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Policy

COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

Applies to: All faculty and staff, residents, fellows, postdoctoral appointees, student employees (undergraduate students employed through Student Employment and graduate students not paid a stipend or fellowship in furtherance of their degree), interns (paid or unpaid), volunteers, and contractors (including agency temporaries and vendors)1 to any University campus, facility, and/or property.

Employees and others who are covered under the COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Vaccination Policy (#164) should refer to that policy.

1 This policy shall apply to contractors as described herein beginning on November 1, 2021.

I. Policy

The University is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for all employees, students, patients, and visitors. In our commitment to this effort all employees as listed above shall be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with a minimum first dose of a vaccination by no later than September 27, 2021. Such requirement shall also apply to any subsequent booster vaccinations that may be recommended or required by the relevant health authorities. For purposes of this Policy, an individual shall be deemed “fully vaccinated” two weeks after the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), received emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA, is listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO), or was given as part of a clinical trial in the United States.2

2 Approved vaccines include the Moderna, Pfizer, and Janssen/J&J vaccines as well as vaccines listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for people vaccinated outside the United States or as part a clinical trial in the United States or vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

II. Guidelines

A. All employees as defined above must receive at least one dose of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) or have received the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization or the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given as part of a clinical trial in the United States by September 27, 2021. The deadline for the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is November 15, 2021.

B. Individuals who do not meet vaccination deadlines as outlined above without an approved exemption may not work. Failure to comply with the deadline without an approved medical or religious exemption will be deemed a voluntary resignation.

C. Detailed guidance regarding contractor compliance with this policy can be found on the Corporate Purchasing website.

D. Employees who have not been granted an exemption from vaccination as described more fully below in II.F, shall attest to and/or provide proof of vaccination via the Employee Health system by completing the COVID VACCINATION STATUS FORM and following the instructions thereon by no later than September 27, 2021 (See section III.A) to document their vaccination compliance. Those who received their vaccinations through an Employee Health vaccination clinic at the Friends of Strong waiting room or Conference Rooms ACF A&B at Strong Memorial Hospital do not have to complete the form as their information is already in the University’s system.

E. Newly hired University employees must receive at least one dose of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) or have received the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization or the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given as part of a clinical trial in the United States before they can begin work. Proof of vaccination will be required through the onboarding process. Newly hired employees will be required to receive the second dose within three or four weeks of the initial vaccine depending on the vaccine protocol for that particular vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna).

F. Reasonable accommodations may be available for individuals who are granted an exemption to being vaccinated due to religious or medical reasons.

  1. Medical Exemption – Employees seeking an exemption for medical reasons must complete the exemption request form. A medical exemption must include documentation from a licensed physician, certified nurse practitioner, or physician assistant (PA) cosigned by a licensed physician that certifies that a COVID-19 vaccination is detrimental to the Covered Personnel due to a specific pre-existing health condition as recognized by relevant health authorities, including but not limited to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA, along with the duration such exemption will be required. More detailed information regarding the bases for a medical exemption appear on the exemption request form and reflect current guidance from the relevant medical authorities, as subject to change from time to time. This request should be submitted via the secure portal developed for this purpose for review, https://tools.mc.rochester.edu/covid-vaccination-status/login. Employees may begin submitting requests through the portal on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
  2. Religious Exemption – Employees seeking an exemption for religious reasons must complete the exemption request form. This requires a written statement explaining an individual’s sincerely held religious belief underlying their request for a religious exemption. The statement should describe the religious belief that guides the individual’s objection to the COVID-19 vaccine. This written request should be provided to Human Resources through the online portal developed for that purpose using the exemption request form, https://tools.mc.rochester.edu/covid-vaccination-status/login. Employees may begin submitting requests through the online system on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
  3. Individuals who receive an accommodation and remain unvaccinated will be subject to weekly testing, masking, and daily completion of Dr. ChatBot. Additional information about testing protocols and testing sites can be found at the University COVID-19 Resource Center.

G. This policy applies to all employees, regardless of work location, including those who are working in a hybrid model or are working fully remote, except as may be prohibited by local law.

H. Requests to work remotely or for leave of absence will not be granted as an alternative to being vaccinated in the absence of grounds for an exemption.

III. Procedures

A. Employees Reporting Vaccination Information:

  1. Log in to the COVID Vaccine Participation Form. To access the form, employees must either be on-site at the University or connected to the University’s secure Virtual Private Network (VPN), and must choose the correct domain before entering their username and password. Complete the survey. Those who report being vaccinated will then be directed to submit proof of vaccination.
  2. Those that reported being unvaccinated at a prior date may update their status at any time by logging back into the COVID Vaccine Participation Form, making the appropriate edits, and then submitting proof of vaccination.

B. Weekly COVID-19 Testing

  1. Employees who are granted an accommodation from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement will be subject to weekly University COVID-19 testing and must follow the established COVID-19 testing protocol per the University’s vaccination reporting requirements.
  2. Employees granted an exemption who are hourly University of Rochester employees will be paid for the time to receive the COVID-19 weekly test. Salaried individuals will not have an impact to pay when participating in the weekly COVID-19 test.

The University reserves the right to interpret, modify, amend, or terminate this policy at any time.

See also:

Policy #329: Time Off to Receive a COVID -19 Vaccine
Policy #166: Health Assessments
Policy #175: Remote Work Policy
Policy #164: COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Vaccination Policy
COVID-19 Vaccine Paid Sick Day
University of Rochester COVID-19 Resource Center

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