University of the Arts COVID-19 Vaccine Policy FAQ

COVID-19 Vaccine Policy FAQ

This FAQ addresses University of the Arts’ COVID-19 vaccine policy. For general information about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit the CDC website.

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Will UArts require students, faculty and staff be immunized against COVID-19?

Yes. UArts is updating its immunization policy to require all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated in advance of arriving on campus in the fall.

How can I upload my vaccination documentation?

Enrolled students, faculty and staff will be required to provide proof of their vaccination documentation. A system is currently being developed for this use and will be announced shortly. In the meantime, we ask that students, faculty and staff retain their vaccination record.

Will there be exemptions to immunization against COVID-19?

Students, faculty and staff accessing campus facilities may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons, however, they will not be permitted to access the physical campus while Philadelphia is in the midst of an active COVID-19 outbreak, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Individuals participating in fully online MEd or remote engagement programs, will not need to provide proof of vaccination.

How can I request an exemption to the requirement that I submit proof of COVID-19 immunization?

Enrolled students may request an exemption from the requirement that they submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination for medical or religious reasons.

Exemption requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis; they are NOT automatically granted. The exemption request form is currently being developed, and will be made available shortly. Please check back. 

Students requesting an exemption for religious reasons will be required to submit a written statement, signed by the student or signed by a parent or legal guardian if the student is a minor, explaining how immunization conflicts with the student’s religious beliefs. A religious exemption is not the same as a philosophical, moral or conscientious exemption. 

Students requesting an exemption for medical reasons will be required to submit a statement from a doctor or an advanced practice nurse explaining the specific medical contraindication and the time period for which the exemption is being requested. Medical exemptions are reviewed annually.

The process for faculty or staff requesting an exemption for religious or medical reasons will be shared later this summer.

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to submit proof of vaccination?

Yes, unless receiving a vaccination is medically contraindicated, in which case you should request a medical exemption as set forth above.

Will I be able to register for classes for the fall 2021 semester without having been vaccinated?

Yes, you will be able to register for classes prior to vaccination, but you will have to show proof of being fully vaccinated, with the final dose of the vaccine received at least two weeks prior to your return to campus to attend in-person classes or live in a residence hall this fall.

Will there be a full-remote/virtual option for students who are enrolled in the fall but are not vaccinated?

No. There will be several remote course offerings, but they will be offered for single courses (Critical Studies, discipline history and some other lecture-based courses) rather than for entire programs. Before selecting only remote courses, students should speak with their program director and advisor to discuss how this might affect their progress toward degree completion. Face-to-face, remote and online course offerings will be confirmed through the course-planning module. Some courses may be offered in a hybrid fashion, which is a mix of online and face-to-face class meetings. 

For any student who wants to attend UArts in fall 2021 but refuses to be vaccinated, what will their options be?

 

If it aligns with their degree planning, students may enroll in Critical Studies, discipline history or other lecture-based courses that are offered only remotely. Before doing so, students should speak with their program director and advisor to discuss how this might affect their progress toward degree completion. We are announcing this requirement early, so students can make their decisions about attendance before enrolling or paying tuition.

What is the vaccination policy for international students who are not able to get the vaccine? What about international students who receive a vaccine that has not been authorized for use in the U.S., such as the AstraZeneca vaccine?

 

We are eager to welcome international students to our residential community as we follow public health guidelines. Today, there are three vaccines authorized for use in the United States and recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and others may well follow between now and the fall. Further guidance will be forthcoming for international students who received vaccines not currently approved in the United States. 

Will international students who have been vaccinated in their countries need to be re-vaccinated in the U.S. with a vaccine that is authorized for use in the U.S.? 

The university will accept vaccines that are authorized for use in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Further guidance will be forthcoming for international students who received vaccines not currently approved in the United States.

Why should I get vaccinated?

According to the CDC, the vaccines are all safe and effective, and studies have shown they prevent severe illness and death from the virus. See the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ for information.

I am concerned these vaccines have not been tested enough.

To date, the FDA has authorized three vaccines for emergency use in the United States; these vaccines have also been recommended for use by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. UArts made this announcement months before the beginning of the fall semester, so students and their families, faculty and staff have the opportunity to gather information, consult with their doctors if they so choose and make informed choices for themselves.

Where can I get vaccinated?

There are many vaccination locations throughout Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. UArts strongly urges members of its community to get an available appointment as soon as they become eligible. See VaccineFinder for a list of vaccine locations throughout the U.S. 

Will UArts offer vaccinations?

There is no plan at this time for UArts to serve as a point of dispensing for COVID-19 vaccines. If you need assistance locating a vaccine point of dispensing in your area, visit vaccinefinder.org or contact Student Health Services at healthservices@uarts.edu for assistance.

Will I have to pay to be vaccinated?

No. The State Department of Health has made clear that no one will have to pay for the vaccine. There is no out-of-pocket cost to get a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of location. 

I will be under the age of 18 when I enroll. Can I still be vaccinated?

The Pfizer vaccine may be administered to 16- and 17-year-olds. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines may be administered to those 18 and older.

I am fully vaccinated. Do I still need to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing?

Yes. Until public health experts see evidence that it is safe to not use these protective measures, which guard against transmission of the virus, UArts will continue to require social distancing and the use of face coverings.

What if I am not fully vaccinated by the time I need to return to campus?

We are announcing this requirement early, so students, faculty and staff can make arrangements to register for the vaccine as early as possible. All adults in the U.S. were eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as of April 19. If you are a commuter student and will not be fully immunized at the beginning of the fall semester, email the COVID Response Team at crt@uarts.edu to discuss your specific situation.  If you are a residential student and will not be fully immunized by student move-in, email Campus Life at reslife@uarts.edu to discuss your specific situation. If you are a faculty or staff member and will not be fully immunized by your return date for the fall semester, email Human Resources at hr@uarts.edu to discuss your specific situation.

If I get the vaccine, do I still need to follow UArts COVID-19 policies?

Yes. Your choice to get the vaccine does not impact how you are expected to behave with regard to our COVID-19 policies.

What if I have specific questions about the vaccine and whether or not I should take the vaccine? 

You should contact your primary care physician or other provider to discuss your concerns.

What is the American College Health Association’s recommendation for COVID-19 vaccine requirements at colleges and universities?

The American College Health Association recommends COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all on-campus college students attending in fall 2021. Learn more.