COVID-19 Vaccination and Boosters
ALL eligible Drexel faculty, staff and students are now required to get a COVID-19 booster dose of vaccine by the Winter term. Additional booster clinics are being held in partnership with SunRay pharmacy: see dates and sign up here.
Members of the Drexel community must upload their booster information into the Drexel Health Checker. In the Health Checker, click on "More," then select the Vaccine Records menu. Choose the option to ADD a vaccine record, then select BOOSTER plus the vaccine manufacturer/type from the list and add the booster dose information.
On This Page:
Why Vaccination Getting a Vaccine from Drexel Other Ways to Obtain Your Vaccine Proof of Vaccination Booster Shots More Info
Widespread vaccination builds widespread immunity. For the 2021-2022 academic year, Drexel requires all faculty, professional staff and postdoctoral trainees, as well as undergraduate and graduate students in full-time and part-time face-to-face programs, to be vaccinated, with limited medical and religious exceptions. Online students who have any residency/on-campus component to their studies are required to be vaccinated. Drexel strongly encourages that members of our community receive vaccination for the safety of themselves and those around them, even if their studies are fully online. All eligible on-campus community members who have not received a medical or religious exemption must also receive a booster vaccine shot for the Winter term, and upload proof of booster vaccination to the Drexel Health Checker. Learn more under "Booster Vaccinations" below.
If you're a Drexel community member, you can schedule a vaccination or booster shot appointment now by calling Student Health (215-220-4700) or using this secure link to schedule at one of our partnership clinics with SunRay Pharmacy:
Schedule Your COVID Vaccination or Booster
If you’ve been vaccinated and boosted, be sure to upload your proof of vaccination using the Drexel Health Checker (see "Providing Proof of Vaccination" below). It is important that you continue to wear a mask in all on-campus spaces and on public transit, and report any symptoms of COVID-19 through the Heath Checker.
Fully vaccinated, asymptomatic Drexel students and employees who have provided proof of vaccination through the Health Checker are not required to participate in mandatory weekly COVID testing. For their safety, unvaccinated on-campus students and employees will be tested regularly for COVID-19.
Learn more about Drexel's vaccination requirements and COVID vaccination requirements.
In Philadelphia, vaccine distribution is under the direction of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health
and may differ from distribution guidelines elsewhere in Pennsylvania and other states. All people age 5 and over are eligible to be vaccinated and protected from COVID-19 infection throughout the United States.
Vaccination has been shown to significantly decrease your risk of contracting COVID-19. It also greatly reduces the chance of severe disease, contributes to society-wide immunity to this deadly virus, and limits emergence of more contagious, disease-causing viral variants. It will keep our community safer and help us maintain a full in-person living, learning, and working experience. The COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States show remarkable effectiveness, and the CDC recommends them for everyone age 5 and older. For more information about the vaccines, visit the CDC’s website: CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Page.
Getting a Vaccine from Drexel
To provide our community with the safety and opportunity afforded by vaccination and prepare for a vaccinated campus community in Academic Year 2021-2022, Drexel is making vaccine available to all students, faculty and staff. COVID-19 vaccination is at no cost to you. Two types of vaccination clinics are being held on campus in order to maximize vaccination opportunities for our university community.
Drexel Student Health Center Clinics
Held Monday through Friday at the Student Health Center (3401 Market Street, Suite 105 B), these clinics offer the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine.
To register, please call 215-220-4700. You will need to provide a copy of your insurance card and Drexel ID Card.
Held Thursdays at the Dornsife Center (3509 Spring Garden Street), the staff of a local pharmacy administer vaccines.
Eligible community members are invited to schedule their vaccination appointment through this secure, confidential link
Individuals attending pharmacy-run clinics should bring their insurance cards and Drexel identification cards. The pharmacy may charge your insurance an administration fee, but there is no cost to you, and no uninsured person will be turned away.
Get a Flu Shot, Too:
Updated January 19, 2022
This flu season is worse than anticipated, and influenza vaccination helps protect both you and others who may be more vulnerable. Because flu symptoms can overlap with COVID-19, getting a flu shot could also reduce your risk of a COVID scare. Optional flu vaccination is offered at all Drexel COVID vaccine clinics, for a fee of $35. Consider getting both vaccines at once!
OTHER WAYS TO OBTAIN YOUR VACCINE
Click here to see the many options to schedule your vaccine or booster shot appointment in Philadelphia. Philadelphia residents can also email email@example.com with questions about vaccination. No matter where you are in the United States, you can visit Vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to conveniently find a vaccination site near you.
If you do not reside in the United States, see the FAQs below for information about vaccination.
PROVIDING PROOF OF VACCINATION
To meet Drexel’s vaccination requirements, you must upload proof of vaccination after your final dose, using the Drexel Health Checker (either the app or the browser version). You can use any internet-enabled device to do so.
- Log in to the Drexel Health Checker
- Navigate to “More” and select “Vaccine Records”
- Upload a photo or scanned copy of your vaccine card that fully shows the front of the filled-out card. Do not include images of anything but the actual card.
To upload: Select the image(s) of your vaccine card that you want to upload from your device. Be sure your name and birth date are visible, and your image(s) include all doses of the vaccine. If you have documentation on two different vaccine cards make sure you upload images of both cards; if it’s on front and back, include images of both sides. Most people will only need to upload the front of one card.
International students: If you were provided a document different from the CDC vaccination card, you may upload a photo of that document as long as it is an official document and contains the place where you received your vaccination, the vaccine type and the administration date(s).
- Manually enter the dates of COVID vaccination doses received (note: this is NOT asking for the current date when you enter the data in the system; only enter your vaccination dates).
Once you have completed the upload, you will be notified after 5 business days if there are any issues with your submission.
- Official documentation must contain name, birthdate, dates of doses, and the vaccine manufacturer.
- Documentation must also be provided in English. International students who are unable to secure documentation in English must bring proof of vaccination with them and be prepared to present it on arrival.
- If your manually entered dates do not match the date on the vaccine card, the dates on the card will be updated and reflected in the system or the upload will be deemed not compliant, and you will be asked to re-enter. Accurate information helps us provide guidance concerning your health in certain situations. It also helps us reach out to you in a timely way if there is a future need for a booster vaccine or other health measure.
ALL eligible Drexel faculty, staff and students are now required to get a COVID-19 booster dose of vaccine and upload proof of booster vaccination to the Drexel Health Checker by the Winter term.
The CDC recommends that ALL people over the age of 18, and Pfizer vaccine recipients 12+, obtain an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine (referred to as a “booster” dose) a few months after completing your initial vaccination. A booster dose helps the vaccine remain as effective as possible over long periods of time, and increases your body’s protection against COVID-19, including the delta and omicron variants. Although it may not completely prevent infection, especially with the omicron variant, people who have had booster doses appear less likely to become infected or to transmit the virus to others.
If you received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine at least two months ago, or if you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series (or any WHO internationally approved vaccine) five months ago or more, you should now get a booster dose. Read the latest CDC guidance.
Drexel is making booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available during our regular vaccine clinic hours (you can get a booster shot of either Pfizer or Moderna, regardless of which vaccine you originally received). You can schedule a booster vaccine appointment through Drexel/SunRay Pharmacy or through Student Health (call 215-220-4700). Make sure to bring your vaccination card and your Drexel ID. Flu shots will also be available at these clinics for a fee.
You can also schedule booster doses at most retail locations that
already administer COVID-19 vaccines (find a vaccine provider
near you at Vaccines.gov). Booster vaccines are available at no cost to you.
Note: Some individuals may experience side effects following a booster shot, including low-grade fever, fatigue, or pain at the injection site. If side effects do occur, they usually begin 6-12 hours after the shot, and last around 24 hours. For more information, read about boosters here.
Record your booster shot
If you receive a COVID-19 booster, you can now record it in the Drexel Health Checker.
- Click on "More," then select the Vaccine Records menu.
- Choose the option to ADD a vaccine record. Then select BOOSTER plus the vaccine manufacturer/type from the list and add the booster dose information.
Questions About Vaccination?
Call our vaccine information hotline at 215-703-2335. You can also learn more about boosters, side effects, vaccination types, and more on the CDC's COVID-19 website.
COVID Vaccination FAQs
Does Drexel require a booster shot?
Drexel requires a booster shot for students and employees who are eligible and have not received a religious or medical vaccine exemption.
According to the latest CDC guidance, ALL individuals over the age of 18 who were vaccinated with the J&J vaccine at least 2 months ago or who received the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine series 5 months ago or more are eligible for a booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. People age 12+ who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine series 5+ months ago are also eligible for a Pfizer booster shot.
Pfizer and Moderna booster shots are available at Drexel and at area retail pharmacies at no cost to you (call 215-220-4700 to schedule a booster shot through Student Health, or sign up for a booster shot through a Drexel/Sunray Pharmacy vaccine clinic).
If you received a COVID-19 booster, you must record it on the Drexel Health Checker. Click on "More," then select the Vaccine Records menu. Choose the option to ADD a vaccine record. Then select BOOSTER plus the vaccine manufacturer/type from the list and add the booster dose information.
Why do I need a booster shot?
Vaccine protection from infection becomes somewhat weaker over time. In addition, current COVID-19 vaccines only provide up to 30-35 percent protection against infection by the highly contagious Omicron variant. Fully vaccinated people who get a COVID-19 infection are less likely to become seriously ill or need hospital care than unvaccinated people, but you can still get sick and transmit the coronavirus to others. Booster shots increase your immune response against COVID and the Omicron variant, resulting in much better protection from infection and even less risk of serious illness.
Where can I get a booster shot?
Drexel holds vaccine clinics Monday through Friday at the Student Health Center, as well as Thursday afternoons at the Dornsife Center in partnership with Sunray Pharmacy. We are also providing booster vaccine doses at these clinics at no cost to you. Schedule your vaccine booster appointment through Student Health by calling 215-220-4700, or through a Drexel/Sunray Pharmacy clinic by clicking on this link. If you don’t see a slot for a booster appointment, check back as more clinic times will be added. Always bring your current vaccine card, insurance card (if you have one) and a form of identification with your birthdate on it when you go to a obtain a COVID-19 booster shot.
You can also schedule a no-cost booster dose at most retail locations that already administer COVID-19 vaccines, such as drug stores and Philadelphia city clinics. You can locate a vaccine provider near you at Vaccines.gov by simply entering your zip code and the vaccine you seek.
Drexel Vaccine Requirements
Why is vaccination being required?
Welcoming back our students and employees, in the safest way possible. Rates of COVID-19 infection and transmission are high among college-aged individuals related to the way young adults live and socialize, and this can also lead to infections among faculty and staff. Infections cause illness and result in quarantine and isolation which can adversely impact mental health. Vaccinated people are in much less danger of serious illness from COVID-19. Vaccination provides an important barrier against many new and more dangerous forms (variants) of COVID-19. By requiring vaccination, we will sharply reduce the potential for outbreaks on campus, while allowing everyone who wants to return to campus to do so.
Protecting ourselves and our community. Outbreaks on college campuses have been shown to lead to outbreaks in surrounding communities, including deaths among vulnerable populations. COVID-19 presents one of the greatest disease threats we have seen in any of our lifetimes, and we have decided that requiring the COVID-19 vaccine is in the best interest of our campus community.
As a leading presence in Philadelphia, Drexel is taking all steps necessary to protect our community and our neighbors.
For whom is vaccination (and a booster shot) required?
All undergraduate and graduate students taking part in any face-to-face classes, participating in extracurricular or other program activities on campus, accessing any facilities on campus, participating in any team sports, or working in Drexel facilities, are required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine AND get a booster shot if it has been 5 or more months since initial vaccination. This applies to both full- and part-time students who spend time on campus, even if they live off campus. Students in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Medicine must also be vaccinated for clinical placements as must students planning for university-related domestic or international travel.
Vaccination is not required for students who are attending fully online classes with no in-person requirements, are not living on campus, AND are not returning to campus at any time for any other reason (such as on-campus work, social engagements, or other extracurricular or programmatic activities). However, Drexel recommends that everyone who can get vaccinated do so.
Drexel University also requires all current faculty, professional staff, and post-doctoral trainees to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.
Students and employees granted vaccine exemption based on medical or religious grounds will follow key public heath measures for their individual and collective health and safety, including enrollment in regular COVID-19 testing, required mask-wearing when indoors, and maintaining appropriate distance.
More: COVID-19 Vaccination and Boosters
What if I simply do not want to be vaccinated?
Drexel will only allow vaccine exemptions based on documented medical or religious grounds, not on personal preference. However, students who elect not to receive the vaccine for other reasons will still be eligible for online classes.
Can I get vaccinated when I arrive on campus?
Yes. Drexel will make vaccine available to any students who have not yet been able to get vaccinated. You may be required to quarantine and receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to receiving your vaccine or starting in-person classes.
Until you are fully vaccinated, you will be enrolled in Drexel’s regular COVID-19 testing program, and should wear a mask while indoors on Drexel’s campus and maintain appropriate physical distance between yourself and others for your own safety.
Will international students be able to travel without vaccine to be vaccinated here?
At this time, yes, although you may be required to quarantine and receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to receiving your vaccine or starting in-person classes.
Until you are fully vaccinated, you will be enrolled in Drexel’s regular COVID-19 testing program, and you should wear a mask while indoors on Drexel’s campus and maintain appropriate physical distance between yourself and others for your own safety.
What if I received a COVID vaccine in another country?
There are numerous vaccines that are available in other countries but are not currently approved or authorized by the United States FDA. A list of FDA-approved or -authorized vaccines can be found here: Different COVID-19 Vaccines.
Drexel will accept documentation of receipt of a non-U.S.-authorized COVID vaccine that meets either of the below criteria:
If an international student has not received a vaccine that meets the above criteria, Drexel will provide FDA approved or authorized vaccine on arrival for all students who need it.
How do I request an exemption from COVID-19 vaccination?
Drexel will not grant exemptions from vaccine requirements based on personal preference. However, we recognize that some people have medical or religious reasons why they cannot get vaccinated. Drexel will allow COVID-19 vaccine exemption based on clearly documented medical or religious grounds. Only authorized Drexel personnel will know that you have been granted an exemption unless you volunteer this information to others. To apply for a vaccine exemption, click here and follow the guidance provided. Should you be granted exemption to COVID-19 immunization, you will be enrolled in a mandatory weekly COVID-19 screening program and be required to follow additional guidance for your protection which will be provided at the time exemption is granted. More information: COVID-19 Immunization Requirements
How long will it take to process my vaccine exemption request?
Exemption requests can take up to 2 weeks to process.
Where can I learn more about Drexel's vaccination requirements?
Things to Know About the Vaccine
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
All the COVID-19 vaccines harness your immune system to recognize and fight off COVID-19. The vaccines work in slightly different ways—see the CDC’s website for more information: How COVID-19 Vaccines Work.
Has this vaccine been approved by the FDA?
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is fully approved by the FDA as of August 23, 2021. The FDA has authorized the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for public use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although EUA is not the same as full FDA “approval,” a process which can take some time, all the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have undergone the most intensive monitoring process in United States history to prove that they are safe and effective. The vaccines are not considered experimental and they do not change your DNA. As of April 2021, more than 72 million people in the United States had been fully vaccinated (you can see the most current information on this website from NPR). More than 180 million people have received mRNA vaccines safely. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, including safety and efficacy, visit the CDC’s website.
Are COVID vaccines safe?
All the available COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 and were tested extensively for safety before they were made available to the public by the FDA approval or Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) during the pandemic. Learn more at the CDC’s website:
Who am I protecting by getting the vaccine?
First, the vaccine protects you! The vaccine also protects everyone you come in contact with by reducing the chance you will transmit COVID-19 to them. There are almost certainly people in your life who are at higher risk of dangerous complications from COVID-19—for example, people over age 65, people with higher body weight, or people with chronic health conditions like diabetes and asthma. You’re also protecting people at high risk that you don’t know are in danger; not every risk factor for COVID-19 is visible, obvious, or understood. What’s more, you are protecting the more vulnerable friends, relatives, and contacts of everyone you meet by not passing COVID-19 on to them.
People who received one of the U.S.-authorized vaccines are significantly less likely to contract symptomatic COVID-19 disease, and in clinical trials, no one who got the vaccines had to be hospitalized due to COVID-19. Aside from severe disease, some people who contract COVID-19 have lasting symptoms long after the acute infection has passed; vaccination is another layer of protection against these long-term effects.
Getting the Vaccine
Does it matter which vaccine I get?
You can receive any of the vaccines authorized or approved by the FDA. Drexel will continue to monitor which vaccines have been authorized or approved by the FDA and will update this information on our website as additional information becomes available. International students should see the specific guidance under the FAQs if they are vaccinated in a country outside the United States.
Which vaccine is Drexel offering?
Drexel will offer whichever vaccine we receive from the city of Philadelphia or is available through our pharmacy partner. Currently we are offering the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech mRNA vaccines. Area pharmacies and other outlets will also carry different vaccines, allowing you to choose. More information: CDC: Different COVID-19 Vaccines.
Do I have to pay to get vaccinated?
No. Vaccination is free to you, although if you have insurance, your insurance company may be charged a small fee.
What happens if I experience bad side effects from the vaccine?
Vaccine side effects are not usually severe. Most often, side effects mean that your immune system is at work! Some people report effects including fatigue, a sore arm near the injection site and, less frequently, muscle pain and other flu-like symptoms. If you need help dealing with vaccine side-effects, contact Student Health Services. People are monitored following vaccination for at least 15 minutes to watch for and treat any reactions from the vaccine, but such reactions are rare.
What are my options for time off if I get sick from the side effects of the vaccine?
Severe side effects from the vaccine are rare. However, if you are a Drexel employee and you experience side effects that make it difficult to work, you should take time off and use sick leave to do so. Students needing time off following vaccination should refer to the Provost's office website: Absence from Class - Office of the Provost.
What if there is no appointment available or I cannot make the dates listed?
More clinics will be scheduled. You will receive further communications from Drexel as vaccine becomes available and more clinics are routinely scheduled. In addition, many U.S. pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens have available vaccine appointments on weekends and evenings.
Finally, the City of Philadelphia now allows appointments for its large vaccination sites. The city also welcomes walk-ins for those who work or live in Philadelphia. The Center City Vaccination Clinic, located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is accepting walk-ups every day from 9AM to 4PM. Individuals seeking vaccination should bring proof of Philadelphia residence or proof of their employment in Philadelphia.
What if I received my first dose of vaccine but moved somewhere new (e.g., returning to a different home during summer or going to a new location for a clinical rotation?)
If possible, both vaccine appointments should be scheduled at the same location. If students return home prior to receiving their second vaccine dose of a two-dose series, they should work with a provider in their community to get that second dose at the appropriate time. Students should remember to bring their vaccination card with them to their second dose appointment. And it is important to get the same vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) for each of the two doses in the series.
Many providers are able to provide a second vaccine dose. College students returning home at the end of the academic year, even if that means to another state, should seek a second dose of vaccine (if applicable) in order to be fully protected against COVID-19. They should state that they cannot return to the same provider because of logistical challenges.
Where can I receive the vaccine, if I don’t get it from Drexel?
Vaccination is available at many sites across the region. For the Philadelphia area, you can use the city’s “Find a Vaccination Clinic” tool: Find a Vaccination Clinic
You can also use the Vaccines.gov tool to look up vaccination sites close to you, anywhere in the United States: Vaccines.gov vaccine finder
Vaccination and Infection
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because 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 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.
If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
I am partially vaccinated and have been exposed to an infected person. How does exposure after one shot (in a 2-shot series) affect my vaccine schedule and quarantine?
If you have a known COVID-19 exposure, you should begin quarantine and actively monitor for symptoms daily. To avoid exposure to others and health care personnel, we recommend rescheduling your second dose at the end of your quarantine period. If you are unable to reschedule, those who have had an exposure may be vaccinated if they DO NOT have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. You should ensure you take every measure to prevent spread of disease including 100% mask adherence, good hand hygiene and maintaining social distancing recommendations.
I had my first injection but have COVID infection (test positive) before my next injection (between vaccination series). What do I do now?
People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.
I have been fully vaccinated but am experiencing symptoms of COVID. What should I do?
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID you should start self-isolation and complete COVID testing 24 hours after onset of symptoms, irrespective of vaccination status. If test results are positive, you should complete at 10-day isolation period or until you have met criteria for discontinuation of isolation. For more information, go to our Quarantine and Isolation page.
How do I upload proof of vaccination?
To meet Drexel’s vaccination requirements, you must upload proof of vaccination after your final dose, using the Drexel Health Checker (either the app or the browser version). You can also upload proof of a booster shot. You can use any internet-enabled device to do so.
Open the Health Checker and click “More” in the bottom right corner. Select “Vaccine Records.” Choose the vaccine type from the drop-down menu, enter the date of your dose and lot number, and then upload a photo of your record. Click “Save.” If you receive a two-dose vaccine, you will need to record your first dose before you can add your final dose.
When you upload a photo of your vaccination card, note that the dates on your vaccination card must match the dates you enter on the Health Checker. This helps us help you when we provide guidance about your health in certain situations. It also helps us reach out to you in a timely way if there is a future need for a booster vaccine or other health measure.
For more about uploading proof of vaccination, see our COVID-19 Vaccination and Boosters page.
If I am fully vaccinated, do I still need to undergo mandatory testing?
No. As of May 30, 2021, asymptomatic, fully vaccinated persons no longer need mandatory testing. Any vaccinated person who has symptoms must still be evaluated for COVID-19 infection. You are “fully vaccinated” 14 days after completing the last shot of your vaccination. Be sure to upload your proof of vaccination in the Drexel Health Checker so we know you are able to safely opt out of the testing program.
I'm fully vaccinated. What can I do?
Fully vaccinated people can more safely undertake a range of social activities with fewer precautions than those who are not vaccinated. Refer to the CDC's information for fully vaccinated people to learn more.
Is it appropriate for me to ask others about their vaccination status?
It is inappropriate for any Drexel community member to inquire about the vaccination status of other members of our community unless they are University employees specifically tasked with ensuring such requirements are met (e.g., including, but not limited to the University’s Immunization Office, Residential Living Staff, etc.). Such inquiries imply judgment and may result in perceived or actual discrimination in the workplace. If you are a member of the Drexel community (faculty, professional staff or students) and have questions regarding vaccination issues, please send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance. Your questions may also be answered on this website. Thank you for understanding the sensitive nature of this information. As we move toward a safe and respectful return to campus, we must work together to ensure the best experience for all.