Forward Together: Vaccination Requirements & FAQs

Methodist University requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 in order to live, work, attend classes, and participate in official MU activities (including events on or off campus) during the 2021-22 academic year. MU has also offered the opportunity for medical and religious exemptions for the 2021-22 academic year.

The decision was/is in alignment with MU’s announcements that it would likely move to this requirement upon FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccines, and we know the FDA approval was the confirmation many students, families, and employees were hoping for before getting the vaccine. MU’s promise will continue to be upholding safety as its No. 1 priority. 

Vaccination Requirement Highlights

For the full Student COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, Click here

Accepted Vaccines

Vaccines necessary to meet the MU requirement are the FDA-authorized vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech (two shots), Johnson & Johnson (one shot), and Moderna (two shots).

Deadline/Criteria (for Spring 2022)

Students without exemptions are to be vaccinated — and upload their proof of vaccination — by Dec. 31, 2021.

Uploading Proof of Vaccination

Utilize the proof of vaccination link for a guide to upload information to MU Health Services. Faculty and staff only may utilize the same link for direction, present their physical documents to HR, or email them to humanresources@methodist.eduProof of COVID-19 antibodies through test results cannot be used as an alternative to receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Access to Campus and other MU Events (including Commencement)

All students, faculty, and staff must show proof of vaccination (or exemption) and been cleared by MU Health Services to have access to campus. All must meet the requirement to live and/or work on campus, attend classes, and participate in MU activities/events of any kind. Students who have not received exemptions or approval for remote instruction should not access campus.

Fall 2021 Commencement: The entire MU community looks forward to celebrating accomplishments on Dec. 11 at the Crown Coliseum. It’s important to note that all participating graduates must provide proof of vaccination by Dec. 3. All attendees will be required to mask indoors at the Crown Coliseum. For more information about Fall Commencement, please visit www.methodist.edu/graduation. 

Also, as a reminder, students who are not on campus now (internships, clinicals, online schedules) — but plan to return for any University activity or sponsored event (including commencement, baccalaureate, etc.) — are required to upload/show proof of being vaccinated (and receive confirmation of such) to participate. See below for the uploading process/link.

Vaccination Exemptions

Medical and Religious Exemptions: The deadline to upload Spring 2022 exemption requests is Dec. 10.

Online or Fully Remote Exemptions: Students whose course of study is fully remote with enrollment through MU Online were given the opportunity to be exempted from the vaccine requirement. Such students had to submit an attestation to the campus that stated they understood they will not be allowed to come onto campus unless they submit proof.

NOTE:

  • Anyone receiving an exemption may stay on campus and attend classes, but must follow all University protocols for the unvaccinated, which includes mask requirements, regular asymptomatic testing, and 14-day quarantine if symptomatic or if exposed to a person who has tested positive.
  • Medical accommodations were also possible for students who are not yet fully vaccinated and international students who received a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized or approved by the FDA. Click here for more information on accommodations.

Compliance

Students choosing not to comply with University vaccination and/or testing policies are disenrolled and no longer students at Methodist University.

Full Student COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

This full policy describes the COVID-19 vaccination requirements in place to protect the health and safety of the Methodist University campus community, including its students, faculty, staff, and others who engage in-person at Methodist University.

Click here for the full Student COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

Testing

Weekly testing is only necessary for those who are unvaccinated (see safety protocols), have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or showing symptoms. If showing symptoms, all should “lie low” until contacting MU Health Services for more instruction.

Visitation

Overnight Guests

All overnight guests must provide a proof-of-vaccination card to the Housing Office in the Berns Student Center before they may stay on campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which vaccines are accepted?

Methodist University accepts COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This currently includes the Pfizer-BioNTech (two shots), Moderna (two shots), and Johnson & Johnson (one shot) vaccines. MU will likely expand its list of accepted vaccines as they receive FDA approval.

How do I submit my proof of vaccination?

Utilize the proof of vaccination link for a guide to upload information to MU Health Services., or employees may present physical documentation to HR.

If I get a vaccine, do I still need to test weekly?

No. The vaccine eliminates the need for weekly testing. Once vaccinated, only students, faculty, and staff showing symptoms or coming into contact with someone who has tested positive (or being tested because they are showing symptoms) need to be tested. Students, faculty, and staff who remain unvaccinated because of an exemption will continue to be tested frequently.

Were there exemptions to getting the vaccine?

MU did take requests for religious and medical exemptions in the fall. The deadline to apply for new students in the spring (via the link above) is Dec. 10.

If I received an exemption, will I need to wear a mask?

Yes. Everyone (including individuals who are vaccinated) must wear masks when indoors (the only exceptions are when in a room or office by yourself, with a roommate, or when eating). All spectators at indoor athletic events must wear masks at all times. Masks are not required outdoors.

I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 recently. Do I still need to get vaccinated and show proof of vaccination?

Yes, you must be vaccinated regardless of whether you’ve already had COVID. The CDC advises that unvaccinated individuals who have contracted COVID-19 wait until symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since their positive test to get vaccinated. Individuals who were treated for the virus with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma should wait 90 days before receiving a shot. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have further questions and MU Health Services is happy to walk alongside you and address potential accommodations.

I have test results showing I have antibodies for COVID-19.  Do I still need to get vaccinated and show proof of vaccination?

Yes. Antibodies are not recommended to be used as evidence of immunity by the CDC and will not be permitted as proof of non-susceptibility to COVID.

What if I’m not on campus now, but plan to return for events?

Students who are not on campus now (internships, clinicals, online schedules) do not have to show proof of vaccination at this time, but if they plan to return for any official University activity or sponsored event (including commencement, baccalaureate, etc. that may or may not be on campus) they are required to upload/show proof of being vaccinated to participate.

Are other colleges in our region requiring the vaccine?

Yes. More than 1,000 public and private universities nationwide are requiring the vaccine and the list is growing daily.

I have additional questions about the vaccine. Where can I learn more?

Here is a good source for detailed information from the CDC.

Have a Question That Isn’t Answered?

Contact: forward@methodist.edu

Please note that under guidance from the CDC, state, and local health authorities, all safety guidelines can change at a moment’s notice.