COVID-19 Vaccination Information

As we move forward, the health and safety of our community remains our top priority. The latest guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and American College Health Association (ACHA) all support vaccination as the best option for COVID-19 prevention. 

According to the CDC, institutes of higher education where all students, faculty, and staff are fully vaccinated prior to the start of the semester can return to full capacity in-person learning, without requiring or recommending masking or physical distancing for people who are fully vaccinated per the CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

We have learned a lot about COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Last fall, many colleges and universities were hot spots for virus transmission because of the way campus life inherently puts people in close proximity to each other, including residence and dining halls, classrooms, and gatherings. With that in mind, we have determined that a vaccination requirement is the best way to keep our community safe and prevent potential outbreaks as we return to more regular, in-person operations. 

All students, faculty (including adjuncts contracted for the fall semester and beyond), staff, and residents age 12 and older are required to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series unless the University approves a medical or religious accommodation or other accommodation/exemption as required by applicable law. This means: 

  • An individual has received two (2) doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one (1) dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; OR 
  • An individual has been vaccinated with another vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO).  

Proof of vaccination must be documented through the HIPAA-compliant patient portal for both students and employees. For persons who are unable to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to medical reasons, or sincerely held religious beliefs, exemptions may be requested. 

Anyone who has received an approved COVID-19 vaccination exemption/accommodation, or who may still be in the process of finishing their vaccination series, will be required to complete a weekly COVID-19 PCR test and report results to the Health and Wellness Clinic. 

Vaccine Availability

Vaccines are free and available to everyone 12 and over living in the U.S., regardless of immigration or insurance status. In Minnesota, appointments can be scheduled directly at one of the state’s community sites through Minnesota’s Vaccine Connector, and at many pharmacies. 

You can also search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations.

Vaccination Requirement FAQs

Yes. In light of the campus living environment and educational mission, a vaccination requirement offers the best protection against transmission in the campus community. Students, faculty, and staff must complete a COVID-19 vaccination series by August 16, 2021. This means: 

  • An individual has received two (2) doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one (1) dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; OR 
  • An individual has been vaccinated with another vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). 

We have continued to review the latest guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and American College Health Association (ACHA) related to institutes of higher education, which all support vaccination as the best way to protect against COVID-19. Based on that information, we believe this requirement is in the best interest of our community as we return to more in-person operations and, by announcing the requirement now, there is still time to complete the vaccination process before fall.

The ACHA “recommends COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all on-campus college and university students for fall semester 2021, in accordance with the IHE's normal exemption practices, including exemptions for medical contraindications. This recommendation applies to all students who live on campus and/or participate in on campus classes, studies, research, or activities.” 

The ACHA also indicated that on campuses where COVID-19 vaccination is required for all faculty, staff, and students — except those with medical or religious exemptions — and transmission in the broader community is low, it will be possible to remove many mitigation measures (e.g., masking, social distancing, etc.).

Documentation of vaccination will need to be uploaded to the Health and Wellness Clinic’s patient portal by:

  1. Clicking the “Immunizations” link.
  2. Entering the date(s) each dose was administered in the field(s) that correspond to the vaccine type received.
  3. Clicking “Submit.”
  4. Clicking “Upload” from the top navigation bar and following the instructions on the page to submit a copy of your vaccination card.

If you’ve lost your COVID vaccination record card, please request a duplicate copy from your health provider or the site where you received your vaccination. If you received your vaccination on campus, email immunization@stkate.edu to request a duplicate copy.

The patient portal connects to Medicat, a HIPAA-compliant electronic health record that includes an immunization compliance module we will use to collect COVID-19 vaccination information from both employees and students. Human Resources will have access to employee vaccination records, and Health and Wellness will have access to student vaccination records. Data submitted to the University will be treated as confidential consistent with and subject to applicable law.

Vaccination is a personal choice, however the University believes this requirement is in the best interest of our community. Unless a student, faculty, or staff member requests and receives a medical accommodation/exemption or exemption/accommodation based on a sincerely held religious belief, completion of a COVID-19 vaccination series must be submitted to the University by August 16, 2021.  

Student Affairs will follow up with students who have not reported vaccination by the deadline, and Human Resources will follow up with faculty and staff. Students will not be allowed to start classes or move into the residence halls until they are fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption/accommodation. Employees who are not vaccinated by the deadline and do not have an approved exemption/accommodation are resigning their employment at St. Kate’s.

Per the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. 

Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines

How are COVID-19 Vaccines Made (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions About How COVID-19 Vaccines are Made (video)

The University welcomes visitors to campus for a variety of reasons, including for events and programs. We will continue to follow our current guidelines. If vaccinated, no social distancing or mask is required. If not vaccinated, visitors are required to wear a mask.

With limited exceptions, vaccination will be required for all students. This is consistent with the other student vaccination requirements, and takes into account schedules that may change from semester to semester.

Students enrolled in a fully online program from matriculation to graduation* who do not need to come to campus may seek an exemption from the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Students in online academic programs who are already vaccinated or will be vaccinated by the deadline should submit their vaccination documentation through the Patient Portal. Other online students who are fully online and wish to remain unvaccinated should contact Student Affairs (studentaffairs@stkate.edu) regarding the exemption process.  

Faculty members (including adjuncts) teaching in a fully online program who do not need to come to campus and do not teach in-person at any other physical location affiliated with St. Kate's may seek an exemption from the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Faculty should contact Human Resources to request an exemption in this circumstance. Faculty teaching fully online who are already vaccinated or will be vaccinated by the deadline should submit their vaccination documentation through the Patient Portal.

If, at any time, a student or faculty member's program or course schedule changes such that the student or faculty member will be on campus or at another St. Kate's affiliated location (international or domestic global studies location, internship, clinical, or practicum placement), the student or faculty member must notify the University of this change and then are required to comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. 

*If a fully online program requires a clinical experience component, students may be required to be vaccinated to participate.

 

The expectation is that all students, faculty, and staff will be fully vaccinated — meaning they have completed their vaccination series and two weeks have passed since the last dose — by August 30, 2021. Students will not be allowed to start classes or move into the residence halls until they are fully vaccinated and have submitted vaccination documentation or received an exemption/accommodation. Employees who are not vaccinated by the deadline and do not have an approved exemption/accommodation are resigning their employment at St. Kate’s.

Yes, if booster shots are recommended by the CDC, MDH, or ACHA.

If you have already recorded the dates of your first and second vaccination and uploaded a copy of your vaccination card into the patient portal, you have met all the necessary requirements. If you have not yet recorded your vaccination dates and uploaded a copy of your vaccination card, you still need to provide this documentation in the patient portal.

Students in the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health who have already reported vaccination as part of program requirements will also need to report their vaccination in the patient portal as outlined above

If you have additional questions and would like to speak to a healthcare provider, please email the Health and Wellness Clinic at healthwellness@stkate.edu. They will help set up a time for you to speak with a healthcare provider in person. Please note that all communications are strictly confidential, and your questions or concerns cannot be shared with anyone without your written consent, including parents or guardians.

A process for providing vaccine access upon arrival to campus is in process and will be shared when complete.