COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Ohio State is requiring every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with an FDA approved vaccine. The university will also accept a vaccine that has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA or Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO) to fulfill this requirement. 

The university is taking this step because vaccines are the safest and most effective form of protection against COVID-19. Scientists have learned a significant amount about COVID-19 and variants of concern, and this research underscores why being vaccinated is critical to combating COVID-19. This variant is particularly effective in attaching to our cells – which means it is that much more effective at gaining entry into our bodies and making us sick.

Boosters

While boosters are currently voluntary, Ohio State asks individuals to report booster information to help the university continue to plan our COVID-19 response. Students may report booster information to Student Health Services through My BuckMD and employees can report though the Employee Health Record.  

Information about scheduling and availability is available on the Get Vaccinated page.

How to Get Vaccinated

Getting the vaccine is easy and there is no cost to you:

  • You can walk in for an appointment today or schedule one on Ohio State’s Columbus campus or at Wexner Medical Center locations around central Ohio.
  • There are also sites throughout the state of Ohio, including in the communities in which the university’s campuses are located, so it is easy to find a location near you.

Read more on the Get Vaccinated page.

COVID-19 vaccines that will qualify under this policy are listed below.

Regulator Approval

Eligible vaccines as of Jan. 22, 2022

Full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval

Pfizer (2 dose)

Moderna (2 dose)

FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (1 dose)

World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL)

Astra-Zeneca

Serum Institute of India, and

Sinopharm (produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd)

Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

For the status of COVID-19 vaccines included on the WHO EUL, please see the WHO’s COVID-19 vaccine website.

 

Reporting 

EmployeesAll faculty and staff should use the Employee Health Record system to report their vaccination information or a request an exemption. This system should be used by employees of all Ohio State campuses and locations, both among the academic enterprise and the Wexner Medical Center, including Ohio State University Physicians Inc. (OSUP).  

Students: All Ohio State students at all campuses should use the Student Health Services My BuckMD system to report their vaccination information and upload documentation or request an exemption. Sign into My BuckMD, go to document upload, and choose document type COVID19 vaccination records or COVID19 exemption form, download a copy of your vaccination and save.  

If a student has submitted documentation of full vaccination to Student Health Services through MyBuckMD and they are still showing as non-compliant from an enrollment perspective, it is likely that they have not signed the consent form. Below is information about that process.

Please note, that the consent form has both a “decline to consent” and “approve to consent” option. Below are your options for next steps.

  • Complete the form saying that you decline to share your information with the university’s public health group, which also administers testing. By declining this option, you will still be able to take in-person courses in spring 2022, but your information will not be able to be provided further..
  • Complete the form saying that you approve sharing your information with the university’s public health group, which also administers testing. By accepting this option, you will be marked fully complete with the vaccination requirement, so you will be able to take in-person courses in the spring. Selecting this option will also allow the public health team to accurately determine your path should you ever be contact traced as a COVID-19 exposure. As a reminder vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine if they do not have symptoms.
  • Take no action. By taking no action you will remain showing as non-compliant in all university systems. Students who do not complete the COVID-19 vaccination requirement or receive an exemption will be unable to take in-person classes, participate in on-campus experiences or live in university-managed housing.

Please log into My BuckMD and complete your consent form by Monday, November 15, 2021, to be compliant. 

To complete the consent forms, please log into My BuckMD and follow these steps:

  • Click the “My Forms” tab. 
  • Locate the COVID-19 Vaccination Data Consent/Release of Information.
    • Type your information into the form. 
    • Click the “Submit” button.  
    • Complete digital signature.

 

Exemptions

A limited set of exemptions will be approved on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently lifted the pause on enforcement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) rule that requires medical facilities to ensure all health care workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a medical or religious exemption from vaccination in alignment with federal requirements. As a result, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is no longer permitted to allow personal exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees. Because Wexner Medical Center participates in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and is a CMS-certified facility, this requirement applies to all Wexner Medical Center staff. This requirement also applies to some Ohio State campus employees. Information about the rule and frequently asked questions are available on the CMS.gov website. Impacted employees were notified on February 15.

All vaccine exemptions are subject to change, including revocation, due to legal and regulatory requirements. Ohio State officials are closely monitoring applicable guidelines and requirements and will continue to communicate if changes are made.

Medical

An individual can request a health-related exemption through submission of appropriate documentation from their treating health care provider. Any health-related exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Employee Health and Student Health Services.

In addition, those with a history of allergic reactions to other vaccines or medical injections will be considered for exemptions on a case-by-case basis with appropriate documentation of the allergic reaction provided by the individual’s treating health care provider.

Individuals with a history of either a documented COVID-19 infection or a history of having received a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusion within 30 days prior to the deadline will be eligible for a temporary exemption until after the end of the 30-day period. The individual will then be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination within 14 days of the end of the exemption.

Personal or religious 

An exemption based on an individual’s religious beliefs or practices or based on personal reasons can be requested. Requests for religious and personal exemptions are required to be notarized for all employees and students. As part of the request, the individual must attest to their reason for exemption and explanation of why they are seeking the exemption. All religious and personal exemptions will be reviewed by Student Health Services or Employee and Labor Relations. 

EmployeesFaculty and staff should fill out the employee exemption request form and then submit it through the Employee Health Record system. This system should be used for employees of all Ohio State campuses and locations, both among the academic enterprise and the Wexner Medical Center, including Ohio State University Physicians Inc. (OSUP).  

Students: Ohio State students at all university campuses should fill out the student exemption request form and then submit it through the Student Health Services My BuckMD system

If an exemption request is approved, the individual will be required to:

  • Complete an eLearning (computer-based learning) module on appropriate workplace conduct to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus as an unvaccinated individual. This eLearning will be required to be completed within 14 days of being assigned. Note - the eLearning will be assigned automatically to your BuckeyeLearn transcript. You do not need to search and register for the eLearning.
  • Wear a face mask at all times while indoors if the individual is a Wexner Medical Center employee. Please see the Wexner Medical Center website for more information.

These protocols may be updated to reflect changes in the prevalence and spread of COVID-19. Once an exemption is approved, an individual will be provided further direction regarding the completion of these requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Jump to FAQs section: exemptions | student exemption requests | employee exemption requests | reporting 

How do I report my vaccination information or seek an exemption?

  • Employees: All faculty and staff should use the Employee Health Record system to report their vaccination information or request an exemption. This system should be used by employees of all Ohio State campuses and locations, both among the academic enterprise and the Wexner Medical Center, including Ohio State University Physicians Inc. (OSUP).
  • Students: All Ohio State students at all campuses should use the Student Health Services My BuckMD system to report their vaccination information and upload documentation, or request an exemption. Sign into My BuckMD, go to document upload, and choose document type COVID19 vaccination records, download a copy of your vaccination and save.

Why is the university requiring COVID-19 vaccination?

Throughout the pandemic, the university has taken measures to help keep our Ohio State community safe and healthy. The rising prevalence of the more transmissible Delta variant is fueling the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations – including in young and otherwise healthy people. With the news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Ohio State will require every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The university is taking this step because vaccines are the safest and most effective form of protection against COVID-19. We are focused on enhancing the health and safety of our community.

The good news is that the combination of vaccination and mask wearing is effective at slowing down COVID-19 and keeping us safe. That is why we are implementing our vaccine requirement with urgency as well as continuing our protocol to require everyone to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Which COVID-19 vaccines qualify for this requirement?

A COVID-19 vaccine will qualify under this policy if the vaccine has:

  • Full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval
  • FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL)

Pfizer (2 dose), Moderna (2 dose) and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (1 dose) have received full FDA approval

For the status of COVID-19 vaccines included on the WHO EUL, please see the WHO’s COVID-19 vaccine website.

Who will have access to my vaccination data?

Individual vaccination data will be shared only to the extent needed for compliance and non-compliance measures and for public health purposes such as contact tracing.

I am worried that I will have to miss class or work due to side effects of receiving the vaccine.

Students, faculty and staff should stay home when they are feeling sick — regardless of the reason they believe they are feeling ill.

If students are feeling sick after a vaccination, they should contact their instructors as they would for any other illness to make arrangements. Instructors are encouraged to provide flexibility in these cases.

If faculty or staff members are feeling sick after a vaccination, they may use sick time to stay home. They should follow the normal process for informing their manager or chair when they are sick. If they do not have leave balances, they should contact their HR professional for assistance.

I am taking all my classes virtually. Does this policy apply to me?

Yes, you must be vaccinated or receive an exemption. Among other consequences, students who are not vaccinated and do not receive an exemption may need to work with their academic advisor, Graduate School registration staff or professional college registrar to administratively register for distance learning courses in autumn semester 2022. This consequence will not apply to students in academic programs that are designed to be fully online, who may continue to register for distance learning classes as they normally do. Other students who have not completed the requirement will not be able to register themselves for spring semester courses, and the timing of virtual appointments with advisors will be based on availability.

I am working remotely. Does this policy apply to me?

Yes. The policy applies regardless of work location.

Will new employees be required to complete the requirement? 

Yes. Ohio State requires every student, faculty and staff member to be compliant with Ohio State’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

Ohio State requires that by the start of employment all newly hired employees receive at least the first dose of a two-dose series or a single dose of a one-dose series COVID-19 vaccination. Individuals who choose a two-dose series vaccination must receive the second dose within 45 days of their start date.

Proof of vaccination is required at time of hire. As soon as the new employee has access to their Ohio State email, they must submit their vaccination record through the Employee Health Record system.

Candidates may request a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement. Campus employees may also request an exemption for personal reasons. Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, College of Medicine or OSUP Employees are not eligible for personal exemptions. All exemptions are subject to Ohio State’s approval and subject to change, including revocation, due to legal and regulatory requirements.

To request a religious or personal exemption prior to their hire date, candidates should email HR-VaccineExemption@osu.edu. To request a medical exemption, prior to their hire date, candidates should email employeehealthcovid@osumc.edu. More information is available at https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/covid-19-vaccine-requirement

Employees who have not completed their initial vaccine series (which is 14 days after a final dose) or have not submitted their vaccination information have to follow specific compliance measures, including completing weekly COVID-19 testing, completing an eLearning in BuckeyeLearn and following safe and healthy behaviors, including wearing a face mask at all times.

I lost my vaccination card. What do I do? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you contact your vaccination provider, your local health department or the Ohio Department of Health.

Are volunteers and guests required to be vaccinated?

Volunteers and guests are not included in the requirement, however, the university strongly encourages that everyone be vaccinated against COVID-19. Everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, is required to wear masks when indoors in all Ohio State campuses and medical facilities.

Exemptions (jump to start of FAQs)

What exemptions are allowed under this policy?

A limited set of exemptions will be approved on a case-by-case basis. Due to the recent federal vaccine mandate.

Medical

An individual can request a health-related exemption through submission of appropriate documentation from their treating health care provider. Any health-related exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Employee Health and Student Health Services.

In addition, those with a history of allergic reactions to other vaccines or medical injections will be considered for exemptions on a case-by-case basis with appropriate documentation of the allergic reaction provided by the individual’s treating health care provider.

Individuals with a history of either a documented COVID-19 infection or a history of having received a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusion within 30 days prior to the deadline will be eligible for a temporary exemption until after the end of the 30-day period. The individual will then be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination within 14 days of the end of the exemption.

Personal or Religious

An exemption based on an individual’s religious beliefs or practices or based on personal reasons can be requested. Requests for religious and personal exemptions are required to be notarized for all employees and students. As part of the request, the individual must attest to their reason for exemption and explanation of why they are seeking the exemption. All religious and personal exemptions will be reviewed by Student Health Services or Employee and Labor Relations. 

The U.S. Supreme Court recently lifted the pause on enforcement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) rule that requires medical facilities to ensure all health care workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a medical or religious exemption from vaccination in alignment with federal requirements. As a result, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is no longer permitted to allow personal exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees. Because Wexner Medical Center participates in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and is a CMS-certified facility, this requirement applies to all Wexner Medical Center staff. This requirement also applies to some Ohio State campus employees. Information about the rule and frequently asked questions are available on the CMS.gov website. Impacted employees were notified on February 15.

All vaccine exemptions are subject to change, including revocation, due to legal and regulatory requirements. Ohio State officials are closely monitoring applicable guidelines and requirements and will continue to communicate if changes are made.

Are exemption requests required to be notarized? 

Medical exemptions will require appropriate documentation from a treating health care provider. Religious exemptions are required to be notarized for all students and employees. Personal exemptions are required to be notarized for all students. 

Where can I access notary services?

Notaries are available at many banks and offices. Student Legal Services offers a list of Columbus area notary services.

CFAES WOOSTER

Wayne County Public Library
220 West Liberty Street
Wooster, OH 44691
Dianna Drake at 330.804.4667 to make an appointment.

Wooster BMV License Agency
200 Vanover Street
Wooster, OH 44691
330-287-5640

LIMA

UPS Store
3221 Elida Rd
Lima, OH 45805
(419) 227-3600

Superior Credit Union
1205 East Kibby St.
Lima, OH 45804

Union Bank Co.
1410 Bellefontaine Ave.
Lima, OH 45804

MANSFIELD

UPS Store
1421 Lexington Ave
Mansfield, OH 44907
(419) 756-2442

Mansfield/Richland County Public Library
43 W 3rd St
Mansfield, OH 44902
(419) 521-3100

MARION

Huntington Bank
1200 Mount Vernon Avenue
Marion, Ohio 43302
740-389-5471

Got Mail
1328 Mount Vernon Avenue
Marion, Ohio 43302
740-725-9500

AAA Marion
1316 Mount Vernon Avenue
Marion, Ohio 43302
740-389-3517

NEWARK

UPS Store
1067 N 21st Street
Newark, OH 43055
740-366-0100

Pak Mail
573 Hebron Road
Heath, OH 43056
740-522-2564

How quickly will exemption requests be reviewed and processed?

Our goal is a 2-3 week turnaround for exemption requests. Employees and students are asked to submit exemption requests as soon as possible to ensure they are compliant with the requirement. 

If I received a vaccination that is not on the list of accepted vaccines, is it safe to get another dose(s) of one that is approved?

For individual health-related questions, students can email a provider using BuckMD and employees can contact Employee Health.

Can I request an exemption after getting my first dose if I don’t feel safe getting the second?

We strongly encourage everyone to complete their vaccination series to maximize the effectiveness. If someone has an extenuating circumstance that warrants an exemption, that process will still be available.

Student Exemption Requests (jump to start of FAQs) 

As a student, how do I enter my vaccination information?

All Ohio State students at all campuses should use the Student Health Services My BuckMD system to report their vaccination information and upload documentation or request an exemption. Sign into your My BuckMD patient portal to report your vaccination status and to upload your vaccination records.

To report your vaccination status, go to My Forms and select COVID-19 Vaccination Data Consent/Release of Information form.

To upload your documentation, go to Document Upload and choose document type COVID-19 vaccination records, click Browse to locate a saved image of your vaccination record and save.

Only files of type PDF, PNG, TIFF and JPG/JPEG can be uploaded. Files must be less than 1,000 KB in size.

Both COVID-19 Vaccination Data Consent/Release of Information form and valid documentation are required for a successful submission.

As a student, how and when will I know whether my COVID-19 vaccine information has been confirmed to meet the requirement?

If you would like to check your status, visit your My BuckMD patient portal and review the COVID-19 Immunization Status banner message for your immunization completion.

I want to file a COVID-19 vaccine exemption request. What do I do?

Download the COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption form. Upload the completed form along with any required documentation to My BuckMD patient portal.

Medical Exemption requests require medical documentation signed by a health care provider. Religious and Personal Exemption requests must be notarized.

To upload your documentation, go to Document Upload and choose document type COVID-19 vaccination records, click Browse to locate a saved image of your vaccination record and save.

Only files of type PDF, PNG, TIFF and JPG/JPEG can be uploaded. Files must be less than 1,000 KB in size.

How will I know if my COVID-19 vaccine exemption is approved?

Once your vaccination exemption is reviewed and approved, students can log into their My BuckMD patient portal and check their exemption status in the COVID-19 Immunization Status banner message. 

Who is approving exemption requests?

All medical, religious and personal exemption requests from students will be reviewed by Student Health Services.

Who do I contact if I am having technical problems with the exemption process?

For support, please email vaccination@osu.edu.

Employee Exemption Requests (jump to start of FAQs

As a faculty or staff member, how do I enter my vaccination information?  

Log into the Employee Health Record portal, and follow these instructions:

  1. Fill in your vaccine type
  2. Complete the dates of your vaccines
  3. Provide documentation by uploading your vaccine card
  4. Check the consent disclosure
  5. Click “Save”

How and when will I know whether my COVID-19 vaccine information has been confirmed to meet the requirement?

You’ll need to log in to the Employee Health Record system to check on approval. If you see the screen indicating that “your COVID-19 Verification has been completed,” you have met the vaccination requirement. The system will not proactively send a message alerting you of approval status.

I want to file an exemption request. What do I do?

To request an exemption, log into Employee Health Record system and follow these steps:

  1. Click the box requesting an exemption
  2. Fill out the exemption form
  3. Upload your exemption form under Documentation
  4. Check the consent disclosure
  5. Click “Save”

How will I know if my exemption is approved?

Log in to the Employee Health Record system to check on approval. (The system will not proactively send a message alerting you of approval status.)

If you see the screen indicating that “your COVID-19 Verification has been completed,” your exemption has been approved.

If your request has been denied, the screen will say “Your submission and documentation have been denied.”

Who is approving exemption requests?

All medical exemption requests from employees will be reviewed by Employee Health. All religious exemption requests from employees will be reviewed by the Employee and Labor Relations Team.

How do I edit my Employee Health Record to update vaccine or exemption information?

Please email HR-VaccineExemption@osu.edu for any changes to your Employee Health Record.

Who do I contact for help with this process?

University, Wexner Medical Center and OSUP employees

  • Technical questions about the Employee Health Record system – Examples:  problems with site,  I can’t upload my picture, I can’t log in :  CovidComplianceTechSupport@osumc.edu 

University and Wexner Medical Center employees

OSUP employees

Reporting (jump to start of FAQs)

If I have already been vaccinated, how do I report my vaccine information?

Employees: All faculty and staff should use the Employee Health Record system to report their vaccination information. This system should be used by employees of all Ohio State campuses and locations, both among the academic enterprise and the Wexner Medical Center, including Ohio State University Physicians Inc. (OSUP).  

Students: All Ohio State students at all campuses should use the Student Health Services My BuckMD system to report their vaccination information and upload documentation. Sign into My BuckMD, go to document upload, and choose document type COVID19 vaccination records, download a copy of your vaccination and save.  

I have already submitted my vaccination information to Ohio State. Why am I being asked to do so again?

The university and Wexner Medical Center have used several systems to collect COVID-19 vaccination information from faculty and staff since the beginning of the pandemic. In each of those systems, there were specific conditions associated with the request to report personal health information.

Ohio State now requires students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless individuals receive an exemption. With this change, faculty and staff must report their vaccination information through Employee Health Reporting system, which will be used to track responses to the vaccination requirement and exemption process.     

Individual vaccination data will be shared only to the extent needed for compliance and non-compliance measures and for public health purposes such as contact tracing.

What are the requirements for vendors and contractors?

Consistent with university guidelines and the recent federal action plan, all vendor employees, subcontractors and subconsultants identified as embedded within The Ohio State University are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Visit the Office of Business and Finance website for additional details.