COVID-19 Vaccine

people happily getting the vaccine

University of Detroit Mercy has required all students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated by Aug. 16, 2021. Detroit Mercy believes that this decision is in the best interest of our community and is an important step toward returning to a more traditional college experience of face-to-face instruction and events for students, and employees working alongside their colleagues. You can read more about the reasons for the decision here.

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.

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

The COVID-19 Vaccine and University Policies

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    When do I need to be vaccinated by?  

    All members of the University community should be fully vaccinated by Aug. 16, meaning two weeks have passed since the final dose of your vaccine. In order to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 16, individuals receiving the Moderna vaccine must receive their first dose by July 5 and second dose by August 2. Individuals receiving the Pfizer vaccine must receive their first dose by July 12 and second dose by August 2. Individuals receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must receive their single dose by August 2.

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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.

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    How do I show proof of vaccination? 

    Members of the University community will upload proof of vaccination to Med+Proctor, a healthcare technology company that supports the immunization verification process for colleges and universities. Uploading your vaccination record with Med+Proctor is easy and secure. You will receive an email from the University in the near future with further details.

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    How will Med+Proctor 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. Med+Proctor is a cloud hosted program. The cloud service provider does not have access to individual data, as detailed in the Med+Proctor privacy policy.

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

    The University continues to monitor safety protocols and the recommendations of public health experts. Vaccinated individuals must follow the University’s current safety measures and precautions, as outlined on the Titans Together Guide, while on Detroit Mercy campuses. Individuals granted an exemption to the vaccination requirement are required to follow CDC guidelines for unvaccinated individuals.

    As a requirement of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), the University, like many businesses, still need to have a symptom tracker and acknowledgement record for anyone entering the campus or business for the purposes of contact tracing.

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    Will I have to wear a mask while on campus? 

    Masks will not be required if you are outside unless you are in a large group where social distancing isn't possible. They will still be required indoors for a while as we monitor the number of COVID-19 cases throughout the University.
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    I have had COVID-19; do I still need to get vaccinated? 

    Yes. The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated regardless of whether you have had COVID-19 to protect yourself and others. If your healthcare provider recommends that you wait 90 days after infection to receive the vaccine, upload documentation of their recommendation to Med+Proctor 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 an international student; what vaccine can I take? 

    The University accepts any vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm.

    If you only have access to a vaccine that is not yet authorized by the FDA or WHO, we still recommend you get vaccinated as soon as possible for your protection. We expect more vaccine brands will receive authorization by the time students arrive on campus. You can also receive an additional FDA-authorized vaccine upon your arrival in the U.S. Please contact the Wellness Center with any questions at wellnesscenter@udmercy.edu.

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

    Students who are fully remote and are not required to be on campus may apply for an exemption but are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated to protect themselves and others in our community. If you want to participate in on-campus activities you are required to be vaccinated or apply for a medical, religious or philosophical exemption.
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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.

Exemption Policies

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    What is the process for requesting a vaccination exemption? 

    Individuals may request a medical, religious, or philosophical exemption to the University’s vaccination requirement by completing the appropriate exemption form shown under the Exemption area in the Med+Proctor site. The request must be received by July 1. Details on how to file an exemption will be sent soon.

    • Supplemental documentation for an exemption should be uploaded to the Med+Proctor site in addition to the appropriate exemption form.
    • Individuals who are granted an exemption are required to follow CDC guidelines for unvaccinated individuals. Additional details will be communicated by email.
    • Any questions regarding the process can be forwarded to Human Resources (employees) via email at hr@udmercy.edu or the Wellness Center (students) at wellnesscenter@udmercy.edu.
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    When will I be notified if my request for exemption has been approved?

    Medical, religious and philosophical exemption requests will be evaluated within two weeks of receipt.You will be notified of the decision by email. You may be contacted through your Detroit Mercy email if additional documentation is needed.

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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 for medical reasons; individuals may also request an exemption for religious or philosophical reasons. All exemption requests will receive careful consideration and the University follows all state and federal regulations prohibiting discrimination. If your exemption request is not granted, please contact Human Resources (employees) hr@udmercy.edu or 313-993-1036 or the Wellness Center (students)  wellnesscenter@udmercy.edu or 313-993-1185 to determine next steps.  

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.

Vaccine Benefits and Safety

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    Where can I get vaccinated? 

    Free vaccines are readily available at pharmacies, healthcare providers and vaccine clinics. 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 to help stop the pandemic.

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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?

    Most experts believe that to achieve herd immunity and begin to return to a more normal way of life, 70% of Americans must receive the vaccination. Studies have shown that vaccinated individuals are less likely to contract COVID-19 and to pass it on to others. As an institution that draws from the rich spiritual tradition of the Catholic Church, particularly as practiced by the Society of Jesus and the Religious Sisters of Mercy, Detroit Mercy calls upon its community to do its part. 

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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.