As of November 1, 2021, all University of Missouri—St. Louis faculty, staff, volunteers, and students who provide direct services in any campus physical or mental health care site are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect patient health and to minimize the impact of infections on staff. Supervisors will notify individuals who fall under this requirement.

Please refer to the FAQs below for more information about the policy, the exemption process and the timeline. If you have any questions, please contact:

Employees: UMSLHR@umsl.edu
Students: HealthServices@umsl.edu
Volunteers: UMSLHR@umsl.edu


Mandatory Vaccination Requirement FAQs


We are requiring COVID-19 vaccination to protect patient health and to minimize the impact of infections on staff. The evidence supports COVID-19 vaccines are safe and provide the most effective protection against hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. We are issuing this requirement now as COVID-19 prevalence, hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb in our state and nation, largely due to the highly contagious Delta variant.

Faculty, staff, volunteers, and students who provide direct services in the following campus physical or mental health care site are included in the mandatory vaccination policy:

  • Athletics (athletics trainers only)
  • Center for Behavioral Health
  • Center for Social Advocacy and Counseling
  • Center for Trauma Recovery
  • Child Advocacy Center
  • Community Psychological Services
  • UMSL Eye Care
  • Health, Counseling & Disability Access Services

Individuals considered to be direct service providers were identified by the leaders of each of the affected units. For example, they are individuals who conduct examinations or provide treatments or assessments to patients. Supervisors will notify individuals who meet this definition.

Throughout the clinical trials and administration under emergency use authorization (EUA), the vaccines have proven to be extremely effective and safe. To date, COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to over 171 million Americans – more than half the country – and the number increases each day. Worldwide, more than 3.5 billion doses have been administered since December in more than 200 countries. UMSL’s approach aligns with recommendations from top medical organizations and associations, including the American College Health Association, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association and many others. The Pfizer vaccine has received full FDA approval and is widely available.

Yes, vaccination mandates have been determined by courts to be legally valid while the vaccine is under an EUA. In addition, the Pfizer vaccine has received full FDA approval and is widely available.

A vaccine does not have to be 100% effective to be mandated. The COVID-19 vaccines a safely provide substantial protection against the virus and severe illness. They are some of the most effective vaccines that we have for any infection – and their effectiveness has stood up in real world use outside of the initial trials.

Vaccines are recommended even for people who have had COVID-19 because the natural immunity of COVID-19 varies per person. Vaccine-induced immunity appears to be stronger than immunity following a COVID infection. There is substantial evidence the vaccine provides additional protection for people who have already had the virus.

On September 2, 2021, the UM Board of Curators approved a resolution to not mandate new COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students unless required by federal or state law or regulations, however existing policies may remain in place such as MU Health’s policy for students in patient and clinical environments. UMSL also had a policy in vaccination requirement in place for those who provide direct services in any campus physical or mental health care site.

Vaccine Exemption FAQs


Requests for medical or religious exemptions must be submitted by September 28. You should be notified of the decision by October 11. The decision may be delayed if unforeseen circumstances arise. Requests for an exemption will be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Individuals who are granted a medical exemption or religious accommodation will be required to meet additional measures to limit exposure. These measures will be determined on a case-by-case basis to reflect the specifics of the clinical contact and may include upgraded masks or regular testing, among other measures.

To submit a request:

  • Employees and Students: To request an exemption, log in to myHR. The ‘COVID Upload’ webpage has a section titled ‘Request COVID Exemption’ on the left panel. Individuals will be notified via email if they are approved for the exemption. 
  • Courtesy Appointments and Volunteers: Email UMSL HR at umslhr@umsl.edu for additional instructions

Contraindications may include severe allergic reaction to a prior dose of the same vaccine, or to a component of the vaccine (either polyethylene glycol for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or polysorbate for the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine). Please reference these fact sheets for each of the vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen. Requests for medical exemptions for other reasons will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

There is a process to submit requests for medical exemptions and religious accommodations.

Requests for medical or religious exemptions must be submitted by September 28. You should be notified of the decision by October 11. The decision may be delayed if unforeseen circumstances arise. Requests for an exemption will be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Individuals who are granted a medical exemption or religious accommodation will be required to meet additional measures to limit exposure. These measures will be determined on a case-by-case basis to reflect the specifics of the clinical contact and may include upgraded masks or regular testing, among other measures.

To submit a request:

  • Employees and Students: To request an exemption, log in to myHR. The ‘COVID Upload’ webpage has a section titled ‘Request COVID Exemption’ on the left panel. Individuals will be notified via email if they are approved for the exemption. 
  • Courtesy Appointments and Volunteers: Email UMSL HR at umslhr@umsl.edu for additional instructions

Reach out to your health care provider to discuss the reaction, your concerns, and whether you wish to make a medical exemption request.

Talk to your health care provider about your personal situation. CDC guidance recommends vaccination for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.  CDC guidance further states that data about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy. 

Requests for medical or religious exemptions must be submitted by September 28. You should be notified of the decision by October 11. The decision may be delayed if unforeseen circumstances arise. Requests for an exemption will be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Individuals who are granted a medical exemption or religious accommodation will be required to meet additional measures to limit exposure. These measures will be determined on a case-by-case basis to reflect the specifics of the clinical contact and may include upgraded masks or regular testing, among other measures.

To submit a request:

  • Employees and Students: To request an exemption, log in to myHR. The ‘COVID Upload’ webpage has a section titled ‘Request COVID Exemption’ on the left panel. Individuals will be notified via email if they are approved for the exemption. 
  • Courtesy Appointments and Volunteers: Email UMSL HR at umslhr@umsl.edu for additional instructions

Timelines, Deadlines, and Vaccination Status FAQs


The deadline to be fully vaccinated, as evidenced by documentation received by myHR (employees) and Health Services (students), is November 1, 2021. Please reference the table for vaccine timelines and dates. For those who receive the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, it is recommended to avoid day-of vaccination to circumvent unforeseen vaccine shortages.

Vaccine Timeline Latest date to receive first dose Latest date to receive second dose Deadline to be fully vaccinated
Pfizer Three weeks apart Sept. 27, 2021 Oct. 18, 2021 Nov. 1, 2021
Moderna Four weeks apart Sept. 20, 2021 Oct. 18, 2021 Nov. 1, 2021
Johnson & Johnson Single dose Oct. 18, 2021 Not applicable: It is a single dose vaccine Nov. 1, 2021

A person is considered fully vaccinated greater than or equal to two weeks after completion of a two-dose vaccine or a single dose vaccine. 

Pfizer: The recommended timing of the second dose is 21 days following the first dose.

Moderna: The recommended timing of the second dose is 28 days following the first dose.

You will be asked to schedule your appointment for a second dose during your first-dose appointment. The second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible and ideally within 42 days of the first dose. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second dose for either vaccine after which the series would have to be restarted. Second doses administered within a grace period of ≤4 days from the recommended date for the second dose are considered valid; however, doses administered earlier do not need to be repeated. If you miss your scheduled second dose, reschedule to get it as soon as possible. The second dose must be from the same vaccine manufacturer as your first dose and should be given in the same state as your first dose.

No, two weeks must have passed since your vaccination to be considered fully vaccinated. The last day to receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine is October 18. Please consider receiving it as early as possible to ensure supply is available.

Follow the links below to upload an image of your COVID-19 vaccination record or card:

  • Employees and Employees: Upload to the myHR
  • Volunteers: Contact UMSL HR at umslhr@umsl.edu for more information
  • Employees and Students: From myHR click on the vaccination uploader tool and then click on View Submitted Form
  • Volunteers: Contact UMSL HR at umslhr@umsl.edu for more information; please include the unit in which you volunteer

If there is documentation of your COVID-19 vaccination in myHR (employees/students) or with UMSL Human Resources (volunteers), you do not need to take any further action. DO NOT email documentation of the COVID-19 Vaccination to Human Resources, Health Services or your supervisor.

For individuals required to receive a vaccine, managers will receive information necessary to assist with compliance. Information regarding vaccination status will otherwise be kept confidential in accordance with applicable laws.

Vaccinations available at many community locations. To find a location near you, visit the Start Safe. Stay Safe. website.

COVID-19 vaccination is provided free of charge.

Yes, all students who provide direct services in any campus physical or mental health care site as part of their UMSL work or training are required to be fully vaccinated.

As of early June, U.S. COVID deaths among those ages 18-29 represent 2.6% of all deaths in this age group. Further, people who have mild COVID-19 are at risk of having long-term symptoms that can significantly affect quality of life. The vaccine is our best defense against COVID, including the variant developing and spreading in our communities.

Patient-facing employees and students make a commitment to the safety of our patients and that means taking appropriate measures to protect ourselves from getting sick and, by extension, from transmitting illness to our vulnerable patient population. The disease is currently seeing a surge among the younger population and those who are unvaccinated. We must do our part to keep our population safe. The vaccine is our best defense against COVID, including the variants developing and spreading in our communities.

Current data indicates that booster doses will be necessary. Anyone subject to the vaccination requirement will also be required to receive booster doses following CDC and FDA guidance.

Faculty, staff, volunteers, and students who do not receive and provide documentation of their vaccination or an approved exemption by November 1, will be subject to disciplinary action which includes suspension without pay for up to seven days. Failing to provide documentation within the suspension period will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Yes, UMSL’s policy is comparable to the other UM System universities in requiring COVID-19 vaccination for patient-facing roles. UMSL’s approach also aligns with recommendations from top medical organizations and associations, including the American College Health Association, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association and many others.

Current data indicates that booster doses will be necessary. Anyone subject to the vaccination requirement will also be required to receive booster doses following CDC/FDA guidance.

Those with a fever of 100° F or greater in the 2 to 3 days immediately following the vaccine will need to stay home until they no longer have a fever and are not taking fever-reducing medication. If fever or other symptoms persist longer than 48 hours, please call your health care provider. Cough, loss of taste or smell, or shortness of breath have not been reported after the vaccine and should prompt a call to your health care provider as well.

Yes, you should still be vaccinated. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, you should wait to be vaccinated until you are outside of the isolation period and recovered (this is usually 10 days from symptom onset, have no fever for at least 24 hours AND improvement in other symptoms). If you have questions about whether you are outside of the isolation period, please contact your health care provider.

Yes. The vaccine registry will confirm your first dose so a new card can be generated at your second dose appointment. If you lost your card after the second dose, contact the Missouri Health Department for a new card.

As a precaution against potential allergic reactions, those being vaccinated remain in the area for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine to allow clinicians to observe any reactions and take necessary steps should they occur. If someone is identified to be high risk during the screening questionnaire, they will be monitored for 30 minutes. Most side effects occur within 1–2 days of receiving the vaccine and are mild, short- lived and can be managed with rest and Tylenol or Ibuprofen. The benefits of vaccine protection against COVID-19 illness far outweigh the risk of potential temporary side effects.