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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Video Series

Fischer headshotDetroit Mercy School of Dentistry Assistant Professor David Fischer details why it’s important to get vaccinated against COVID-19, explains the Delta variant 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 five 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.

*Uploading your proof of vaccination to Med+Proctor is FREE.

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 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? 

    Students can upload proof of a vaccination to Med+Proctor, a healthcare technology company that supports the immunization verification process for colleges and universities. Uploading your COVID-19 vaccination proof with Med+Proctor is easy and secure. 

    Faculty, staff, and employees have received instructions on uploading proof of vaccination through the secure, Microsoft Forms link indicated in the July 8 email that went to all employees. You may access the link for uploading here: Employee Proof of Vaccination 

    Uploading your proof of vaccination to Med+Proctor is FREE.

    See the section below for updated information about exemptions.

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    Med+Proctor is asking for $10. Isn't this free?

    Yes. Uploading your information is free. 

    The $10 fee is only if you wish to use their enhanced service. On the page that asks you for the $10 fee, there is a message that says something like "To continue without paying click here." It is in smaller type under the information about the $10 fee. Click on that to continue.

    For any other questions or problems using the service, you may use the Med+Proctor's online chat help. 

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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.

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    Will I have to wear a mask while on campus? 

    Indoors

    All individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear a mask indoors at all times unless alone in a private office.

    Outdoors

    Mask usage is not required outdoors unless you are unvaccinated and attending an event where distance cannot be maintained or you have been advised that masking is required.

    Off-site

    Anyone located at a non-Detroit Mercy site or partner, including those working at hospital or clinic locations, should follow all entrance and masking procedures for that site. Clinical settings may exercise additional protocols, including regular COVID-19 testing.

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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 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.

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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. Alternately, you can request your entire record, which includes the COVID vaccine, by mail or fax using this MDHHS request form

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

    On Wednesday, Aug. 18, Pope Francis issued a statement 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.

    Pope Francis was vaccinated in March, saying at the time that it was an ethical obligation.

    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.”

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. (If you are a student employee, please refer to information provided by the Wellness Center  at wellnesscenter@udmercy.edu.)

    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.

    IMPORTANT: If you are requesting a medical exemption, please have your medical provider complete this Medical Provider Portion to Exempt from Vaccination prior to completing the exemption request form. If you will be submitting a different supporting document, you will be able to upload that information as well.

    For any exemption request, you may upload up to five documents within the exemption form as supporting documentation. Once you complete the form and submit your request, you will no longer have access to the submission. However, you can forward any documents or questions related to your request to employeewaiver@udmercy.edu and we will include your information with the previously submitted request.

    Employee Exemption Request Form

    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 employeewaiver@udmercy.edu

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

    Student Exemptions

    The deadline to file for an exemption is passed, however, you can find the exemption form by clicking here: Student Medical, Religious or Philosophical Exemption Request Form 

    IMPORTANT: If you are requesting a medical exemption, please have your medical provider complete this Student Medical Verification Exemption Form prior to completing the exemption request form. If you are submitting additional supporting information or information that is not from a medical provider, you will also be able to upload that information to studentwaiver@udmercy.edu.  

    All information provided will be kept confidential within the Wellness Center and you will be advised of your approval or a request for further information via email within 5 business days of receipt of the request.  

    Questions

    If you have questions regarding the exemption process or to submit additional information, please email studentwaiver@udmercy.edu.

     

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

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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.

International Students

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    When should I make travel plans?

    You can arrive in the United States as early as Aug. 1 but no later than Aug. 23.

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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. If this is not possible, you are eligible to receive a vaccine in the U.S. The state of Michigan has expanded vaccine eligibility to all individuals 12 years or older. 

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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

    If you are not fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO then you may choose to either take a COVID test on days 3-5 and self-quarantine 7 days or not take a COVID test and self-quarantine for 10 days. We are happy to coordinate testing. Please let us know when you check in if you would like to be tested.

    Keep in mind that the residence hall room assigned for quarantine will not be your assigned room for the academic year. There will be an additional food service cost during quarantine, but no additional charge for the residence hall room.

    After you complete quarantine, you will move into your assigned residence hall room and can be vaccinated. A vaccine clinic may be available on campus or you will be transported to an off campus location. If you experience a delay in vaccination due to the quarantine process, you will be granted an extension to the vaccination deadline.

    A residence hall application is required for students planning to live on campus.

    If you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO, you will not need to self-quarantine upon your arrival.

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

    If you are not fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO then you may choose to either take a COVID test on days 3-5 and self-quarantine where you plan to live for 7 days or not take a COVID test and self-quarantine for 10 days.

    After you complete quarantine, you may be vaccinated. You are welcome to obtain a vaccine on your own or you can participate in a vaccination option offered by the University, which may be on campus or at an off-site location. If you experience a delay in vaccination due to the quarantine process, you will be granted an extension to the vaccination deadline.

    If you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO, you will not need to self-quarantine.

     

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    How do I self-quarantine?

    When you are in quarantine, you need to avoid contact with others—stay in a separate room, use a separate bathroom and do not share household items like cups, towels and utensils—monitor your symptoms and, if you must be around others, wear a mask.
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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 need to have your medical provider complete a medical certification form prior to submitting an exemption request form as the medical certification form needs to be uploaded to the exemption request form

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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 need to have your medical provider complete a medical certification form prior to submitting an exemption request form as the medical certification form needs to be uploaded to the exemption request.

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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 to Med+Proctor.

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.