Student COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Fall 2021

The University of Illinois System requires COVID-19 vaccination for all students who will be on campus for the Fall 2021 semester. This vaccine requirement is aligned with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) overall goals for public health, and the agency is supportive of our need to act in the best interests of our students and campus community. This policy details the University of Illinois Springfield’s campus-specific expectations for adhering to this requirement.

Policy Statement

All students living, learning, working or training on campus for Fall 2021 must be fully vaccinated by their move-in date or the start of classes (Aug. 20), whichever is earliest. This includes students who already have had COVID-19 and are past the recommended post-illness waiting period to receive the vaccine.

The UIS vaccination requirement does not apply to students who learn entirely online or remotely and have no on-campus obligations. However, any unvaccinated remote student who comes to the UIS campus must follow UIS campus guidelines for unvaccinated individuals.

Any vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO will be accepted.

To the extent practical, UIS will work with individual students who are not vaccinated and do not qualify for an exemption to identify a path forward to continue their academic progress off campus. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisers to map out a plan if they do not intend to comply with the campus vaccine requirement and do not qualify for an exemption.

I. Exemptions

Medical and religious exemptions will be considered (see below). Exemption requests will be processed through UIS Health Services using the same criteria as other vaccine exemption requests. For fullest consideration, exemption request forms must be submitted to Health Services by July 15, 2021, or within two weeks of acceptance to the university.

Medical: If a medical exemption is requested, the student must complete the UIS COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Request Form and provide documentation of medical reasons, date the circumstances requiring the exemption are expected to end (if applicable) and their physician’s signature. Students must have their exemption request completed and signed by a primary care provider not associated with UIS. Students who currently have a medical exemption on file for other vaccinations will need to provide one specifically for COVID-19.

Religious: If an exemption based on religious grounds is requested, the student must complete the UIS COVID-19 Vaccination Religious Exemption Request Form. Students who currently have a religious exemption on file for other vaccinations will need to provide one specifically for COVID-19.

II. Deadlines

  • To be fully vaccinated:
    • Students living in on-campus housing must be fully vaccinated by their move-in date.
    • Commuter students must be fully vaccinated by Aug. 20, 2021.
  • July 15, 2021: To apply for a medical or religious exemption
    • Submit your completed Medical or Religious UIS COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request Form to UIS Health Services (process directions are on the UIS Health Services website). Students who have trouble with providing completed documentation by July 15 but intend to submit a form should email UIS Health Services prior to or on that date to make them aware.
  • Aug. 1, 2021: To upload documentation confirming your vaccination status with the university or request an extension (email uishealthservice@uis.edu) beyond the applicable vaccination deadline.
    • Students must upload proof of vaccination that demonstrates they are fully vaccinated or will be by their move-in date or start of classes, whichever is earliest, by Aug. 1.
      • For example, if the student is getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, they should provide documentation showing they are at least one dose in; if getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they should provide documentation showing they have received their one dose, even if they are not 14 days past their vaccination date.
    • Individuals who will not be fully vaccinated by their move-in date or start of classes, whichever is earliest, can request an extension. To be considered for an extension, the student must be able to demonstrate they have begun the vaccination process in order to be fully vaccinated within an acceptable timeframe, to be determined by the university, of their move-in date to university housing or the first day of classes (Aug. 20).
    • International students who cannot get vaccinated in their home country must make an appointment through UIS Health Services to be vaccinated.
    • Any student who is not fully vaccinated on campus must follow mitigations for unvaccinated students with an approved exemption (see below) until they are considered fully vaccinated (14 days following last dose of vaccine).

III. Mitigations for Students with Approved Exemptions

Students who are granted an exemption from taking the COVID-19 vaccination must comply with mitigation measures, which include, but may not be limited to the following:

1. Entry testing for Residential Students on Move-In Day:

2. Twice-a-week on-campus COVID-19 testing (every 72 hours);

3. Wearing face coverings inside university facilities or outside when six feet of distance isn’t feasible to maintain;

4. Adhering to physical distancing requirements as directed by the university;

5. Following any internal or external site-specific requirements (including but not limited to on-campus housing, classrooms, intercollegiate athletics, internships, clinical sites, etc.) if participating in a university-sponsored activity;

The number of exemptions granted to UIS students and/or the trajectory of the pandemic may determine additional restrictions for on-campus activities for unvaccinated individuals with an approved exemption.

IV. Noncompliance

Students granted an exemption or extension may be permitted on campus but must follow all mitigation measures outlined above. Failure to secure exemption approval, upload documents or submit a timely request for an extension may result in the inability to move into housing, attend class or participate in athletics, and/or possible disciplinary action. Registration holds will be placed for the following term and will remain until proof of vaccination is received or exemption is approved.

The UIS Campus Rapid Response Team reserves the right to issue additional mitigations intended to prioritize health and safety for the UIS campus—including requiring testing of both vaccinated/unvaccinated populations based on community and campus health statistics or emerging public health guidance.

Recommended for approval by Chancellor’s Cabinet June 30, 2021

Approved by Chancellor July 1, 2021

Effective date July 1, 2021

Link to Student COVID-19 Vaccination Policy pdf

7.1.2021