Vaccination requirements: FAQs

Updated July 15, 2021

All SPU students and employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to submit documentary proof of vaccination prior to the start of Autumn Quarter 2021 unless an exception applies. Here are some frequently asked questions concerning the vaccination requirements.

FAQs

The University's goal is to return to in-person instruction, housing, and campus activities in Autumn Quarter as fully as we can with appropriate health and safety protocols. The decision is based on many factors, including the latest federal, state, and local guidance, the increasing availability of vaccines, and our continued desire to protect the health and safety of our community. We know getting vaccinated does not completely remove the risk of infection with the COVID-19 virus, but we believe vaccines are a vital piece in moving closer to resuming our normal way of living, working, and teaching on campus.

All registered undergraduate and graduate SPU students must be fully vaccinated by August 1, 2021, and all SPU employees must be fully vaccinated by August 16, 2021, unless an exception is approved. In line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, this allows at least two weeks after the last dose for one’s immune system to develop antibodies before the start of Autumn Quarter.

For purposes of SPU policies, being fully vaccinated means that by the applicable deadline (i.e., August 1 for students and August 16 for employees) you have received all recommended doses for a COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). For example, if you are a student receiving the Pfizer vaccine, it means you have received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine by August 1.

All registered undergraduate and graduate SPU students must be fully vaccinated by August 1, 2021, unless an exception applies (e.g., medical or religious exception, or because a student is only taking classes online).

International students coming to SPU for Autumn Quarter 2021 will also need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). Returning students should contact the Office of International Student Services for more information. New international students should contact International Admissions for more information.

Students are eligible for an exemption for the period of time they are studying fully online. Contact Health Services at 206-281-2231 or healthservices@spu.edu if this applies to you.

Students taking continuing education courses and not attending any classes on campus are exempt from this requirement.

It’s easy to find vaccination locations, and vaccines are currently in plentiful supply in Washington state. The Washington State Department of Health provides a helpful website which includes a vaccine locator and resources about COVID-19 vaccines. Public Health — Seattle & King County also has information about vaccines, eligibility, and access.

Exemptions will be considered for medical or religious reasons for both students and employees. Students should follow the instructions on the Health Requirements for Registration webpage to apply for an exemption. Employees should follow the instructions on the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination and Exemption webpage.

Students should follow the instructions on the Health Requirements for Registration webpage to upload documentary proof that they have been fully vaccinated. Employees should follow the instructions on the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination and Exemption webpage to submit documentary proof that they have been fully vaccinated. Documentary proof can consist of a copy of a CDC vaccination card, documentation of vaccination from a health care provider, or a state immunization information system record. If you have lost your vaccination card, you can contact your health care or vaccine provider directly for a copy of your records, or you can visit the Washington State immunization registry and sign up to view and print a copy of your records.

Guests and visitors are not required to show proof of vaccination, but are asked to follow the SPU COVID-19 Health and Safety Expectations.

SPU accepts COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Students who are not fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the beginning of Autumn Quarter 2021 will not be able to move into the residence halls or attend in-person classes.

Students and employees are not excused from the vaccination requirement solely because they already had COVID-19, although they could still seek a medical or religious exemption. 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 that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

Whether boosters for COVID-19 vaccines will be required will depend on a variety of factors. SPU will continue to monitor the situation during the academic year and provide updates at the time.

For rules regarding face coverings and other COVID-19 campus protocols, see SPU’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Expectations.

Under guidance from Governor Inslee for institutions of higher education and from the Department of Labor and Industries for employers, SPU is required to verify the vaccination status of students and employees and enforce face covering requirements.While SPU generally treats employment records and education records as confidential, SPU will share vaccination and exemption information it receives from students and employees as needed with SPU officials in order to fulfill legal requirements.

In general, SPU will not disclose to students whether their classmates or roommates have been vaccinated.

SPU students and employees are not prohibited from asking each other about vaccination status. All conversations about vaccination status should be respectful.  

Students and employees must comply with official requests from SPU for vaccination information, but students and employees are not obligated to share their vaccination information with each other. SPU employees are still expected to work with each other regardless of differences in vaccination status, and if any employee has a concern about safety they should share the concern with their supervisor.

EUA fact sheets are available on the CDC website.

Undergraduate students should contact the Office of Student Life at studentlife@spu.edu or 206-281-2481.

Graduate students should contact their program coordinators.

Faculty and staff should contact the Human Resources Office at hr@spu.edu or 206-281-2809.

Guests and visitors may call the Seattle Pacific University main phone number at 206-281-2000.