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coronavirus information for the Butler Community
Covid-19 Information for the Butler Community

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement FAQs

Is Butler University requiring COVID-19 vaccinations in fall 2021?

Yes.

Who is required to get a COVID-19 vaccination?

All Butler University students, faculty, and staff are required to receive a full course of an authorized COVID-19 vaccination. Full vaccination means it has been at least two weeks since receiving the final dose of an authorized vaccine.

How do I know if my co-workers and students have received COVID-19 vaccinations?

Student, faculty, and staff health records are protected by federal privacy laws.

It is not the responsibility of students, faculty, or staff to enforce the University’s policies and protocols for unvaccinated individuals. Although we rely on the honor system to ensure unvaccinated individuals adhere to policies like the wearing of masks indoors and in the presence of others, we will use regular surveillance testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantining of unvaccinated individuals to identify positive cases on campus and mitigate the risk of transmission to other unvaccinated individuals. When communicating with individuals during surveillance testing and contact tracing, we will continue to educate them about the benefits of vaccination and reinforce our policies for unvaccinated individuals.

Will vaccinated and unvaccinated students share rooms in the residence halls?

Yes. Because Butler has required COVID-19 vaccinations for students, faculty, and staff this year, and because we expect more than 90 percent of our community to be vaccinated early in the academic year, the likelihood of sharing a room with an unvaccinated student is very low. Still, not every student on campus can get vaccinated due to medical, religious, or other concerns, and it is important that we respect their situations and choices. Butler will not reveal a student’s vaccination status to another student, will not segregate students in the residence halls based on vaccination status, and will not accept requests to move students to new accommodations based on vaccination status.

Given that Butler has a high vaccination rate, why are masks required on campus for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals?

With the recent surge in positive cases from the COVID-19 Delta variant (which can be spread by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals), the CDC has recommended indoor masking. The University has chosen to implement this recommendation on a temporary basis, and will review the policy on a weekly basis. It is the University's intention to lift the restriction when the current surge in positive COVID-19 cases subsides.

What are the benefits of getting a vaccine?

Vaccinated individuals are able to return to pre-pandemic activities and are not required to wear masks indoors or outdoors, social distance, quarantine (if asymptomatic), nor participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing. Furthermore, the CDC states that vaccines are safe and effective with a number of benefits.  

I’ve heard the COVID-19 vaccines were rushed to market and weren’t properly tested. Is that true?

No. All of the COVID-19 vaccines are currently approved for emergency use by the FDA and underwent extensive testing. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Were developed using science that has been around for decades.
  • Are not experimental. They went through all the required stages of clinical trials. Extensive testing and monitoring have shown that these vaccines are safe and effective.
  • COVID-19 vaccines have received and continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history

Will Butler consider requests for exemption to this vaccination requirement?

Yes. Butler University will consider requests from students, faculty, and staff who have valid health-related, religious, or strongly held personal reasons for not getting a COVID-19 vaccination.

How can I request a personal exemption to the vaccination requirement?

To request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, please complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request Form:

  • Students should complete and send the form to healthservices@butler.edu with the subject “COVID-19 Exemption Request.”
  • Faculty and staff should complete and send the form to benefits@butler.edu with the subject “COVID-19 Exemption Request.”

How will Butler process requests for exemption to the vaccination requirement?

All requests for exemption to Butler’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by our Human Resources and medical teams. Individuals will be notified in a timely manner if their request is approved or denied. Until a determination is made, requestors will be required to adhere to all University policies and protocols for unvaccinated individuals.

If I have an approved exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, will I be required to adhere to stricter health and safety guidelines than vaccinated individuals?

Yes. Among the protocols, unvaccinated individuals: 

  • Will be required to undergo regular COVID-19 surveillance testing throughout the semester. More details will be shared later. 
  • Will be required to quarantine for 10 days if they come into contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Will be unable to participate in study abroad programs
  • Will wear face coverings when indoors and in the presence of others

I’ve been granted an exemption from the vaccination requirement, but fear that I will be ridiculed by others for not getting vaccinated. How will Butler handle this?

Given recent guidance from the CDC that everyone—including vaccinated individuals—wear masks indoors, no one should assume that an individual is unvaccinated simply because they are wearing a mask. Thus, unless you reveal that you are unvaccinated, it is unlikely that others will know your vaccination status. Nevertheless, should you become the target of ridicule or criticism due to your vaccination status or any other reason, please report the incident to the University. Butler insists that everyone respect the individual choices that we all must make as we each navigate the pandemic to the best of our abilities. Individuals who disrespect others for their choices regarding vaccination, face coverings, or any other reason will be subject to discipline by the University.

I previously tested positive for COVID-19, and still have antibodies. Am I required to get a COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes; however, if you choose to not get the vaccine, you can apply for a personal conviction exemption citing your prior COVID-19 positive status. According to the CDC, experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus, or a variant of the virus, that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. 

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma or if you have a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-A or MIS-C), consider waiting 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

What is the deadline for receiving a COVID-19 vaccination?

Students, faculty, and staff are expected to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination prior to August 1, 2021. You can find a vaccination clinic near you and schedule an appointment through the CDC website. For individuals who are unable to get fully vaccinated by August 1, the University intends to host a vaccination clinic on campus in August. More details about the vaccination clinic will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Students, faculty, and staff who are not fully vaccinated by August 1, 2021 are expected to follow all University policies and protocols for unvaccinated individuals until they become fully vaccinated.

How do I show proof that I have received a COVID-19 vaccination?

All students, faculty, and staff are required to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. If you have previously sent a photo of your vaccination card to Health Services, there is no need to take further action. For those who have not yet sent their vaccination card to Health Services, you can easily upload a photo of your vaccination card into our system. Please follow the instructions below, or click here to see these instructions with graphics.

  1. Go to myhealth.butler.edu and log in with your Butler credentials
  2. Click “Immunizations'' from the left-hand side of the window
  3. Click on the “Add immunization record...” button towards the top of the screen
  4. This will then bring up a File Upload window for you to then search for the Immunization document you wish to upload.
  5. We accept the following file types: PDF, PNG, JPG, JPEG, GIF
  6. Once uploaded, click on “Save Records”

I can’t get a COVID-19 vaccination prior to arriving on campus. Will there be a vaccination clinic on campus at the beginning of the semester?

We highly encourage people to get vaccinated prior to August 1, 2021. Butler University intends to host a vaccination clinic on campus in August if we are able to secure enough doses of the vaccine. Details about a possible vaccination clinic will be communicated in the coming weeks. You can find a vaccination clinic near you and schedule an appointment through the CDC website.

Will Butler University require the COVID-19 vaccine for campus affiliates and guests?

No. However, Butler University highly encourages all campus affiliates and guests to receive the vaccine and will allow them to participate in on-campus vaccination clinics, as we have done in the past. Unvaccinated guests and affiliates are expected to adhere to University policies and protocols while on campus, including the wearing of face masks and social distancing.

Is Butler waiving the requirement to live on campus again this year?

No. All full-time undergraduate students are required to live in University housing for six academic year semesters except those who are: a) commuting from and residing full-time in the primary residence of their parents or legal guardians which is within 30 miles of campus; or b) married or civilly unified and residing with spouse; or c) are a legal guardian of a child and residing with said child; or d) are a military veteran with two years of active service. 

Does Butler University have the legal right to require COVID-19 vaccinations?

Yes, the University may require COVID-19 vaccinations for students, faculty, and staff.

To whom can I direct questions about this policy?

Please email all questions to campusupdates@butler.edu