COVID-19 Vaccine and Distribution

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccine and Distribution

Vaccines are a critical step to slowing and ultimately ending the COVID-19 pandemic. The UO will require COVID-19 vaccines for students and employees prior to fall term. The UO is working with public partners to provide access to vaccinations and information about vaccine safety, efficacy, and availability.


What You Need to Know

  • UO will require students and employees who learn, work or live on any UO campus to receive a COVID-19 vaccination prior to the start of the fall academic term. Students and employees will be able seek an exemption to the vaccination requirement for medical and non-medical reasons, including religious, philosophical, or other personal reasons.
  • Instructions on how to submit proof of vaccination or request an exemption, and other implementation details will be posted no later than July 26.
  • The deadlines to submit proof of vaccinated status or request an exemption:
    • Law school students, faculty, and staff  - August 13
    • Residence hall students - upon move-in and no earlier than September 14
    • All employees outside of the Law School - September 17
    • All students not in the Law School or residence halls - September 27
  • All individuals age 12 and up are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Oregon. Contact your county, pharmacy or health care provider to get vaccinated. The state provides information about how to find a vaccine. Walk-ins are now welcome at Lane County Public Health clinics. Appointments are still encouraged.
  • Guidance about quarantining for those who have been fully vaccinated as well as information about returning to campus for those who had a reaction to the vaccine can be found on the exposure scenarios page.

Vaccine FAQs

Vaccination Requirement

We will provide additional information on the COVID-19 vaccination requirement and implementation over the coming weeks. 

Is the UO requiring students and employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

UO will require students and employees who learn, work or live on the UO campuses and property to be fully vaccinated prior to the start of the fall 2021 academic term. The UO will recognize exemption requests.

When will the vaccination requirement be in effect?

The vaccination requirement will be in effect starting fall 2021.

How did the university reach this decision?

University leadership consulted with experts and stakeholders including students, faculty, and staff before making this decision. It is based on the scientific data that shows the COVID‑19 vaccine effectively eliminates death or serious illness in nearly all COVID‑19 infections.

Requiring vaccines, combined with other prevention measures, will help the university to reach the highest level of protection possible, reduce infections, limit many of the disruptions of COVID-19, and safeguard the community. It will also allow students, faculty and staff to return to the in-person and on-campus experience that is the cornerstone of academic success, student experience and research innovation.

Where can I get a vaccine?

You can receive a vaccine through a county public health agency, pharmacy, or health care provider. Those living in Lane County can go to a Lane County Public Health clinic.

I have already been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. How do I report to the university that I have met the requirement?

Students will be able to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccine as they do for other required vaccines through University Health Services by using the myUOHealth student portal. The university will communicate to employees about how to submit proof of vaccine in the near future.

Can I work or attend class on campus this summer without being fully vaccinated?

Yes. However, you will need to meet the vaccine requirement expectations, or request an exemption, before fall term to continue an onsite work assignment or attend fall classes.

Will the UO accept vaccines other than those approved for use in the U.S.?

The UO will accept any COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). In keeping with the CDC’s clinical considerations guidance, those who’ve received a vaccine that has not been approved by the WHO will be offered a US approved vaccine.

As the UO makes its vaccination requirement implementation plans, are there concerns about whether or not asking for proof of vaccination status violates HIPAA laws?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is a law that prevents health care professionals from sharing private health information without the patient’s permission. Generally, the law pertains to a health care setting. It does not prohibit the UO, or other institutions or businesses, from setting a policy that requires people to disclose their own vaccination status. Individuals can then choose whether to disclose by showing proof of vaccination.

For more information for international students related to the vaccine requirement and verification, as well as related travel questions, see International Student and Scholar Services’ Frequently Asked Questions.

Vaccination Exemptions

Can I seek an exemption to the university’s vaccine requirement?

Yes. UO will recognize both medical and non-medical exemptions to the vaccine requirement, consistent with state law.  Non-medical exemptions include the informed decision to decline immunization due to religious belief, philosophical belief, or other personal reasons, including but not limited to an informed decision to wait for one of the vaccine options to have full FDA approval. UO will provide additional information about the exemption process in the near future. Additional guidance is also available on the Oregon Health Authority website.

What is the deadline for applying for an exemption?

Deadlines vary for different student and employee groups:

  • Law school students, faculty, and staff  - August 13
  • Residence hall students - upon move-in and no earlier than September 14
  • All employees outside of the Law School - September 17
  • All students not in the Law School or residence halls - September 27

How do I apply for an exemption?

Instructions on how to submit proof of vaccination or request an exemption, and other implementation details will be posted and communicated no later than July 26.

General Vaccine Questions

Will the UO be offering vaccinations to faculty, staff, and students?

Yes, we provided clinics in April and May and will continue to assess when the next series of clinics should occur.

Will testing continue to be required as we move into vaccination phases?

Yes. Even as individuals get vaccinated, the protective strategies that we all have become accustomed to—face coverings, physical distancing, symptom self-checks, limited gathering, and taking advantage of free MAP testing—will continue to be important components of our plans.

What if I am a member of the UO community with risk factors such as age or health?

According to the Oregon Health Authority’s phased approach to distribution, UO community members may become eligible for vaccines due to personal circumstances and may book an appointment with their county, pharmacy, or health care provider to receive a vaccine. This may be the faster route for getting a vaccine for some individuals.

Why is it important for students and staff not in a high-risk category to be vaccinated?

The vaccine allows your body’s immune system to develop an antibody response that may protect you from getting sick, or developing a severe illness if you do contract COVID-19. Clinical trials have shown the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and an important step in stopping the pandemic.

I was just vaccinated. If I take a COVID-19 test, will I test positive or get a false-positive result?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use or in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests (e.g., qPCR test used by MAP and most providers). Viral tests are used to see if you have a current infection. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results. (Source: CDC)

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated”?

You are considered fully vaccinated after two weeks have passed since you received all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (the number of does varies by manufacturer).

Does being vaccinated mean I no longer need to be tested for COVID-19?

A person who is vaccinated can still contract COVID-19, so vaccination status has no bearing on your need to be tested if you develop symptoms of the virus or on the community benefit of asymptomatic testing. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19 or as sick as you might without the vaccine. The UO’s Monitoring and Assessment Program will continue to offer free COVID-19 asymptomatic testing opportunities for all UO employees, students, and Eugene/Springfield community members, regardless of their vaccination status.

Do I need still to wear a mask if I have been fully vaccinated?

The UO still has a face covering policy that requires face coverings indoors unless alone in a room regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are no longer required outside for anyone, though the state recommends that those who are not vaccinated or are at higher risk still wear face coverings outside when around others.

What if I don’t get my second dose on the exact day that my waiting period expires from when I received my first dose?

The second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be administered 21 days to six weeks after the first dose. The second dose of the Moderna vaccines may be administered 28 days to six weeks after the first dose. (Source: CDC)

Will I feel sick after my first or second doses?

After getting vaccinated, you may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. The most common side effects are pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. Side effects differ from person to person. You may have fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Please consider the possibility of a reaction as you register and arrange your schedule. Review HR’s Sick Leave options and FAQs around how you can use regular and emergency sick leave. The CDC offers more information here about side effects.

What if I lose my vaccine card?

Tip: Take a picture of your card after receiving your first dose. This way, if it is misplaced or lost, you can use it when you arrive to the clinic to receive your second dose.

The UO cannot process a request for a replacement vaccine card, although students can still get their second shot without a card.  To replace a lost card, submit an Adult Record Request through the Oregon Health Authority.

Am I completely immune from COVID-19 after I receive both doses of the vaccine?

No. Treat this vaccine like any other. You are never completely immune, but studies show that with COVID-19 vaccines, you have a significantly higher chance of fighting targeted viruses that attempt to enter your body two weeks after your second – or final – dose.

What about UO employees or students who are currently living outside Lane County?

Employees and students are welcome to schedule and travel to vaccination sites in Lane County. You may also register through your home county or state.

Where can I get more information about the COVID-19 vaccines?

The CDC has published important information regarding the recommended vaccines. Find more facts about COVID-19 vaccines.