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FAQs for students

Updated: Aug. 23, 2021

Why is Virginia Tech mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for students?

As Virginia Tech provides an in-person experience for students this fall, mandating vaccination is an important step toward easing campus restrictions and returning to in-person activities and events. It is important that the Virginia Tech community is vaccinated and it is required that everyone who is vaccinated submit proof of vaccination.


How do I let Virginia Tech know I have been vaccinated for COVID-19?

Students can upload a photo of their COVID-19 vaccination card to the Vaccine Reporting Portal.


Is there a deadline for getting my COVID-19 vaccine information to Virginia Tech in order to attend classes in the fall?

Yes. Students were required to submit their vaccination information by Aug. 6 through the Vaccine Reporting Portal.

While that date has now passed, students can still submit their information. Students that are unable to complete the full vaccine dosage by Aug. 6 but still intend to be vaccinated can email Health@vt.edu to learn about their options.


I have already submitted my documentation into the Online Health Portal. Do I need to resubmit it into VTNotify?

No, if a student has already uploaded their documentation into the Online Health Portal, they do not need to resubmit it.



How long does it take to process my immunization upload?

Students should wait three business days before inquiring about their immunization status.


I submitted my vaccine documentation on VTNotify. How can I confirm that it has been submitted and/or processed?

VTNotify sends out a confirmation when the student uploads a file and again when the file has been reviewed. Students wanting to view their status can log into VTNotify and select the file upload page. The status can be found at the bottom of the page, next to any documentation that has been uploaded.


I submitted my immunization records through the Online Health Portal. How can I view my status?

Students can check their status on the Online Health Portal-> Immunizations -> View History to see if they are compliant. At the top of the View History it will either say "Verified" for compliant, or "Not Compliant." New students, transfers, and graduate students are required to submit all mandatory immunizations to be compliant.


I am having trouble submitting my documentation through VTNotify.

Students that are having trouble can use the Online Health Portal instead. It will accept PDFs, larger images, and multiple documents.


I've heard that some students are getting email reminders from the university. But I've not received one. What does that mean?

The university is emailing students who have not submitted their vaccination information or whose vaccination information is not verified. Students that have not received an email are up-to-date on their vaccinations or have submitted exemption information. Students who are getting an email reminder should verify that their vaccination information has been submitted appropriately.


Is the university prepared for false vaccination cards being submitted?

There has always been a requirement that students provide vaccination records to the university. Schiffert Health Center has a process in place to review all submitted vaccine cards and verify their authenticity. Submitting a falsified vaccination card is a violation of the Student Handbook.The university considers this a serious conduct violation.


Are there any exemptions for mandatory vaccination for COVID-19?

Students may submit a request for either a religious or medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine.

If the administration of immunizing agents is against your religious tenets or practices, you can fill out the Religious Exemption Form.

A medical exemption can be filed by filling out the Medical Exemption Form.

Students can submit their exemption forms through the Vaccine Reporting Portal, fax them to 540-231-6900, mail them to Schiffert Health Center, or drop them off in person.

Schiffert Mailing Address:
Schiffert Health Center
895 Washington Street, SW
Virginia Tech, McComas Hall (0140)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Filing for religious or medical exemption means that student understands that in the case of an outbreak, potential epidemic, or epidemic of a vaccine-preventable disease at Virginia Tech, the state health commissioner may order their exclusion from the university for their own protection until the emergency has passed. In that event, Virginia Tech will assist those students to make the necessary arrangements to complete their coursework. Students should first work with their professors/instructors and academic advisors to discuss their options. If additional support or guidance is needed, students may also contact department heads and/or associate deans of their colleges, or the Dean of Students Office.

Students who are exempt from receiving the vaccine for medical or religious reasons will be subject to regular testing for COVID-19.

Students 18 and over can submit religious exemptions if they were previously immunized or vaccinated as a minor. If a student submits a religious exemption at this point, they will not be able to receive future immunizations or vaccines from Schiffert Health Center.


What if I do not get the vaccine or have an approved exemption before move-in or class begins?

All students were required to submit verification of receiving an approved COVID-19 vaccination or have received an approved exemption by Aug. 6, 2021. Please note, students that are out of compliance with this requirement after Aug. 6 will be dis-enrolled from their fall course schedule.  On-campus students will not be permitted to move into their residence hall until all immunization requirements, including registration of the COVID-19 vaccine, are complete. If a student was unable to complete the full vaccine dosage by Aug. 6 but still intends to be vaccinated, they can email Health@vt.edu to learn about their options.

Any student who is dis-enrolled from their fall courses due to non-compliance will have a hold placed on their student account. Should a student who was dis-enrolled become compliant prior to the last day to add courses (Aug. 27), they will be able to add courses through Hokie Spa. It is important to know that if a student is dis-enrolled due to non-compliance their seats in their course sections are not saved and they will only be able to add courses if there are available open seats. No students will be able to add courses after the add deadline.


Does my religious exemption form have to be notarized in Virginia?

No, the form may be notarized in any state.


Does the university believe it has the authority to require that all students be vaccinated?

The university's decision is aligned with the Virginia Attorney General’s opinion that was issued in April 2021 indicating that universities in Virginia can mandate the vaccine for students as a condition of in-person learning. This is essential to protect the health of the Virginia Tech community as we return to a full fall semester with in-person classes, student activities, and experiential learning.


If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person should be vaccinated regardless of whether they already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Anyone who has had COVID-19 must wait 90 days before being vaccinated. If a student was unable to be vaccinated by the Aug. 6 deadline because they have had COVID-19 and must wait the 90 days, they should email Health@vt.edu for more information.


I tested positive for COVID-19 and was told I couldn't get a vaccine until 90 days had passed. What do I do?

Any student with a positive COVID-19 result in the last 90 days (from May 17 forward) will need to do the following:

  • Submit proof of positive PCR COVID-19 test result or letter from VDH or other physician indicating positive result to the Vaccine Reporting Portal under the COVID+ option
  • We will not accept a positive anti-body result as proof of positive COVID-19 
  • Once the student is 90 days past positive COVID-19 result they will have 30 days to complete the COVID-19 vaccination requirement

If someone has been treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, they should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

 


I lost my COVID-19 vaccine card. What should I do?

Anyone who was vaccinated in Virginia can request a copy of their record from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) using the Immunization Request Form. If someone was vaccinated in another state, they can find the contact information for their state’s Immunization Information System here.


Who do I talk to if I have questions about registering my COVID-19 vaccine information?

Students should contact Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444.


Which COVID-19 vaccines is Virginia Tech accepting?

Virginia Tech is currently accepting vaccines that are authorized in the United States by the FDA, which includes Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines, or those authorized by the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford and Sinopharm). Click to see a list of acceptable vaccines.


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

Class registration is open and any student can register. Any student who has incomplete immunization records after the Aug. 6, 2021 deadline will be notified and has 5 days to comply. After those five days, students who have incomplete immunization records will be dis-enrolled from their fall classes.


Will Virginia Tech require a booster for the COVID vaccine?

It is too early to know if a booster will be available and if it will be required or encouraged. We will share new and updated information as we receive it.


What if I cannot be vaccinated?

Anyone who has not been vaccinated - including students with vaccination exemptions - is expected to continue to wear a mask and follow the physical-distancing recommendations to protect the community from potential exposure to COVID-19. All unvaccinated students will be required to be tested for COVID-19 regularly throughout the semester.


Why are there different dates for submitting the other vaccines than for submitting the COVID vaccine?

The COVID vaccine may require two doses and we are allowing as much time as possible for students to be able to receive their vaccines and upload their information.


If I am a graduate student who is studying 100-percent online can I apply for an exception for the vaccine?

Yes. Graduate students may request an exemption from vaccination if their graduate program of study is 100 percent remote (i.e., all of their courses are online) and they do not plan to visit Virginia Tech campuses or facilities during the course of the semester.  


 Will staff and faculty be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19, too?

With the issuance of Presidential Policy Memorandum 317, employees are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The deadline for employees to report that they have received the full course of vaccine doses (one or two, depending on the vaccine) or to seek an exemption is Oct. 1, 2021. Action will be taken for those who do not follow the requirements.


If I am not vaccinated, can I participate in events and student activities?

Following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health, unvaccinated students should wear masks indoors and practice physical distancing protocols. Students who have been exempted from being vaccinated will be in the testing program. Students who test negative, social distance and wear masks can participate in activities.


FAQs for international students

I am an international student or I am traveling abroad and I do not have access to a vaccine that is authorized by the FDA or WHO. Do I still need to be vaccinated by the Aug. 6 deadline?

Students who do not have access to one of the approved vaccines should have submitted the International Vaccination Compliance Form by the Aug. 6 deadline. This prevented a “hold” from being placed on their student account or being dis-enrolled. Once students arrive in the US, they will need to schedule an appointment with Schiffert Health Center or another provider (New River Health District clinics or CDC Vaccine Finder) to receive a COVID vaccine and any other required immunizations (e.g., Tetanus, MMR, Hepatitis B, Meningitis) as soon as possible before classes start. 


Does it matter which of the approved vaccines I receive?

Any of the FDA and WHO authorized vaccines are acceptable. 

 


If I am an international student who is supposed to live on campus, will I be allowed to move in before getting vaccinated?

For international students who complete the International Vaccination Compliance Form indicating they do not have access to an approved vaccine, we will make accommodations for them to move in so they can get an approved vaccine once they are here. Currently, following CDC and VDH guidelines, all students who have not been vaccinated should wear a face covering and physically distance in any indoor public spaces. Students will be tested regularly until they are fully vaccinated. 


Is it safe for me to receive a second vaccine if I have already received a vaccine that is not authorized by the FDA or WHO?

Contact Schiffert at 540-231-6444 if you have health questions about receiving two different vaccines.


Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

  • For medical questions only, please contact Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444.  
  • For any non-medical questions or questions about the fall semester, the Dean of Students office is available to help students at 540-231-3787.  
  • For international students, please refer to communications from Cranwell International Center for additional details and information. Call the center at 540-231-6527 or email at 
  • Graduate students can contact the Virginia Tech Graduate School at 540-231-6691.
  • Employees should contact their manager, HR partner, or Human Resources at hrservicecenter@vt.edu or 540-231-9331.
  • For other concerns, please call 540-231-7600