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Loyola University Chicago Health, Safety, and Well-Being Update
Resources, Policies, and Procedures for the Loyola Community
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Vaccine Information

In an effort to further protect the health and safety of our community—particularly as we navigate the impact of the highly transmissive omicron variant—Loyola will now require students, faculty, and staff to receive a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if it has been at least five months since receiving a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or at least two months since receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, all adults 18 and older should receive a booster.  

All students, faculty, and staff are now required to receive a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine and upload proof to Loyola Health. If you have not already, get boosted now and upload the information to Loyola Health through the Loyola mobile app or at LUC.edu/vaxupload. If you have already received a booster, upload to Loyola Health as soon as possible. 

PLEASE NOTE: All Private Health Information at Loyola, including your vaccine records, is kept in strict confidence and protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant applications and storage. Learn more.

Loyola University Chicago requires that all full-time and part-time faculty, staff, and students be vaccinated for COVID-19. Read our statement announcing the vaccine requirement for students and the announcement for faculty and staff.

Loyola University Chicago's immunization/vaccination requirement is informed by our Jesuit, Catholic commitment to the common good, solidarity, and justice. Given the serious nature of the pandemic and the safety, efficacy, and availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, we are rightly called to make reasonable efforts to protect one another through vaccination. Those who are immunized prevent disease not only in themselves but also protect the vulnerable among us by preventing disease from spreading to pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly, and others who may be compromised by illness or social circumstance. Our vaccine requirement is informed by Catholic reasoning on the principle of moral cooperation, our obligation to the common good, and the guidance offered by the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Holy See through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

As of April 8, 2022, WHO has evaluated that the following vaccines against COVID-19 have met the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy:

  • AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer/BionTech
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac
  • COVAXIN
  • Covovax
  • Nuvaxovid

How to upload your vaccine card

Loyolans can upload their COVID-19 vaccination cards, including booster shot information, at LUC.edu/vaxupload. The Wellness Center will verify your vaccination card after it is uploaded. See below for more detailed instructions.

NOTE: All Private Health Information at Loyola, including your vaccine records, is kept in strict confidence and protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant applications and storage. Learn more.

Vaccination deadlines

To view the deadlines for COVID-19 vaccination compliance, click here.

Exemptions

Loyola will grant exemptions to students, faculty, and staff who have a valid medical or religious reason for not being vaccinated. If you are seeking an exemption, please send in your request as soon as possible to WellnessCenter@LUC.edu. Please note that requesting an exemption does not guarantee approval, and anyone denied an exemption must still be fully vaccinated to attend classes on campus. For medical exemptions please have this form completed by your health care provider.

Faculty and staff who need to file an exemption for a COVID-19 vaccine should complete the Vaccine Exemption Form on the Human Resources Forms page. Medical exemptions also require a certification form be completed by a licensed medical provider. Once complete, please submit your form(s) to Human Resources at EmployeeImmunizations@LUC.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Loyola Vaccine Planning

Does Loyola require COVID-19 vaccine booster shots?

In an effort to further protect the health and safety of our community—particularly as we navigate the impact of the highly transmissive omicron variant—Loyola will now require students, faculty, and staff to receive a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine

Students, faculty, and staff are required to receive a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine and upload proof to Loyola Health by Monday, February 21. If you have not already, get boosted now and upload the information to Loyola Health through the Loyola mobile app or at LUC.edu/vaxupload. If you have already received a booster, upload to Loyola Health as soon as possible.

How do I upload my vaccination card?

Loyolans can upload their COVID-19 vaccination cards by visiting LUC.edu/vaxupload. The Wellness Center will verify your vaccination card after it is uploaded. You should not submit a copy of your vaccination card by email.

To upload your card, please follow these simple steps:

  • Open the site and log in using your UVID and password
  • After logging in, select “Upload Vaccination” on the top menu
  • Select the vaccine type (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson), enter the date of your first and/or second doses, and upload your vaccination card. An image of the upload form can be found below
  • After entering all information, click “Submit” to save the vaccination card

Please note that the verification process through the Wellness Center will take some time. We appreciate your patience.

All Private Health Information at Loyola, including your vaccine records, is kept in strict confidence and protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant applications and storage. Learn more.

What should I do if my vaccine card is rejected?

If your vaccination card was not approved, check that your vaccine documentation meets the criteria listed below and resubmit. Vaccine records must contain the following:

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Type of Vaccine (i.e. Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, etc.)
  • Lot Number
  • Date of Vaccination
  • Site Location or Signature of Vaccine Administrator

If you are missing your name, date of birth, site location, or type of vaccine, please update your card before resubmission. If your last name has changed, please put your old last name in parentheses near your new last name.If you submitting documentation that is not a CDC Vaccination Record Card, please be sure that your paperwork/summary/discharge sheet shows the same vaccine information listed above and notes BOTH vaccines with lot numbers, dates, and location.Please upload only PDF, JPEG, JPG, JPNG or DOCX, MOV files. We are unable to open HEIC (“Live” iOS photos) and TEXT files.

Can I get an exemption from the vaccine requirement?

Loyola will grant exemptions to students who have a valid medical or religious reason not to be vaccinated. Please note that requesting an exemption does not guarantee approval. Loyola will only accept medical exemptions that meet CDC-defined contraindications to the COVID-19 vaccine. Please have your health care provider complete this form and submit it to WellnessCenter@LUC.edu. Completion of this form does not guarantee approval of your exemption request.

Religious exemption requires a signed written statement from the student describing the reason for the exemption and must include the following, as dictated by the State of Illinois:

  • An explanation of the reason for exemption in your own words that is based on an identifiable religious tradition and/or established interpretation of principles of faith.
  • An indication of whether this religious belief constitutes an objection to all immunizations or only this vaccine; if it is not an objection to all immunizations you must explain the religious basis for not receiving this particular immunization
  • A statement that the student (or parent/guardian if the student is under 18) is aware they will be prohibited from attending classes and dorms in the case of a vaccine preventable outbreak or exposure

Exemption documentation and related questions should be sent to WellnessCenter@LUC.edu.

If your exemption request is not granted, you are still required to be vaccinated. All decisions are final.

For more information about state required vaccine exemptions visit: https://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/077/07700694sections.html

Can I get vaccinated at Loyola?

Loyola Medicine is now scheduling appointments for vaccinations. However it is not feasible at this time for Loyola University Chicago to provide vaccines on its other campuses. For information on how to schedule an appointment through Loyola Medicine, or at another site, please see "Where can I get vaccinated?" below.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Vaccine appointments are now available at Loyola Medicine. If you are an existing LUHS patient, please view the MyLoyola Scheduling Covid Vaccine document for instructions on how to schedule your appointment. If you are a new LUHS patient, please view the Create MyLoyola account document to get started.

For people living or working in Chicago, you can register to receive a vaccine at zocdoc.com/vaccine. This site is also being used by many other states. In addition, COVID Coach is an app operated by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) where you can find all of the details for the City of Chicago's testing plans, vaccination registration, and information on where you can register for a vaccine. Many locations are also now offering walk-in vaccines with no appointment needed.

How can international students get vaccinated?

If you are an international student planning to study at Loyola, please contact the the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at ISSS@LUC.edu for more information on how to achieve compliance with LUC’s vaccine mandate when arriving from abroad.

Is the vaccine covered by Loyola health insurance plans?

Yes. Both Loyola’s health plan provider Aetna and prescription benefit provider CVS are covering vaccine administration at 100 percent, not subject to any copays or deductibles.

What to expect on campus

Will vaccines change Loyola’s health and safety requirements?

Yes, Loyola's established policies, including surveillance testing, differ for individuals who are fully vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated. These policies have been established in accordance with CDC and local public health guidance. Please visit our Return to Campus site for full details on our policies for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Will I still need to be tested after getting the vaccine?

As of May 23, 2021, vaccinated Loyolans are no longer be required to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing. If you are fully vaccinated, you may still participate in testing on a voluntary basis. 

In order to be exempt from testing, however, you MUST upload your vaccination card to LUC.edu/vaxupload. This is the only way for Loyola to verify that you have been vaccinated, and anyone who does not submit a vaccine card will still be required to following current testing protocol.

If you have not been fully vaccinated, have been granted a medical or religious exemption from the vaccine requirement, or have not uploaded your vaccination card, you will still be required to participate in surveillance testing. Our current compliance policy will continue to apply to those who are required to test.

Vaccine Basics

Who should get the vaccine?

In general, all members of the Loyola University Chicago community are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, the vaccines are approved for use in anyone age 12 or older.

Some individuals may have additional considerations when it comes to being vaccinated, such as allergies, pregnancy, or a suppressed immune system. Data is still emerging on some of these areas. You should consult with your health care provider if you have specific questions about whether it is safe for you to receive the vaccine.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for three COVID-19 vaccines. EUA allows for rapid and widespread distribution of medical products based on scientific evidence to support their use and no available alternatives in an emergency situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is important to note that the level of scrutiny for EUA products is similar to a fully licensed FDA product, and the FDA continues to collect data on EUA products and conducts additional review prior to granting full licensure.

The approved COVID-19 vaccines have undergone large clinical trials that enrolled thousands of patients before being granted EUA. The United States also has a reporting system to track vaccine usage and spot potential problems, and the COVID-19 vaccines are being monitored in the same manner. To date, no serious safety concerns have been reported in relation to the available vaccines.

For additional information on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, please see this site.

NOTE: After a temporary pause for additional study, the CDC and FDA have recommended that the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine resume in the United States. According to the CDC, "A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks for those recommended to receive it."

What are the potential side effects?

It is common with vaccines to experience some side effects, although the specific reaction to the vaccine differs from person to person. (It is similar to the way some people respond to receiving their annual flu vaccine.)

One of the most commonly reported side effects is pain or swelling in the spot where the person received their injection. Other common reactions are headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, and chills, which can be mild to moderate in severity and usually only last a day or two after receiving the shot. These are signs that your immune system is responding to the vaccine, which is a positive. If symptoms persist or become more severe, you should consult your physician.

Resources and General Information

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines, their safety and efficacy, and national rollout plans, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

National Public Radio’s health news website is also an excellent resource for the latest news on the vaccines and their distribution around the country, with answers to many common questions.

Vaccine distribution

The Chicago Department of Public Health has developed a vaccine website with information on how and where to get vaccines in the city, as well as the Chi COVID Coach, a tool to help the city’s residents stay updated on vaccine rollout in Chicago.

For information on the state of Illinois, please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website.

Finding an appointment

Loyola encourages you to schedule a vaccination appointment anywhere they are available. Many locations are now offering walk-in appointments with no advance registration. Consider checking with your health care provider, pharmacy, and these helpful sites to find an appointment:

As of April 8, 2022, WHO has evaluated that the following vaccines against COVID-19 have met the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy:

  • AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer/BionTech
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac
  • COVAXIN
  • Covovax
  • Nuvaxovid

How to upload your vaccine card

Loyolans can upload their COVID-19 vaccination cards, including booster shot information, at LUC.edu/vaxupload. The Wellness Center will verify your vaccination card after it is uploaded. See below for more detailed instructions.

NOTE: All Private Health Information at Loyola, including your vaccine records, is kept in strict confidence and protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant applications and storage. Learn more.

Vaccination deadlines

To view the deadlines for COVID-19 vaccination compliance, click here.

Exemptions

Loyola will grant exemptions to students, faculty, and staff who have a valid medical or religious reason for not being vaccinated. If you are seeking an exemption, please send in your request as soon as possible to WellnessCenter@LUC.edu. Please note that requesting an exemption does not guarantee approval, and anyone denied an exemption must still be fully vaccinated to attend classes on campus. For medical exemptions please have this form completed by your health care provider.

Faculty and staff who need to file an exemption for a COVID-19 vaccine should complete the Vaccine Exemption Form on the Human Resources Forms page. Medical exemptions also require a certification form be completed by a licensed medical provider. Once complete, please submit your form(s) to Human Resources at EmployeeImmunizations@LUC.edu.