Vaccine & Booster FAQs

Dr. Ohl: Boosters for students

Dr. Ohl: Boosters for faculty and staff

Student Vaccination Requirements

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 »

COVID-19:

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

COVID-19 booster:

Wake Forest will require a COVID-19 booster for the Spring 2022 semester. Read the Dec. 10 email for details »

Submitting, checking vaccine documentation

Please submit vaccine documentation through the Student Health Portal as soon as possible.

The status of your documentation will be available in the Student Health Portal under My Profile -> Immun. History:

  • If you see the COVID-19, booster or flu/influenza vaccine listed (along with the date you received it) or you see an exemption listed on your Immun. History page, this means that you’re in compliance with the policy.
  • If it has been 48 hours since you submitted and you do not see your COVID-19, booster or flu documentation or an exemption listed, check the Secure Messages section of the Student Health Portal. It may be that your submission needs additional information.

Faculty & Staff Vaccination Requirements

COVID-19 Vaccine & Booster:

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

  • I've tested postive for COVID. How does that impact my ability to get the booster?

    The booster is still required. Students will be given 90 days from their positive test result to receive and upload the booster vaccine documentation. (Note: Students can get their booster prior to the 90 days and should receive it as soon as they are feeling better).

    The student must submit their positive COVID test to shs@wfu.edu as soon as possible.

    A rapid test at home is acceptable, but the student has to tell SHS the date they tested positive.

    If the student did not have a test (but suspected it was COVID based on symptoms), WFU cannot offer an extension because COVID was not confirmed. Those students should get the booster as soon as their self-imposed isolation clears.

  • 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 & booster 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.