COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement FAQ

The following information answers some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Elmhurst University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

If you have additional questions, please email, and a campus representative will assist you.

All students, faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination via our confidential and secure upload tool, Etrieve.

If you already have received a vaccine, you will submit your vaccination card using Etrieve.

Exemptions for medical and religious reasons will be considered. More details are provided below.

Elmhurst University students and faculty and staff members who are not considered fully vaccinated, due to either availability issues or exemptions, will be required to comply with additional restrictions.

Full vaccination — defined as two weeks after the final dose — is to be completed as soon as possible, but no later than by Jan. 15, 2022.

  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine protects you by preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
  • It is the quickest way we can all get back to normal. No more masks and no more physical distancing.
  • And the No. 1 reason to get vaccinated: It’s the right thing to do to protect the Elmhurst University community. Protect the Nest!

Scientists have identified COVID-19 vaccinations as the key factor in reducing COVID-19 infections and allowing us all to return to a less restricted, more normal way of life. Not only do these vaccines prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, they also help limit the spread of the virus within communities. This decision was taken seriously, debated at various levels of the University, and was ultimately reached after much research and consideration. It was based on the recommendations of the COVID-19 Task Force, the Academic Working Group, Faculty Council, Student Government Association Executive Board and Staff Council. Campus leadership also consulted with the University’s Board of Trustees COVID-19 Working Group and legal counsel.

If a student does not provide proof of vaccination by Jan. 15, 2022, they may face academic and social restrictions, including continued mask-wearing, quarantining when appropriate, and testing at their own cost. At a maximum, they may be unenrolled from their courses and not allowed on campus until proof of vaccination is provided.

Exemption Process

Exemptions for medical and religious reasons as required by law will be considered. To submit your request, complete the exemption form and submit it securely using one of the links below.

For more information about requesting an exemption, contact the Office of Human Resources.

The University will follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding participation by unvaccinated individuals in campus life, including mask-wearing and physical distancing.

  • Regular COVID-19 testing may be required.
  • If you contract COVID-19 or are exposed through close contact, you will be required to isolate or quarantine per public health guidance off-campus. If one cannot return home, then the individual must find alternate arrangements at their own cost.

If one does not want the vaccine, but not for medical or religious reasons, they may not be allowed to participate in certain activities. Students may not be allowed to register for classes, and employees may be released from employment.

Yes, you are still required to be vaccinated even if you were previously infected with COVID-19.

We will follow the guidance of the CDC and local health agencies regarding this possibility, and update the campus with any changes in requirements.

Yes, every employee is allotted two hours of sick time to get their vaccination.

Masks are still required indoors, but vaccinated individuals will not need to wear a mask outside.  In most outdoor situations, physical distancing isn’t required, but should be continued indoors for the time being. As the mask requirement and physical distancing guidelines evolve, we will update these FAQs and notify campus appropriately.

That said, we would like every member of the campus community to feel safe, and we understand that comfort levels differ from person to person. Please email to share any specific requests or concerns that you might have.

Only non-vaccinated individuals will need to be tested prior to arriving on campus this fall.

Students who do not plan to come to campus are exempt from this requirement but are still highly encouraged to get the vaccine.

Any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use by the FDA or by the World Health Organization (read an up-to-date list) will be accepted.

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

If you only receive one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you are not considered to be “fully vaccinated.”

Yes, the University will refund deposits.

In clinical trials, the COVID-19 vaccines were tested in tens of thousands of volunteers across different races, ethnicities, and ages, and there were no serious safety concerns. No vaccine is completely free of side effects. The most common side effects were pain at the injection site and symptoms like tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body. Many of these side effects are evidence of the immune system responding to the vaccine.

The risk of a more serious complication, such as an allergic reaction, to a COVID-19 vaccine is far lower than the risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. As these are new vaccines, we’re likely to hear news reports about rare events. For example, you may have heard that some individuals had severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to the vaccine; current estimates are that these happen in about 1 in 100,000 doses. For comparison, the antibiotic penicillin causes severe allergic reactions in 1 in 5,000 doses.


  • None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contains the live virus. This means that the vaccines cannot infect you with COVID-19, and you will not test positive with a viral test.
  • Most people do not experience side effects after vaccination. If you do experience side effects, they are usually mild and go away within a few hours or a few days. Common side effects include pain or swelling at the injection site, headache, chills, fatigue and fever.

Guidance for visitors to campus will be announced at a later time.

Last updated July 2022

Connect with #elmhurstu