FAQs: Vaccines

Are Mason students required to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. All Mason students must submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination by August 1, 2021 (unless you have an approved medical or religious exemption). Only COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted.

Upload your COVID vaccination documentation to the patient portal. Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement page for more information about the requirement. Contact the Immunization Office (703-993-2135) if you have questions.

If I had COVID-19 and recovered, do I need still need to be vaccinated?

Yes. Mason requires all faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated, including those who have had COVID-19 and recovered. The university is following CDC guidelines, which advise that  individuals “should be vaccinated regardless of whether [they] already had COVID-19.”

Is natural immunity from a previous COVID-19 infection grounds to apply for a medical exemption from the vaccination?

No. Mason has never given, and does not plan to give, any employee or student an exemption from the vaccine requirement based solely on a claim of immunity from COVID based on previously having COVID or having a COVID antibody test showing the presence of COVID antibodies.  Granting such an exemption would not be consistent with current medical science or public health guidance.

I lost my vaccination card / documents. What should I do?

Contact the provider who administered the vaccination to request a replacement card. This may be a health department, pharmacy, or another health care provider. Documentation should include your name, the name of the health care facility/provider, type of vaccine, and the date of vaccination. 

If you were vaccinated in Virginia, you can request a copy of your immunization record using the Virginia Immunization Information System.

If you were vaccinated in another state, contact the state department of health to inquire about immunization records.  

If you cannot find documentation, your provider can complete the COVID Vaccine/Testing Form (PDF). 

I am a newly admitted or re-admitted student. Does the COVID vaccination also have to be transcribed onto the Mason Immunization Record Form?

No, it does not have to be transcribed onto the Immunization Record Form.   

You should submit your COVID vaccination documentation along with the Immunization Record Form (PDF).

What if I will not have received my second dose by the deadline?

Submit documentation of your first dose by the deadline. Once you receive your second dose, submit your proof of vaccination. 

What if I have questions about the vaccination requirement or proof of vaccination?

Contact the Immunization Office (703-993-2135).  

What if I have questions about COVID vaccines?

Contact your health care provider or call Student Health Services (703-993-2831). 

Visit the Office of Safety, Emergency, and Risk Management for FAQ about the Mason vaccine clinics. 

Information about COVID vaccines is also available from the Centers for Disease Control.

What if I have a medical reason that prevents me from receiving a vaccination?

Your health care provider must complete and sign the Mason Certificate of Medical Exemption for Immunizations Requirements Form. Upload it to the patient portal.  

Newly admitted or newly re-admitted students should submit the form with your Mason Immunization Record Form (PDF). 

What if I have a religious exemption to vaccination?

Students must submit the original, notarized Virginia Certificate of Religious Exemption Form (Form CRE-1) (PDF) Upload the form to the patient portal AND mail the original to:

Student Health Services Immunization Office

4400 University Drive, MS 2D3

Fairfax, VA 22030

Exemptions do not apply to the Tuberculosis Screening section on the Mason Immunization Record Form (PDF).

I am a current Mason student and already submitted my Virginia Certificate of Religious Exemption to Student Health. Do I need to submit a new one for COVID-19 vaccination?

No, you do not need to submit a new form. 


 

Third Shots / Boosters

What’s the difference between a third shot and a booster shot?

Third shots are given to individuals who are immunocompromised at least four weeks after a second shot.  A third shot is needed because a person who is immunocompromised may not have the desired antibody production from only two shots. 

A booster shot is given to certain populations at least six months after a second shot because there is evidence to suggest that people's immune response may decline over time.

Who is eligible for a third shot?

Individuals who are immunocompromised as defined by the CDC. A third shot should be administered at least four weeks after your second shot of Pfizer or Moderna.

Who is eligible for a booster shot?

Only those who have received Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago and fall into one of the following populations are eligible to receive a booster shot:

  • People 65 and older or people 18 and older who are residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster.
  • People ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster.
  • People ages 18 to 49 with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster; after consultation with your primary care provider.
  • People ages 18 to 64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings (i.e., high contact roles, health care, childcare teachers, instructional faculty, public safety, and counselors) may receive a booster after consultation with your primary care provider.  

Are instructional faculty and staff eligible for a booster shot based on their occupation as an educator?

Yes. Instructional faculty and staff age 18 or older who teach in person classes are eligible for a booster shot.

Where can I get a third or booster shot at Mason?

Mason is currently offering Pfizer third shots and booster shots for eligible individuals at Fenwick A, Monday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. ET.

If you need a third shot or a booster shot, you can schedule your vaccine appointment.

Moderna may offer shots at a later date if boosters are approved.

What if I received the Moderna vaccine?

You are eligible to receive a third shot of Moderna if you are immunocompromised

Moderna has not been approved for booster shots.

If you received Moderna vaccine and want a booster shot, it is anticipated that the CDC and FDA will approve Moderna booster shots in the coming weeks.

Moderna is not currently being offered at Mason but will be if booster shots are approved.

What if I was vaccinated in another state?

If you were vaccinated in another state, you can still obtain your third shot or booster shot, if eligible, at Mason.

You are required to bring your vaccine card to your appointment.

You may be required to contact your state’s health department to update your vaccination record. Virginia’s vaccination system may not communicate with your states vaccine record system. Regional state systems include: