Steps to Fulfill COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

To: University of Chicago Students
From: Richard McDonough, MD, Senior Medical Director for Student Health
Subject: Steps to Fulfill COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
Date: June 10, 2021

As the University announced on May 18, all students participating in in-person classes, research, or activities in the U.S. are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 starting with the 2021 Autumn Quarter. I write to outline the process for complying with this requirement.

Students participating in any University in-person or on-campus activity that begins in June, July or August will need to show proof of full vaccination by August 1. This includes early-arrival fall athletes and anyone in classes, labs, pre-matriculation, pre-orientation, orientation, University-sponsored trips, or other programs. All other students will need to show proof of full vaccination by September 1, 2021.

There are a limited number of exemptions, as described below and in the University’s Vaccination FAQs. Students who are not vaccinated or do not have an approved exemption will not be authorized to access campus or participate in in-person classes, research, or other activities after their vaccination deadline. This could also result in restrictions on course registration. Students who are not vaccinated, but who have an approved exemption, will be permitted to participate in in-person classes, research, and activities, but will be required to get tested weekly for COVID-19 through the University’s surveillance testing program and may be required to follow additional mitigation measures.

Uploading Your COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation

  • Go to my.WellnessPortal, the secure, HIPAA-compliant medical records system for UChicago Student Wellness.
  • Upload a photo of your vaccine card or screenshot/copy of your electronic medical record system. Your documentation must be in English and must clearly state the vaccine manufacturer and date(s) each dose was administered.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for submitting your documentation. Please do not submit your documentation until two weeks after you have received all doses of your vaccine. If you received your vaccine at UChicago Medicine or UChicago Student Wellness, you still need to upload your vaccine card/record using this system.

After uploading your documentation, your status in the my.WellnessPortal will change to “Awaiting Review” until your record has been verified. Documentation typically takes up to 10 business days to review; exemptions may take longer. If further action is required, you will receive a secure message in the portal as well as an email to your uchicago.edu address with further instructions.

Once your documentation has been verified and approved, your status will change to “Compliant,” and you will have fulfilled the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Medical and Religious Exemptions

To submit an exemption request for medical or religious reasons, please follow the instructions below.  Forms must be submitted in English.

  1. Click on Downloadable Forms from the left-hand menu of the my.WellnessPortal.
  2. Download the appropriate form.
  3. Complete the form with the requested information. For medical exemptions, have your healthcare provider complete and sign the appropriate section or provide a written and signed letter.
  4. Return to Downloadable Forms in the my.WellnessPortal.
  5. Upload the form/letter to the appropriate area.

Studying Remotely During 2021-22

Starting with the 2021 Autumn Quarter, students who are not returning to campus or participating in any University-sponsored in-person class, research, or activity may request an exemption on a quarter-by-quarter basis. The Studying Remotely Exemption Form can be found on the UChicago Student Wellness website and must be emailed to studentwellness@uchospitals.edu.

Recently COVID-positive

Students who recently tested positive for COVID-19 can receive a 90-day exemption from the vaccine requirement by emailing a copy of their test results to studentwellness@uchospitals.edu. After this 90-day period, students will be required to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, and participate in the University’s surveillance testing program until fully vaccinated and may be required to follow additional mitigation measures. In limited circumstances, students who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 may request a modification of the 90-day exemption. Students who wish to apply for such a modification must complete the Prior COVID-19 Exemption Form and email it to studentwellness@uchospitals.edu. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Emergency Use Authorization

If students have questions associated with the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S., they may contact UChicago Student Wellness at studentwellness@uchospitals.edu. See our Vaccination FAQs  for additional information about the EUA regulatory process as well as how to apply for a temporary exemption to the vaccine mandate. 

Requirements for Other Immunizations

Most students must also show proof of immunization for a number of other, non-COVID diseases under University policy and State of Illinois law. The full list of immunizations each student must comply with is listed under the “Medical Clearances” section of the my.WellnessPortal. The process for fulfilling the requirement or requesting exemptions for these other vaccines is similar to the process outlined above.

Please carefully review all of the questions in the University’s Vaccination FAQs, which are updated over time and include detailed information that will address many questions you may have, including the current list of vaccines that will be accepted.  The FAQs also include more detailed information on the exemption process. 

If you still have questions after reading the FAQs, please email studentwellness@uchospitals.edu with your question(s) and include your phone number and eight-digit student ID number.  We will be able to address your inquiry more efficiently via email, and we will call you if we need further information.  Forms and detailed instructions are also available on our immunizations webpage.