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. To learn more, watch Dr. Andrew Thomas, chief clinical officer (CCO) for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, answer frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Q&A: COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccine Distribution at the Wexner Medical Center

Vaccine appointments can be scheduled via the Wexner Medical Center by logging into MyChart. Follow this step-by-step guideCheck back often as new appointments are added throughout the week.

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. More information, including vaccination sitesfrequently asked questions is available on the Wexner Medical Center website. If no appointments are available, sign up to be notified when additional appointment times are posted. Click on the “Get Notified” box and follow the instructions to enter your contact information.

Vaccine Clinic at Jesse Owens North Recreation Center

A new COVID-19 vaccine clinic is open at Jesse Owens North Recreation Center. Vaccines for faculty, staff and students are available at Jesse Owens North, 2151 Neil Ave. This location also serves as a COVID-19 testing site.

Hours of operation:

  • Monday and Tuesday - 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.  
  • Wednesday and Thursday - 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  
  • Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  
  • Closed on weekends

Book your appointment today. Walk-ins are welcome. Patients have a choice of Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

  1. Log in to your MyChart accountGo to the Appointments section and look for the “COVID-19 Vaccine” option. Don’t have a MyChart account? Sign up now.
  2. Call 614-688-8299 (VAXX), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Privacy areas will be available upon request. If you’re getting vaccinated during your workday/work shift, please coordinate with your manager in advance. For questions, email COVIDVaccine@osumc.edu.

Student Voluntary Vaccine Information 

Ohio State is reducing the testing requirements for students who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For vaccinated students attending our Columbus campus or living in university housing on any campus, testing will be required once a month or less, while unvaccinated students will be tested once a week or more. In addition, students who are vaccinated will usually not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19.

The university is asking students to voluntarily share their vaccination information so that the university can adjust inidividuals' testing schedule and quarantine requirements. This information will also assist Ohio State's overall public health response. 

How to report your vaccination status: Returning students will receive a message through My BuckMD asking them to log in with their Ohio State username (lastname.#) and provide consent for Student Life Student Health Services to access their vaccine information, including name, vaccination date(s) and the vaccination brand name/type.

  • Students who received their vaccine in the state of Ohio and provide consent will allow the university to access their vaccination information through Ohio Department of Health records.
  • Students who received the vaccine outside the state of Ohio will be asked to provide consent and upload the information directly through MyBuckMD. Many international vaccines will be accepted based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which rely on World Health Organization assessments. 

Sharing COVID-19 vaccination information is the first step before Ohio State can implement changes to the testing schedule. 

FAQs

Why should students submit their vaccine information?

Vaccinated students will not have to test as frequently and in most cases will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. Unless you voluntarily share your vaccination information, you will need to follow the same health protocols as the unvaccinated. In addition, collecting vaccination information allows the university to better adjust health protocols based on our community’s needs. If we can achieve a high vaccination rate, we hope to relax other health mandates. Please note that testing requirements currently apply to students attending our Columbus campus or living in university housing on any campus. Vaccinated students will be required to test once a month or less, while unvaccinated students will be tested once a week or more.

How do students submit their vaccine information?

Students have received a message through My BuckMD that asks them to provide consent for the university to access their vaccine information, including name, vaccination date(s) and the vaccination brand name/type.

  • For students who have been vaccinated in Ohio, the university will then be able to access vaccination information through Ohio Department of Health records.
  • For students who received the vaccine outside the state of Ohio, you will be able to upload the information directly through My BuckMD.

My BuckMD is a secure health portal.

How will the university use students' vaccine information?

Ohio State will use vaccination information to support public health efforts at the university. Student vaccine information will be used to determine students COVID-19 testing schedule, for contact tracing, isolating/quarantining or other individual case decisions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure, as aggregate data to determine the percentage of vaccinated Ohio State students, and to drive decisions on public health measures needed for the Ohio State community. 

Who will be able to view student vaccine information?

The university restricts access to personal information for specific uses. Vaccination information for specific individuals will be used in contact tracing, isolation/quarantining and other individual case decisions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure. The university will also aggregate data to create summary reports about the percentage of vaccinated Ohio State students and to drive decisions on public health measures needed for the Ohio State community. Personal health information will not be publicly shared or shared directly with your instructors, managers or other leaders.

When are people considered to be fully vaccinated?

Individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated 14 days after their final dose in a vaccination series. If you had a vaccine that requires two shots, that would be 14 days after the second shot.

 

Employee Voluntary Vaccine Information

To continue refining our overall public health response, the university is asking employees to voluntarily share their vaccine information by completing this simple form. The form asks for vaccination date(s) and the vaccination brand name/type. This information will be used for contact tracing, isolating/quarantining or other individual case decisions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure, as aggregate data to determine the percentage of vaccinated Ohio State employees, and to drive decisions on public health measures needed for the Ohio State community.

FAQs

Why should employees submit their vaccine information?

The university is asking employees to volunteer their vaccine information to assist our overall public health response. As Ohio State prepares for reactivated campuses in Autumn 2021, the university is finalizing public health protocols to keep the campus safe and healthy. Decisions will be made based on transmission and vaccination rates among students, faculty and staff. If we achieve a high vaccination rate among the university community, we hope to relax other health mandates.

How do employees submit vaccine information?

Employees received an email asking them to provide their vaccine information, including vaccination date(s) and the vaccination brand name/type.

How will the university use employee vaccine information?

Ohio State will use vaccination information to support public health efforts at the university. Vaccine information will be used for contact tracing, isolating/quarantining or other individual case decisions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure, as aggregate data to determine the percentage of vaccinated Ohio State students, and to drive decisions on public health measures needed for the Ohio State community.

Who will be able to view employee vaccine information?

The university restricts access to personal information for specific uses. Vaccination information for specific individuals will be used in contact tracing, isolation/quarantining and other individual case decisions in the event of a COVID-19 exposure. The university will also aggregate data to create summary reports about the percentage of vaccinated Ohio State students and to drive decisions on public health measures needed for the Ohio State community. Personal health information will not be publicly shared or shared directly with your instructors, managers or other leaders.

Will vaccination information be shared with managers?

No. Individuals’ vaccination information will not be shared with managers.

 

Vaccine Distribution Sites around Ohio

Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the State of Ohio is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at nearly 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

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

Continue Following Safe and Healthy Requirements

While this progress is promising, it remains critically important to keep following public health protocols – even if you receive the vaccine. That means continuing to wear masks, practicing physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings and consistently cleaning your hands. Together As Buckeyes, we will continue to do our part to have a safe and healthy spring semester – and beyond.

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.