Widespread vaccination builds widespread immunity. Drexel University strongly encourages all eligible community members to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. The COVID-19 vaccines currently available to the public show remarkable effectiveness. For more information about the vaccines, visit the CDC’s website: CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Page.
To facilitate our return to a normal campus experience, with in-person teaching and campus life, Drexel will require 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 by the start of the 2021-2022 academic year, with limited medical and religious exceptions. Read more for specific deadline information.
IF YOU'RE A DREXEL COMMUNITY MEMBER, YOU CAN SCHEDULE A VACCINATION APPOINTMENT NOW THROUGH THIS SECURE LINK.
For those who have already been vaccinated, while you are not required to wear a mask outdoors, it remains important that you continue to wear a mask in all Drexel buildings, wash your hands frequently, and report any symptoms through the Drexel Health Checker. As more of our community becomes fully vaccinated and the amount of COVID-19 infection in our region continues to decrease, we anticipate that masks will become recommended and ultimately optional for vaccinated persons. However, at this time, we require masks to be worn when inside Drexel buildings while more of our campus population is being vaccinated.
Vaccination has been shown to significantly decrease your risk of COVID-19. It markedly reduces the chance of severe disease and holds the promise of our ability to move beyond the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty and professional staff also contributes to society-wide immunity to this deadly virus and limits emergence of more contagious, disease-causing viral variants. It will keep our community safe and help us resume a full in-person living, learning and working experience. The CDC’s new guidelines for vaccinated persons also illustrate the individual benefits: for example, vaccinated persons are not required to maintain physical distancing and do not need to wear a mask outdoors (however, note that Drexel still requires masks inside campus buildings), and vaccinated persons deemed exposed to COVID-19 need not quarantine. In addition to helping us stay safe and healthy, these guidelines give us a glimpse of the life that is possible with widespread vaccination.
As of May 30, 2021, 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 students and employees will be tested regularly for COVID-19 after vaccination deadlines communicated via email.
Who Must be Vaccinated for Academic Year 2021-2022?
Drexel requires vaccination for 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 including dorms, participating in any team sports, or working in Drexel facilities. This applies to both full- and part-time students who spend time on campus, whether they live or work on campus or off campus. All current faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees must also be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their return to campus, no later than August 1, 2021.
Students from throughout the country who are enrolled exclusively through Drexel University Online and who will not be on campus will not be required to provide proof of vaccination. 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.
Medical and religious exemptions will be considered based on the specific circumstances of each request, but our expectation is that the undergraduate and graduate student populations on campus will overwhelmingly consist of vaccinated individuals.
If you’ve been vaccinated, be sure to upload your proof of vaccination using the Drexel Health Checker. 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 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. Learn more about Drexel's vaccination requirements and COVID vaccination requirements.
- Students enrolled in semester-based programs (such as Medicine and Law) must upload proof of vaccination by July 1, 2021.
- All faculty and staff, as well as students in quarter-based programs, must upload proof of vaccination by August 1, 2021. Employees within the College of Nursing and Health Professions as well as the College of Medicine should consult with their managers to ensure they follow any additional school-specific guidelines.
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 12 and over are eligible to be vaccinated and protected from COVID-19 infection throughout the United States.
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. Two types of vaccination clinics are being held on campus in order to maximize vaccination opportunities for our university community. We will update the campus community when vaccine is available on a more regular basis through Student Health Services.
Current clinic location:
Behrakis Grand Hall within the Creese Student Center Complex, 3208 Chestnut Street
At pharmacy-operated clinics, vaccines are administered on campus in a designated clinical space by the staff of a local pharmacy.
Sign up for vaccination at a pharmacy-operated clinic
Eligible community members are invited to schedule their vaccination appointment through this secure 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.
Drexel has also been authorized by the City of Philadelphia to order vaccine as available and serve as a vaccine distribution site. Drexel-run vaccination clinics are operated entirely by Drexel staff.
TO REGISTER FOR A DREXEL-RUN CLINIC:
Eligible individuals will sign up for these clinics through a secure, confidential link and be asked to bring a form of identification. Always bring your Drexel ID card to access the clinic.
OTHER WAYS TO OBTAIN YOUR VACCINE
The City of Philadelphia has greatly expanded vaccination options for those who work or live in Philadelphia. Click here to see the many options to schedule your vaccine appointment in Philadelphia. Philadelphia residents can also email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Once you’re vaccinated, you can more safely undertake numerous activities—see the CDC’s guidelines for vaccinated persons. However, you must continue to follow local, state and organizational guidelines—including continuing to wear a face mask indoors while on Drexel properties or Drexel-associated housing.
To meet Drexel’s vaccination requirements, you must upload proof of vaccination using the Drexel Health Checker.
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. You must ensure the dates you enter match the dates on your card. Click “Save.” If you receive a two-dose vaccine, you will need to record your first dose before you can add your final dose.
COVID Vaccination FAQs
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 required?
Starting in Academic Year 2021, 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, will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This applies to both full- and part-time students who spend time on campus, whether they live or work on campus or 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).
Drexel University will require all current faculty, professional staff, and post-doctoral trainees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their return to campus, no later than August 1, 2021. Employees within the College of Nursing and Health Professions as well as the College of Medicine should consult with their managers to ensure they follow any additional school-specific guidelines. Similar to the policy for students, employees may request medical and religious exemptions. Employees granted vaccine exemption based on medical or religious grounds, or employees who choose not to upload proof of vaccination, 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.
If I am only taking online classes, must I still be vaccinated? What if I’m not living on campus?
If you are not living on campus or in Drexel-affiliated housing, AND you are not on campus for classes or for any other reason, you are not required to receive a vaccination. All students living in Drexel-affiliated housing must be vaccinated, regardless of whether they take classes in person. All students taking in-person classes must be vaccinated, regardless of whether they live on campus.
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.
Do I have to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus?
Not necessarily, although we ask that if you have a vaccine that requires two shots, you plan to have both doses at least two weeks prior to your arrival to avoid interruptions with your studies. As long as you have received your first shot before returning to campus, or within one month after returning to campus, you will be allowed to return. Note that if you need other required vaccines before the fall term, be sure to speak with your health care provider concerning the timing of your vaccinations. You must be fully vaccinated (including second dose if applicable, plus post-dose waiting period) within 6 weeks of the start of fall term.
Can I get vaccinated when I arrive on campus in the fall?
Yes. At the start of the fall term, Drexel will make vaccine available to any students who have not yet been vaccinated. We expect you to be fully vaccinated before arriving on campus for fall term but understand this will not be possible for all our students. You may be required to quarantine and receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to receiving your vaccine or starting in-person classes.
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.
What if I received a COVID vaccine in another country?
There are numerous vaccines that are available in other countries but are not currently authorized or recommended by the United States FDA. A list of FDA-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:
- The vaccine been authorized by a national regulatory agency classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a “stringent regulatory authority (SRA)” or by the European Medication Agency. Here is the link to WHO | List of Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs).
- The vaccine has been “pre-qualified” or authorized for “Emergency Use Listing” by the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluation process. The word "finalized" must appear under Status of Assessment. The WHO vaccine evaluation list can be found on the WHO's Emergency Use Listing for COVID-19 Vaccines page, under the Status of COVID-19 Vaccines within WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process link.
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 FDA has authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech, 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.
How safe and effective are the vaccines?
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 through Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) during the pandemic. Learn more at the CDC’s website:
How has the pandemic disproportionately impacted our communities of color, and how can vaccination reduce that impact?
Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities, as well as some other communities of color, all have higher than average rates of infection, sickness and/or death from COVID-19. In addition, many of the jobs lost due to the pandemic were among people from communities of color—especially Black and Latinx communities—who were already more likely to be facing poverty and food and housing insecurity. This is due to the effects of systemic racism, including disparities in health care, financing, education, and employment. It is vital that we keep working to address these issues at the societal and institutional levels. In the near-term, vaccination is a crucial means of keeping people alive who are at higher risk from COVID-19, and it will help people resume employment, access care, or go about other day-to-day activities more safely.
What if I am hesitant about getting vaccinated?
Vaccine hesitancy is not uncommon. In communities of color, such as Black, Latinx, and other communities, well-justified reasons to be cautious about the medical system and new medical innovations exist. The United States has a long and ongoing history of medical discrimination and neglect against Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities, and many others, leading to poorer health outcomes.
Because of the devastating impact of COVID-19 among communities of color, clinical trial leaders worked hard to determine whether vaccines were safe and effective for people in all communities. Cultural organizations, including houses of worship and historically black colleges and universities, worked to recruit volunteers who felt comfortable participating in clinical trials to ensure that marginalized populations were ethically represented. These trials found high effectiveness and safety among Black, Latinx, and other populations of color. The FDA continues to monitor vaccine rollout and collect any comments or complaints.
What are valid reasons to trust the speed of COVID-19 vaccine development and approval?
COVID-19 vaccines became available more rapidly than other vaccines thanks to a combination of innovative science, funding, and cooperation between scientists and governments on a scale we have not seen before. In short, when everyone makes it a priority, we can accomplish medical breakthroughs much more quickly without sacrificing safety.
The mRNA technology used to develop some COVID-19 vaccines has been studied and refined for years; we are lucky that it was finally ready when the pandemic hit. Researchers also had a head start because they’ve already studied close relatives of the virus that causes COVID-19. Innovations in genetics and computer science meant researchers could create targeted vaccines quickly, and the research community freely shared information around the world.
The vast human toll of this pandemic made vaccines the priority for governments, companies, communities and people across the world. That meant large amounts of funding: clinical trials could be larger and enroll volunteers more quickly, and researchers could pivot from other work to study COVID-19. Because funding was guaranteed by governments, vaccine suppliers could ramp up production of vaccines without taking a financial risk. There was also unprecedented collaboration between many government agencies during the approval process to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines, which reduced redundancy and helped shorten the vaccine development and testing time substantially.
Vaccines are subject to rigorous testing to ensure safety and effectiveness. Because of funding and collaboration, as well as a huge number of people willing to volunteer for clinical trials, this process could happen much more quickly. However, no safety protocols were abandoned—the same steps and precautions were taken as always. More than 100,000 people received the three authorized vaccines during clinical trials, and the trials showed a remarkable level of safety and effectiveness. While it’s true that full FDA approval may take time, the FDA only authorizes vaccines for emergency use if it’s very clear that the benefits far outweigh the risks. Learn more about how vaccines were developed: COVID-19 Vaccines: How Did We Get Them So Fast?
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 are you offering?
Drexel will offer whichever vaccine we receive from the city of Philadelphia or is available through our pharmacy partner. This is currently the Pfizer/BioNtech mRNA vaccine. 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 with the COVID-19 vaccine?
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 prove I have been vaccinated?
At this time, you will be able to upload your proof of vaccination (usually a card you receive at the time you get vaccinated) through the Drexel Health Checker.
To do this, open the Drexel 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.
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 email@example.com 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.