Last updated: 01-07-2022

Vaccination and booster directive

The Continuity of Operations Taskforce and Senior Management have implemented a booster vaccine requirement. It is now EVMS policy to require that all eligible employees, residents, fellows and students are required to receive their booster shot no later than Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. 
 
All EVMS employees, residents, fellows and students are now required to document through the EVMS VAX portal having received a booster shot no later than Feb. 15, 2022. Find the guidance from CDC on booster shots. A summary of that guidance follows:

When to get a booster

  • If you received Pfizer-BioNTech: At least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series
  • If you received Moderna: At least 5 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series
  • If you received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen: At least 2 months after receiving your J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination

If you are not yet eligible, you must upload your booster vaccination card or other proof of vaccination within one month of your eligibility date, based on your vaccination dates recorded in VAX portal.  The CDC may change the period of eligibility, so please monitor the CDC booster shot guidelines for any changes. You are required to receive the booster within 30 days of becoming eligible.

Which booster to select

Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most situations. Use of heterologous booster doses (mix and match) is authorized for those 18 years and older. For a given COVID-19 primary vaccine series, heterologous boosters elicited similar or higher antibody responses as compared to their respective homologous booster responses.

In layman's terms, studies show those who received a Pfizer vaccine with their first two shots, may get better protection by boosting with a Moderna vaccine and vice-versa.

Find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster

Search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1.800.232.0233 to find locations near you.

Boosters and vaccinations following SARS-CoV-2 infection

People with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should defer vaccination at least until they have recovered from the acute illness (if symptoms were present) and met the criteria to end isolation. Current evidence about the optimal timing between SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination is insufficient to provide more specific guidance.

If you recently had an active COVID case, you will have up to 90 days from a positive test result to upload your booster vaccination card in the VAX portal.

Rationale for the Directive

The vaccine mandate is an essential part of participating in in-person instruction, clinical experiences, and student social and community engagement activities.  The determination to mandate the vaccine was made after the vaccines were safely administered to millions of people across the United States, and is based on CDC guidance on the use, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine is the safest and most effective way to protect the health and safety of the EVMS campus.

Who is fully vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson [J&J]/Janssen).

Individuals who have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is listed for emergency use by WHO (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., COMIRNATY, Tozinameran), AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine) do not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

Please note: All EVMS students and employees are required to follow the CDC booster guidelines by Feb. 15, 2022. Read more.

Requesting an exemption from the vaccination requirement

Medical exemptions for students will be determined by Student Health and religious exemptions will be determined by Student Affairs. Employees may be granted religious exemptions by Human Resources and medical exemptions will be determined by Occupational Health by following the procedures in place for the annual flu shot.

If you already have an approved exemption on file, you are exempt from the booster requirement.

Sanctions for noncompliance for those not fully vaccinated

The following sanctions apply to students and employees who are not fully vaccinated and do not comply with EITHER the vaccination requirement or masking guidelines:

Students

Sanctions for students who are noncompliant with the vaccination directive will be uniformly applied across all programs and will be handled by Student Affairs under the Code of Student Conduct as outlined below.

  • First violation involves a written warning via the Maxient system. Program directors will be included on this notification per professionalism procedures.
  • Second violation leads to a 24-hour suspension from campus and all academic activities, including all virtual activities, using the Interim Actions procedures from the Code of Student Conduct.
    • All missed academic activities will be considered unexcused absences and subject to relevant program policies.
    • Student ID badges will be deactivated for the length of the suspension.
    • Students will be given a date and time to meet with the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities (or designee) within the 24-hour suspension to initiate the Code of Student Conduct procedures.
    • Program directors will be informed of the student infraction.
  • Third violation leads to a one-week suspension from campus and all academic activities, including all virtual activities, using same procedures as for the second violation.
  • Fourth violation will lead to suspension from campus and all academic activities, including all virtual activities, for the remainder of academic term using same procedures as for the second violation.
  • Subsequent violations could result in dismissal from the institution.

Faculty and Staff

The following progressive discipline policy will be followed for faculty and staff who do not comply with the mandatory vaccination deadline for obtaining a required vaccine. The process is as follows:

  • Verbal Reprimand Issued with 5 days to comply to prevent further action
  • Written Reprimand Issued with 5 days to comply to prevent further action
  • Placed on probation with 5 days to comply
  • Termination possible or in lieu of termination merit increases will be withheld and no non-mandatory business travel will be approved.

Database on vaccination status

Human Resources (with assistance from Risk Management) will maintain a database on employees and students with regard to their vaccination status and will share that information as appropriate with Occupational Health, Student Health, Student Affairs, PDs and others with a business reason for needing to know. Find a link to the EVMS VAX Portal in myPortal.