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FAQs for students

Updated: Jan. 19, 2022

Will Virginia Tech require a booster for the COVID vaccine?

Outlined in Presidential Policy Memorandum 320, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all students who do not receive an exemption. The university is also requiring that students upload verification of a COVID-19 booster shot within 14 days of eligibility

All students must be vaccinated. Any person who is enrolled as a student is required to be vaccinated, receive a booster when eligible, and upload their card unless exempted according to Presidential Policy Memorandum 320.


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

As it was in the fall semester, mandating vaccination and a booster is an important step toward retaining in-person activities and events. It is important that the Virginia Tech community is vaccinated, has received a booster when eligible, and it is required that all students who are vaccinated submit proof of vaccination and a booster.


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 VT Notify. Booster shots are required to be reported by Feb. 1.


I'm a student who will begin taking classes in January 2022, is there a deadline for getting my COVID-19 vaccine information to Virginia Tech in order to attend classes in the spring?

Yes. Students were required to submit their vaccination information by Jan. 3 through VT Notify.


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.


Are there any exemptions for mandatory vaccination and booster 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.


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 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?

Students that have recently tested positive and have reported their COVID-19 case to the university will be granted a temporary waiver from Schiffert Health Center for the booster requirement. The waiver is valid for 104 days after a positive test.

The Virginia Department of Health recommends waiting 60-90 days after testing positive to receive the booster, and Virginia Tech provides an additional 14-day courtesy to receive the vaccine. Once this 104-day timeframe has passed, the waiver will expire, and students will be required to upload record of their booster. These students have received a letter from Schiffert Health Center with further details.

For questions, contact Schiffert Health Center’s Health Information Management Department at 540-231-6444.


I tested positive, but I haven’t heard from Schiffert Health Center regarding my temporary booster waiver.

Visit the Online Student Health Portal. Go to the “Immunization” tab and select “print.”  This will show your vaccination compliance status. 

For questions, contact Schiffert Health Center’s Health Information Management Department at 540-231-6444.


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 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
  • 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 or a booster shot.


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.


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.


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 and to receive a booster for COVID-19, too?

With the issuance of Presidential Policy Memorandum 321, Virginia Tech employees are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated and get a booster dose as soon as they are eligible and to report their vaccination status to the university. However, Virginia Tech employees are not required to be vaccinated, report their vaccination status to the university, or participate in mandatory testing. 


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 deadline?

Newly arriving international students who were unable to receive their required immunizations by Jan. 3 needed to complete this form. As indicated on the form, international students were required to receive any missing immunizations within one week of arrival.

Additionally, booster shots are required within 14 days of eligibility for all students. If you are eligible now, updated immunization documentation is due by Feb. 1.

Once students arrive in the U.S., 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 Spring 2022 International Student Vaccine Compliance Form indicating they do not have access to an approved vaccine, accommodations were made 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 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.