COVID-19 Vaccine

people happily getting the vaccine

All University of Detroit Mercy students and employees are required to have received full, primary vaccination against COVID-19 or have received an approved exemption from the University. Boosters are not required, but strongly recommended by public health officials.  Vaccination, along with continued safety protocols and a low number of COVID-positive cases throughout the pandemic, has allowed for a thriving, in-person experience for students and employees.

Any student that has not provided the required COVID-19 documentation by the start of the term will receive a hold on their University account and will be prevented from registering for classes.


Upload Proof of Vaccination

Students can upload to the Student Proof of Full Vaccination Form

Employees should request a link for Proof of Vaccination or booster by emailing hrcovid@udmercy.edu with the subject line "Requesting a link." Within 48 hours, you should receive a notification with a link to upload your document. Do not send your proof of vaccination to this email address.


Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to questions about: Policies | Exemptions | Legal | InternationalOther

The COVID-19 Vaccine and University Policies

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    By when do I need to be vaccinated?

    All members of the University community need to provide proof of full vaccination by Aug. 12, 2022 for the Fall 2022 term, or have received an approved exemption by the University.

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    What vaccines are accepted by the University?

    The University accepts any FDA-authorized or approved vaccine, currently Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, or WHO-authorized vaccine such as AstraZeneca or Sinopharm. See the full list of approved or authorized vaccines.

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    How do I show proof of vaccination? 

    Current Students can upload proof of full vaccination using their udmercy email account

    New Students can upload their proof of vaccination or apply for exemption within their Slate Portal.

    Employees should request a link for Proof of Vaccination or booster by emailing hrcovid@udmercy.edu with the subject line "Requesting a link." Within 48 hours, you should receive a notification with a link to upload your document. Do not send your proof of vaccination to this email address.

    See the section below for updated information about exemptions.

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    How do I view my vaccination status (employees only)?

    You can view your vaccination status on Paylocity using the How to Check Vaccination Status instructions. If you are a first-time user of Paylocity use Web Pay Registration.

    If your vaccination status is incorrect, please email hrcovid@udmercy.edu and let us know.

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    How will you use my information?

    The information collected for proof of vaccination or exemption is confidential and will only be used in association with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement of the University.

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    I am fully vaccinated; do I still need to follow safety protocols on campus?

    The University continues to monitor and evaluate the recommendations of public health experts. Vaccinated and exempt individuals should review the University’s current safety measures and precautions, as outlined on the Titans Together Guide, while on Detroit Mercy campuses.

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    Will I have to wear a mask while on campus? 

    To ensure a safe environment for all students and employees, all individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, must comply with the indoor, outdoor, and event masking requirements stated by the University. The most recent updates can be found on the Titans Together Guide and will also be communicated through email and updated in Campus Connection.

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    I have had COVID-19; do I still need to get vaccinated? 

    Although research shows benefit from infection of a wild-type COVID-19 infection, the CDC recommends that you get vaccinated regardless of whether you have had COVID-19, as a dependable and effective method of protection against future illness. If your healthcare provider recommends that you wait 90 days after infection to receive the vaccine, upload documentation of their recommendation as a temporary medical exemption and then submit proof of vaccination as soon as you have received your vaccine.

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    I am a student taking classes 100% online, do I need to be vaccinated?

    You will need to apply for an Online-Only exemption. Please review the exemption process and request procedure. 

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    If I am a student living on campus, will I be assured that my roommate will be fully vaccinated?

    The Office of Residence Life takes pride in the extensive considerations surrounding accommodations and student safety. Vaccination status is not a determining factor in roommate selection as housing assignments are given months in advance. However, every attempt will be made to secure a single room assignment for those requesting it. Please contact the Office of Residence Life with any questions or concerns at 313-993-1230.

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    I've lost my vaccination card. Can I get a new one?

    Yes, you can!

    If you received your vaccine at a large public clinic: Contact the city or county health department where they were vaccinated.

    If you received the vaccine at a pharmacy or physician's office: Contact that site directly for a replacement copy.

    Your doctor or your Local Health Department can print your Official State of Michigan Immunization Record for you.

Exemption Process

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    What is the process for requesting a vaccination exemption for employees? 

    Employees

    The following information pertains only to submitting a request for exemption from the employee COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

    On the exemption request form you will be asked if you are requesting

    • a medical exemption,
    • religious exemption,
    • or philosophical exemption.

    You will need to provide an answer in order to direct your request to the proper set of questions.

    For any exemption request, you are required to complete and sign an Exemption/Deferral Form (.docx) along with proper documentation.  Requests will be reviewed and approved by Human Resources within 5-14 business days. For additional questions related to your request, you may send an email to hrcovid@udmercy.edu.

    Employee Exemption/Deferral Form (.docx)

    Privacy

    All information provided will be kept confidential within Human Resources and you will be advised of your approval or a request for further information via email within two weeks of receipt of the request.

    Questions

    All employee exemption questions can be directed to hrcovid@udmercy.edu

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    What is the process for requesting a vaccination exemption for students (includes student employees)?

    Terms and Conditions of Student Exemption:

    It is important to understand the responsibilities of an approved exemption. Whether medical necessity or faith-based belief, an exemption will require your participation throughout the year.

    Regular testing for COVID-19 may be part of the protocol of exemption. The cost and scheduling of required testing will be your responsibility. Anyone not in compliance with providing information or testing when requested will be subject to the student conduct process and disciplinary action that may prevent you from continuing with your coursework.

    Should a situation arise that would put the University community at increased risk, you may be asked to refrain from participating in certain University sponsored activities.

    The University exemption process is specific to University of Detroit Mercy. Any coursework or clinical work outside the University community is subject to the terms and conditions of the facility or organization and may not accept the University exemption approval.

    By completing the attestation of exemption request, you are verifying that the request has been made based upon medical necessity, faith-based beliefs, or other accurate criteria. Any falsified information will be subject to expulsion or suspension.

    You may reach out to the COVID-19 Coordinator at 313-418-8525 or email studentwaiver@udmercy.edu with any questions.

    Process of Requesting an Exemption and Information Required for Proper Review of Request:

    Your request should be detailed and thorough. This will also serve the purpose of the University considering these concerns during any future decision-making process.

    There are four categories of exemption. You will be asked to apply for exemption in the category that best suits your situation. A description of each category is below:

    Medical exemption:

    • Requested if an individual has a documented health concern and their personal medical provider has confirmed that vaccination is not medically advisable due to a contraindication, precaution, medical condition, or disability. The requestor can obtain documentation of such from their medical provider.

    Faith-based exemption:

    • Faith can be described in a religious capacity or through the sincerely-held, practiced beliefs that direct an individual’s life. The requestor should detail how their faith, whether religious or personal, conflicts with or does not allow for vaccination. In most cases, the individual is able to provide documentation of these beliefs. Please do not send bible scriptures without further detail on how this relates to your conflict with receiving vaccination.

    Online-only exemption:

    • An individual must be taking ALL courses online only and not attend on-campus activities in-person. Hybrid courses are considered in-person.

    Deferral exemption:

    • For those needing the time to receive full vaccination, a 30-day deferral will be granted. Proof of appointment or confirmation of a first dose of a two-dose vaccine is required for consideration. If proof of full vaccination is not provided in the 30-day period from approval, the student will be transitioned to exempt status.

    No student will be immediately denied approval. A request for further supporting documentation will be requested if the initial request is not sufficient. This will delay the processing time. If the requested information is not received within seven days of request, the exemption will be denied.

    With the extensive data on the safety and efficacy of vaccination, the University will not approve requests relating to FDA approval, scriptures from the Bible with no additional information, or statements of vitamins and supplements being taken by the requestor without additional detail.

    The University has gone to great lengths to provide a wealth of information on vaccination and we would like all students to be fully informed in their decision. Therefore, we ask that you review the resources available to you on the Titans Together website, including the Ask-A-Nurse program that allows you to discuss your questions relating to vaccination in a confidential manner.

    STEPS TO APPLY FOR EXEMPTION:

    1. Review the aforementioned information.
    2. Clarify any questions you may have with the COVID Care Coordinator, 313-418-8525 or email studentwaiver@udmercy.edu, relating to exemption or vaccination.
    3. Complete your Exemption Request and Attestation and provide any supporting documentation.
    4. Respond to any requests for additional information from the COVID exemption review team.
    5. Be sure you receive receipt of exemption approval.

    SUBMIT YOUR EXEMPTION REQUEST and ATTESTATION

     

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    When will I be notified of the decision made on my exemption request?

    You will be advised of your exemption approval or request for additional information within 5-14 business days. Communication will be sent to your Detroit Mercy email account.

    Students: Information exchanged during the exemption request process will be kept confidential within the Wellness Center.

    Employees: Information exchanged during the exemption request process will be kept confidential within Human Resources.    

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    What happens if I am not granted an exemption?

    The University recognizes that some individuals will be unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. All exemption requests will receive careful consideration and the University follows all state and federal regulations prohibiting discrimination. Noone will automatically be denied. You will have the opportunity to provide documentation in support of your request prior to a final determination. It is important to review the process carefully and provide the requested information so there is no delay.

Legal Questions

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    Is it against the law to be asked about my vaccination status?

    Federal and state laws do not prohibit businesses, employers, or schools from asking you to share your vaccination status or show your proof of vaccination. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) applies only to specific health-related entities, such as healthcare providers, healthcare clearinghouses and insurance providers. Under HIPAA’s Privacy Rule, these entities are prohibited from sharing your health information without your knowledge and consent.

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    Is it legal for an employer to require me to be vaccinated?

    According to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), employers can require their employees to receive COVID-19 vaccination provided that they comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), religious exemptions, and other laws. Detroit Mercy will keep vaccination information confidential and it is not a part of the employee’s medical or personnel file.

International Students

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    When should I make travel plans?

    In general, most students are not eligible to enter the United States earlier than 30 days prior to the start of their program. Please review the details of your Visa or pertinent government documentation.

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    Am I eligible to receive a vaccine in the United States?

    You are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the FDA or the WHO prior to arriving in the United States. However, if this is not possible, you are eligible to receive a vaccine in the U.S. You may find vaccine location and eligibility criteria here: https://www.vaccines.gov/

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    If I need a vaccine, do I have to make an appointment prior to my arrival?

    Vaccination appointments are not required prior to your arrival.

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    I'm planning to live on campus, what can I expect upon my arrival to the United States

    Please refer to the travel requirements specific to your airline, vaccination status, and departure and arrival location. All additional requirements for residential living will be communicated prior to move-in.

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    I'm not planning to live on campus, what can I expect upon my arrival to the United States

    Please refer to the travel requirements specific to your airline, vaccination status, and departure and arrival location. All additional requirements specific to your off-campus housing should be verified with the housing management directly.

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    What should I do if I am not vaccinated with an authorized vaccine?

    If you are either partially or fully vaccinated with a vaccine not authorized by the FDA or WHO, submit an exemption request form for a medical reason. You will be placed in an exempt category until you are able to provide proof of full vaccination with an authorized vaccine. If you do not provide proof of vaccination with the authorized vaccine, your exemption status will remain on file and you will need follow all precautions and guidance for an exempt individual.  

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    What will happen if I am partially vaccinated upon my arrival?

    If you have received the first dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you can schedule the second dose once in the United States.

    If you are partially vaccinated with a vaccine not available in the United States, please submit an exemption request form for a medical reason. You will be placed in an exempt category until such time that you are able to provide proof of full vaccination with an authorized vaccine.

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    I uploaded my proof of vaccine. Do I need to bring my proof of vaccine with me?

    Yes. Just to be safe, bring your official COVID-19 vaccination record with you to the U.S. even if you uploaded it.

Vaccine Benefits and Safety

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    Where can I get vaccinated? 

    Free vaccines are readily available at pharmacies and healthcare providers. The site https://vaccinefinder.org/search/ shows availability based on your ZIP code and also allows you to sort by vaccine manufacturer. You can also check with your local county health department.
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    What are the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

    The CDC website outlines the benefits of getting vaccinated—for your own health and as a public health tool.

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    I have questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. Where can I find answers to those questions?

    Approved vaccines have undergone rigorous testing and have been proven to provide protection against the COVID-19 virus and latest virus variants. For more information, please visit the FDA webpage. You may also want to talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist. The CDC has a helpful webpage that addresses myths and rumors about the COVID-19 vaccines.

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    Why do I need to be vaccinated if everyone else is?

    Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is a preventative measure against serious illness and hospitalization if you do contract the virus. Being vaccinated is a safer and more dependable way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19.
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    I am anxious about returning to campus. Where can I turn to for support?

    Many resources on campus are here to support you and your well-being.

    For students, the Wellness Center offers personal counseling to assist in talking through concerns.

    For employees, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers tips on mental and physical well-being. Additionally, counseling services are available to cover many topics, including COVID-19 related stress and anxiety. EAP Benefits Flyer 

    The Office of University Ministry provides resources, prayers, and suggestions on caring for one another.

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    What is the Catholic Church's stance on the COVID-19 vaccine?

    Pope Francis as representative of the Catholic Church, remains consistent in urging people to get inoculated against COVID-19.

    "Thanks to God's grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19. They grant us the hope of ending the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we work together. Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable. I pray to God that everyone may contribute their own small grain of sand, their own small gesture of love," the pope said in the video message.

    Other church teachings can be found at the following links:

    • Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “When ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available…it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”
       
    • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Receiving one of the COVID-19 vaccines ought to be understood as an act of charity toward the other members of our community. In this way, being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”
    • The bishops of Michigan: “It is morally permissible to be vaccinated if there are no alternatives and there are serious health risks. Such serious health risks are present due to the current pandemic.”

Video Series

Fischer headshotDetroit Mercy School of Dentistry Assistant Professor David Fischer details why it’s important to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and addresses several topics and questions in a series of informative videos for the University community.

Fischer is trained as an immunologist and virologist and previously conducted research on influenza and rotavirus vaccines. He works in Detroit Mercy Dental’s division of Integrated Biomedical Sciences.  

Watch all Titans Together – Taking our shot against COVID-19 videos.  Still have questions? Use Ask a Nurse and a faculty member from the College of Health Professions will contact you.

We created this page to provide answers to all your questions about the vaccine requirement. If you have a question you don’t see answered, please ask and we will get back to you within one to two business days. Thank you for being Titans Together against COVID-19 and for a healthy Detroit Mercy community.