previous serious allergic reaction, or documented allergy testing to indicate an immediate hypersensitivity reaction, to the vaccine or a component of the vaccine
- Written certification from your primary care physician that the COVID-19 vaccine may be detrimental to your health, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstance that contradicts immunization
As set forth in SU’s Personal Conduct and COVID-19 Preventative Measures Policy, you will be subject to weekly surveillance testing. You must also wear a mask within indoor spaces on campus. In addition, the university reserves the right to impose further restrictions based on public health considerations.
Although Shenandoah may be able to provide limited remote options for some employees, and continues to offer some classes online, the university has returned its primary focus to in-person operations this fall. Accordingly, most students and employees will need to be in person for some or all of their work or class experiences.
The Fall 2021 course undergraduate and graduate delivery model is largely in-person instruction (87%) with a small number of flex, hybrid/blended and online options (13%). Hornet Hub lists the course delivery model for all classes. Students who need assistance exploring the possibility of incorporating flexible learning in their schedule should contact University Advising at email@example.com or call (540) 535-3524.
As noted above, the
- Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia issued an advisory opinion on April 26, 2021, in which he stated that: (i) “colleges and universities may take steps to protect the health and welfare of their students by conditioning attendance in various activities or settings on the receipt of an approved COVID-19 vaccine”; (ii) no federal law prohibits Virginia universities from imposing such a requirement.
- EEOC updated its COVID-19 guidance, most recently on May 28, 2021, making clear that employers may require their employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine in furtherance of employers’ responsibility to ensure “an individual does not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of individuals in the workplace,” provided these employers comply with federal anti-discrimination laws.
Yes, if you fall into one of the groups for which SU is requiring the vaccine. If you had COVID-19, you have likely acquired antibodies to the coronavirus. That said, the CDC still recommends that those who have had COVID-19 become fully vaccinated (after they have fully recovered and are medically eligible to get the vaccine). SU will not grant a medical exemption simply because you’ve had COVID-19 previously.
Yes for employees. No for students. As is true every semester, all students are required to have medical insurance, and incoming students are required to get a physical examination, and provide proof of specific immunizations on a completed health form that has to be filed at the Wilkins Wellness Center prior to registration (if enrolled in 7 credit hours or more). Students admitted to the School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, School of Health Professions (Physician Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Athletic Training) in addition to the Music Therapy program must provide evidence of specific immunizations on an annual basis prior to the applicable date set forth on the Health and Insurance Requirements for Health Professions Students form.
Shenandoah encourages individuals to discuss this question and other personal health concerns with their primary care physician. The CDC says it is safe, and that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy.
Shenandoah encourages individuals to discuss this question and other personal health concerns with their primary care physician. The CDC says no, COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
No. According to the CDC, that is a myth since none of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. (This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.)
Please see the CDC’s website for the latest updates and frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination.