Vaccine & Booster FAQs

COVID-19 booster shots are encouraged

With the emergence of the Omicron variant and for the continued safety of the campus community, it is recommended that all eligible students, faculty and staff get a COVID-19 booster shot.

If your original vaccination was Johnson & Johnson, you are eligible two months after your initial vaccine. If your original vaccination was Pfizer or Moderna, you are eligible six months after your second dose. If you live or work on campus or interact with campus regularly, you likely meet the eligibility requirements. Find a COVID-19 booster shot location and check your eligibility.

NOTES FOR STUDENTS:

  • It is possible, though not yet decided, that the booster shot will be required for enrollment in Spring 2022 semester courses.
  • Students are encouraged to upload proof of their booster vaccinations to the Student Health Portal. This data will help create a more accurate picture of the community’s ability to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as senior administrators and health experts prepare for Omicron and future variants.
Dr. Ohl: Boosters for students

Dr. Ohl: Boosters for faculty and staff


Student Vaccination Requirements

COVID-19: Wake Forest requires COVID-19 vaccinations for students. Policy »

Influenza: Wake Forest requires the influenza vaccine for students. To comply with this policy, you must get a flu vaccine (or request a religious or medical exemption) by Dec. 15, 2021. Policy »


Faculty & Staff Vaccination Requirements

COVID-19: Wake Forest requires COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees. Policy »

  • Exemptions: Employees can request a medical or religious exemption by completing the Employee COVID-19 Exemption Request Form.
  • Submitting Documentation: Faculty and staff who need to provide or update their vaccination status should do so via Workday using these instructions.

Influenza: Wake Forest requires influenza vaccinations for all employees. To comply with this policy, you must get a flu vaccine (or request a religious or medical exemption) by Dec. 15, 2021. Policy »

  • Exemptions: Employees can request a medical or religious exemption by completing the Employee Influenza Vaccine Form. Employees seeking an exemption for the 2021-22 academic year must submit a request through the form linked above regardless of any approved exemptions from the previous year.
  • Submitting Documentation: Faculty and staff who received a flu shot from their physician or at a local pharmacy should submit vaccination documentation via the Employee Influenza Vaccine Form. Faculty and staff who received a flu shot at one of the WFU-hosted on-campus or drive-through flu shot clinics are not required to upload documentation, as Human Resources tracked influenza vaccine compliance during the check-in process.

Information subject to change based upon the latest CDC recommendations.


    For Students

  • What does a student need to do to be considered fully vaccinated by WFU?

    Students must upload documentation of the appropriate doses of an FDA-authorized vaccine into the Student Health Portal:

    The documentation must show*:

    • Student’s name
    • The name of the vaccine received (e.g., Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson)
    • Date of the dose(s)
    • Who provided the vaccine (e.g., name of the clinic, COVID-19 CDC Vaccination Record card, name of the pharmacy, etc.).
    • Student’s date of birth
    • Wake Forest ID number (not required but recommended)

    * students may write in any of the above information on their vaccine documentation if needed. 

    NOTE: after uploading into the Student Health Portal, please allow 3-5 business days for the documentation to be processed. Students will not see a “compliant” indicator in the Student Health Portal until 14 days after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or 14 days after their single Johnson & Johnson dose.

  • If receive an exemption, what are the expectations?
    • Students who receive an exemption from vaccination will be required to wear face coverings at all times when indoors except in your residence hall room.
    • Students who receive an exemption must submit to regular asymptomatic testing.
    • Students who receive an exemption will be required to quarantine per University policy if exposed to a COVID-positive person.
  • I have test results showing I have antibodies for COVID-19. Can that be used in lieu of a vaccination?

    Antibodies are not recommended to be used as evidence of immunity by the CDC nor the FDA and will not be permitted as proof of nonsusceptibility to COVID. All students must have an FDA-authorized vaccine (unless they have been granted a medical or religious exemption).

  • Are there risks and/or safety concerns related to receiving more than one COVID vaccine? (i.e., if a student gets one in their home country that is not FDA authorized and need to get another when returning to Wake Forest).

    After consideration of the scientific data and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines that do not hold current FDA authorization, our infectious disease consultant, Dr. Chris Ohl, recommends revaccination with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine in order to protect the Wake Forest Community against transmission of COVID-19. The minimum interval between the last dose of a non-FDA-authorized vaccine and an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine is 28 days.

    After consideration of the scientific data and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines that do not hold current FDA authorization, Dr. Ohl recommended revaccination with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine in order to protect the Wake Forest community against transmission of COVID-19. The reasoning was that other vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization in some settings have been less effective in preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 especially in the context of the delta variant.  Our goal with the vaccine program was to 1) decrease the risk of serious illnesses and hospitalizations from COVID-19 as well as 2) decrease the incidence of symptomatic infections on campus.  Decreasing symptomatic cases will decrease the public health measures such as quarantine, isolation, and contact tracing needed to manage COVID-19.  This will allow the campus to operate in a more “normal” fashion in addition to increasing the safety of our campus.

    According to the CDC, the minimum interval between the last dose of a non-FDA-authorized vaccine and an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine is 28 days.  Dr. Ohl has assured us that the risk of adding another vaccine is no greater than the risk of the vaccine alone.  There is some evidence that the combination may, in fact, provide better immunity than either vaccine alone.

Vaccine information

Top Five Things to Know

  1. COVID-19 vaccines are safe. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in US history. These vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.
  2. COVID-19 vaccines work. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19. It may also help protect people around you, like your friends, your family, our school, and our community.
  3. You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal. You may have some side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, such as pain, redness or swelling at the injection site. You may also have tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they typically go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects.
  4. It takes 2 weeks after vaccination for you to be considered “fully vaccinated,” meaning your body has built protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. People are considered fully vaccinated:
    • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
    • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
    • You should keep using all the tools available to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated.
  5. After you are fully vaccinated, you can start to do some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccines are the key to getting back to normal. If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. More details about what you can do can be found on the CDC’s webpage.

Faculty & Staff Questions

If you have a question related to COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine documentation, or asymptomatic testing for Wake Forest faculty and staff that was not answered here, please submit your question(s) to Human Resources using this form.