COVID-19 Vaccine Information

The university encourages everyone who is eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccination. FAQs and additional information about the vaccine is available on the Wexner Medical Center website

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility, availability and scheduling

Who is eligible to be vaccinated?

Everyone 12 years of age or older is eligible to be vaccinated.

How do eligible people sign up to receive a vaccine at the the Wexner Medical Center?

Eligible individuals should log in to their MyChart account to schedule their vaccination. There is a step-by-step guide on the Wexner Medical Center site to assist with scheduling through MyChart. Individuals who are not patients of the Wexner Medical Center or those who do not have a MyChart account can call 614-688-VAXX (8299) for assistance. There are more than 100 COVID-19 vaccination locations in Franklin County alone, and the state has launched a new centralized scheduling tool at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Are there locations other than the Medical Center where students, faculty and staff can be vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at more than 1,300 locations statewide and 110 locations in Franklin County including retail pharmacies, hospitals and public health departments. The state has created an online tool to help Ohioans identify vaccine distribution sites in their communities. Additional information about the state’s vaccine distribution plan is available on the Ohio Department of Health website

Are students and others vaccinated at Ohio State able to get a second dose at another location in or outside of Ohio and how is this done?

Those who receive an initial vaccine should retain their COVID-19 vaccine card, which will document which vaccine they had and when they should receive a second dose.  This vaccine card may also be needed in the future to easily document the fact that you have received the vaccine.

When possible, an individual should plan to receive their second dose at the same vaccination site where they received their first dose. 

  • Like the Wexner Medical Center, some vaccination sites allow an individual to receive a second dose when they received their first dose elsewhere, but it is not guaranteed that all communities will have a vaccination site that does so. 
  • If you plan to receive your second dose near your permanent home or any location other than where you receive your first dose, please check with the local vaccine providers to ensure that it is permitted there.
    • If you cannot find a provider that will administer a second dose when you have not received your first dose there, please plan to delay your first dose of vaccine until you arrive at your future location, or plan to return to Columbus for your second dose.
    • If you do find a provider who will administer your second dose, proceed with scheduling your first dose here at the Wexner Medical Center or another vaccine site in central Ohio. 

What is Ohio State is doing to help ensure that students, faculty and staff can receive the vaccine? 

The university has been given the opportunity by the state of Ohio to dedicate 25% of the Wexner Medical Center’s first-dose vaccine allocation to any Ohio State student, faculty or staff member. This is possible because of the increasing number of doses available to the Wexner Medical Center and the Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s work to secure additional vaccines for college and university students in Ohio. Appointments under this new opportunity will be displayed in MyChart beginning April 9, with the first available appointments beginning Wednesday, April 14, and running through April 20. Each week, additional appointments will be released after the university receives information about the brand and the number of doses for our next weekly allocation of vaccine. 

Will Ohio State require the vaccine?

No. Everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to do so. The vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective. 

Are there locations other than the Medical Center where students, faculty and staff can be vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at more than 1,300 locations statewide and 110 locations in Franklin County including retail pharmacies, hospitals and public health departments. The state has created an online tool to help Ohioans identify vaccine distribution sites in their communities. Additional information about the state’s vaccine distribution plan is available on the Ohio Department of Health website

How is Ohio State partnering to ensure that the vaccination is reaching underrepresented communities?

The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately exposed even more of the health disparities that already existed for communities that experience health care barriers. These especially include people of color, rural residents and those experiencing poverty.

Getting all those we serve vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of our top priorities, and for those in historically underserved communities, it takes extra care to ensure that they have the access and information needed to keep themselves safe and healthy.

Beginning Feb. 26, Vaccine Station East opened for patients and community members in targeted ZIP codes who have been hit hardest by COVID-19. Vaccine sessions will be held weekly and access will expand as supply and patient engagement permits. 

Additionally, the university has developed a COVID-19 Vaccine External Education Committee, led by Darrell Gray, MD, MPH, deputy director of the Center for Cancer Health Equity at The James, and Beth NeCamp, executive director of Civic and Community Engagement, specifically to provide education for our community, particularly as the state moves from Phase 1A in its vaccination plan. Three workgroups make up this committee:

  • The Community Engagement and Communications workgroup is focused on developing consistent, educational, resonant messaging based on the various populations we must reach.
  • The Vaccine Access and Uptake workgroup provides transportation to vaccine sites and assists with neighborhood-based, mobile vaccine distribution.
  • The Analytics and Measurement workgroup uses data to identify the best ways to help those in need of vaccines and vaccine information.

The Wexner Medical Center is partnering with other central Ohio health systems and public health agencies to expand access to consistent, clear and accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, the university will stay closely engaged with higher education associations (AAU, APLU, IUC), community organizations and other local groups to coordinate on vaccine perception campaigns.

Variants

How concerning are new variants of COVID-19 for our campus community and what is Ohio State doing to monitor and respond to these variants?

We are continuously and broadly monitoring the emergence and spread of new variants and some projections lead us to believe that highly transmissible variants could circulate widely in Ohio this winter and spring. We are also working right here on campus to detect new variants and monitoring for variants of concern in our campus population at our Ohio State laboratories. Although these variants may not cause a new surge in cases, they could slow the current decrease in infections. These variants not only reinforce the importance of safety measures including proper masking and physical distancing, but demand that we each double down on our commitment to taking these precautions, especially social gatherings indoors and unmasked.

Safety

The vaccines were developed at record pace. Are they safe? 

The vaccine is deemed to be safe based upon a rigorous evaluation of currently available scientific evidence. If the available scientific evidence changes or if new information becomes available, the authorization for its use can be adapted.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

It’s natural, and expected, for the body to have an immune response to a vaccine. Some people in the clinical trial have experienced side effects, including injection site pain or redness, fatigue, muscle/joint pain and headache. Side effects were more frequently reported after the second dose.

I’m unlikely to be negatively impacted by the virus. Why should I get vaccinated? 

The vaccine is deemed to be safe based upon a rigorous evaluation of currently available scientific evidence. If the available scientific evidence changes or if new information becomes available, the authorization for its use can be adapted. Vaccination protects you from severe illness from COVID-19. That’s a critical benefit, which will help you and reduce the burden on our hospitals and society. We may also eventually find out that the vaccine has an impact on infection and transmission, too. But, right now, it’s just too early to know. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they are able to do so.

Guidance for people who have been vaccinated

Can people still transmit the virus after being vaccinated?

Vaccination protects you from severe illness from COVID-19. That’s a critical benefit, which will help you and reduce the burden on our hospitals and society. We may also eventually find out that the vaccine has an impact on infection and transmission, too. But it’s just too early to know. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they are able to do so. The Safe and Healthy requirements — wearing masks properly, staying at least six feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and washing hands often — should still be followed.

Do people who have been vaccinated still need to quarantine if exposed to someone with COVID-19?

If you are fully vaccinated and identified as a close contact, the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team will determine if your vaccination status currently qualifies you for a quarantine exemption..

Will students who have received the vaccine still need to be tested?

Yes. The vaccination protects you from significant illness from COVID-19. It’s not clear yet whether it also protects against infection. And we don’t know whether people who have been vaccinated can still transmit the virus. The Safe and Healthy requirements — wearing masks properly, staying at least six feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and washing hands often — should still be followed.

International students

Is the COVID-19 vaccine required for international students?

The vaccine is not required for any students, faculty or staff. Everyone is strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to do so.

What if I received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not currently authorized in the United States?

The university will accept international vaccines based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, which recognizes vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

All students are encouraged to share their vaccination information with the university because WHO is constantly updating its list of approved vaccines. As of May 13, 2021, those vaccines include the three approved for use in the United States — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — as well as:

  • Astra-Zeneca
  • Serum Institute of India, and
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

If you are uncertain about the status of a particular vaccine, please contact Student Health Services at 614-292-4321 or shs@osu.edu.

Students will be considered to be fully vaccinated 14 days after their final dose in a vaccination series.

  • If your vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by the WHO, you will not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If your vaccine has not been authorized for emergency use by WHO, you should strongly consider scheduling a vaccine appointment once you arrive in the United States in order to be considered as “fully vaccinated” by the university and public health officials.
  • Vaccine appointments can be scheduled at the Wexner Medical Center through MyChart or contacting the Wexner Medical Center COVID Vaccine Hotline at 614-688-VAXX (614-688-8299).
  • Other local options to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Central Ohio can be found on the Ohio Department of Heath COVID-19 vaccine provider database.

Who should students contact with vaccination questions?

Contact Student Health Services at 614-292-4321 or shs@osu.edu with questions. 

 

University Town Halls

Dr. Andy Thomas during Town Hall meetingTown halls were held monthly through April to provide an opportunity for the community to ask questions about COVID-19.

The March and April discussions also included information on university planning efforts related to fall semester. Please visit the Autumn Campus Reactivation page to read more details.

Feb. 1, 2021View recording
March 1, 2021View recording
April 12, 2021View recording