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This policy establishes a uniform set of standards for COVID-19 vaccination and safety that applies broadly across the University community. The goal of this policy is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection within and beyond the University community, in a manner that is consistent with public health guidelines and complies with evolving state and federal requirements.
All University faculty, staff, graduate assistants, graduate student workers, undergraduate student workers, adjuncts, professionals in training, residents, and fellows (“Covered Individuals”) are covered under this policy. Affiliates, including external service providers, are exempt from this requirement. Appendix: Vaccine Requirement Job Codes provides a complete list of included job codes and excluded affiliate and external service provider codes.
All Covered Individuals must comply with the requirements in the Appendix: Required COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Covered Individuals.
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
By December 3, 2021, Covered Individuals must submit documentation that they are fully vaccinated or in the process of becoming fully vaccinated with an acceptable vaccine as described in the Procedure: Certification of COVID-19 Vaccine Documents, or submit a request for a medical or religious exemption as described below.
Covered Individuals who are hired after December 3, 2021 must submit documentation that they are fully vaccinated or submit a request for a medical or religious exemption on their first day of employment. Failure to do so may result in rescission of the job offer, a delay in the start date, or other action as determined by the Vice President of Human Resources or their designee.
The University may require Covered Individuals to receive booster shots at appropriate intervals. Any such requirement will be communicated to Covered Individuals via email.
Exemptions from COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
To be exempted from the vaccination requirement in this policy, a Covered Individual must submit a request on an approved form (see Forms section of this policy), respond to requests for additional information, if applicable, and not have the exemption request denied, as described in the Procedure: Certification of COVID-19 Vaccine Documents.
If a Covered Individual has a medical condition that, in the opinion of a Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Physician Assistant (PA), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) contraindicates vaccination against COVID-19, the Covered Individual may seek an exemption by submitting a COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Request Form that is completed and signed by one of the above licensed providers or equivalent licensed medical provider outside of the United States for Covered Individuals located outside of the United States. Forms completed by other providers will be rejected. The Covered Individual may not be the licensed provider. For a summary of Centers for Disease Control guidance on contraindications to COVID-19 vaccination, see the Appendix: CDC Summary Document for Interim Clinical Considerations.
Sincerely Held Religious Belief Exemption
If receiving the vaccination is contrary to a Covered Individual’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, and no COVID-19 vaccine is available that would be acceptable in light of that sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, the Covered Individual may seek an exemption by completing a COVID-19 Sincerely Held Religious Belief Exemption Request Form. The Covered Individual must sign the form, with their signature witnessed by a notary public. Individuals within Minnesota can locate a notary public through the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. Out-of-state individuals can contact their local HR administrator to determine the appropriate resource for their location and situation.
Use of Data
The information that Covered Individuals provide under this policy will be treated as private and may be shared in the follow circumstances:
- Within the University, to a University employee when this information is needed to perform their job duties, e.g. supervision, health & safety, legal, and human resources
- Outside of the University, to individuals who are authorized to have access under federal of state law, including the Minnesota Department of Health.
For Covered Individuals who are student workers or health sciences learners, including residents and fellows, this information may also be shared with school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information, including academic support personnel, and others authorized by law.
Pay and Leave Provisions
Covered Individuals may be eligible for pay and/or paid leave under this policy as described in the Appendix: COVID-19 Vaccination Pay and Leave Provisions. These provisions address time needed to be vaccinated or tested for COVID-19, or to recover from side effects of vaccination for COVID-19.
Reason for Policy
COVID-19 vaccines have been demonstrated to reduce risk substantially of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and have low rates of side effects. Vaccination of Covered Individuals aids in reducing the impact of COVID-19 on the University community. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines see the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters. This policy is intended to ensure compliance with evolving federal and state standards while advancing the health and wellbeing of the University community.