Vaccine Information

NDSU Employee Compliance Plan for Federal Vaccine Mandate

President Biden has issued an Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. NDSU is considered a Federal Contractor. The Federal Guidance requires employees of federal contractors with a covered contract to conform to vaccination, masking, and physical distancing protocol.

As a result, NDSU is notifying all its employees that they must have received their full series of vaccinations (i.e., either two shots of Pfizer/Moderna or one shot of J&J) and provide proof to NDSU or have received an exemption on or before January 4, 2022. Under the federal rules, there are only two permissible exemptions involving religious or medical concerns. Employees receiving an exemption will be required to maintain other mitigation efforts including mandatory weekly testing, masking, and social distancing.

Information about this requirement, along with information on how to submit proof of a vaccination or request an exemption is provided below.

 
Further information:
NDSU FAQ: COVID-19 Workplace Safety. See next section.
Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors
North Dakota Attorney General legal guidance
President Bresciani campus email
 
Direct Links:
NDSU Employee COVID Vaccine Requirement Verification Form
NDSU Employee COVID Vaccine Requirement - Medical Exemption Request Form
NDSU Employee COVID Vaccine Requirement - Religious Exemption Request Form
NDSU Employee COVID Vaccine Requirement - Remote Work Exception

Informational Videos:
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?
Delta and COVID-19 vaccines

NDSU FAQ: COVID-19 Workplace Safety

NDSU FAQ. Click here for pdf version.

1. What does the Federal Guidance require?
Federal Guidance requires:

• COVID-19 vaccination of full and part-time employees, except where an employee is legally entitled to an exemption for accommodation.

• Compliance by all individuals, including employees, students, visitors, and contractors with masking and physical distancing requirements while on NDSU and federal facilities.

2. What is the deadline to comply with the mandate?

The Federal Guidance provides that employees must have received their full series of vaccinations (i.e. either two shots of Pfizer/Moderna or one shot of J&J) on or before January 4, 2022 in order to be considered fully vaccinated by January 18, 2022. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last dose of a vaccine. Booster shots are encouraged but are not required.

NDSU will implement updated face covering requirements effective January 4, 2022 to comply with federal requirements.

3. Why is NDSU under Federal direction?
NDSU has approximately $147 million in annual awards for federal contracts, grants, appropriations, and student loans. We anticipate approximately $33 million of these awards to be applicable to the Executive Order. In addition, there are Federal buildings located on NDSU land which are subject to the Executive Order.

4. Who is required to comply with the vaccine mandate?
All full-time and part-time employees including faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and student employees. 

  • Any employee who directly performs work on a Federal covered contract.
  • Any employee who indirectly performs work, such as employees in human resources, billing, procurement, information technology, custodial services, and administration.
  • Any employee who may encounter one of the above employees anywhere on campus such as in outdoor spaces, lobbies, elevators, stairwells, meeting rooms, kitchens, dining areas, wellness facilities, and parking lots.
  • All NDSU locations, including Agricultural Branch Stations, are subject to this mandate since the location may have a federal covered contract and/or covered employees may travel to these locations.

5. How does the Federal Guidance affect employees working 100% remotely?
All remote employees who directly or indirectly work in connection with a covered federal contract are required to comply with the vaccination requirement.

100% remote employees who do not work directly or indirectly with a covered federal contract are not required to meet the vaccination requirement if they will never be present on campus. These employees may either:

6. Are employees of vendors or contractors who perform their job duties on campus required to adhere to the vaccine mandate?
Vendors are considered visitors and are not required to adhere to the vaccine mandate but should follow any masking or social distancing requirements in place when on campus.

Contractors or subcontractors who are not performing work on a covered Federal award or contract are not required to adhere to the vaccine mandate.

Contractors, subcontractors or subrecipients who are performing work on a covered Federal award or contract are required to adhere to the vaccine mandate and will be notified by Research and Creative Activity via the subaward agreement or an amendment to an existing subaward.

7. Does the vaccination mandate apply to students who are not employed by NDSU?
No, the vaccination mandate only applies to students who are employed by NDSU.

8. Are there exemptions to the Vaccine Mandate?
The Federal Guidance provides for the following types of exemptions:

  • Medical exemption: Employees who have a medical condition or disability which precludes vaccination. These exemption requests will be reviewed by Human Resources. (See question #9 for further guidance.)
  • Religious exemption: Employees who have a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that precludes vaccination. There is no exemption for a philosophical objection to vaccination. Exemption requests will have personal identifying information removed so the requests for exemption may be evaluated fairly and without personal bias by a committee appointed by the President. The exemption request form being utilized is based on a template by the Federal government. (See question #10 for further guidance.)

NDSU will work with employees who qualify for a vaccination exemption to determine what accommodations, if any, may allow the employee to continue to perform the job duties. Such accommodations may include:

  • Continue to wear a face covering even when the community transmission risk is at moderate or low.
  • Regular COVID-19 test with results reported directly to NDSU.
  • To the extent practicable, always maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

9. How can I obtain a Medical exemption?
To request a Medical exemption from either the vaccination or mask requirement, complete the following form: NDSU COVID Vaccine Requirement - Medical Exemption Request Form

Medical exemptions will be treated as a reasonable accommodation request under the ADA or Rehabilitation Act. The request will be reviewed by Human Resources. NDSU Human Resources will determine if an accommodation can be provided to employees who qualify for a medical exemption for both the vaccine and mask requirement.

10. How can I obtain a Religious exemption?
NDSU is utilizing the Religious Exemption Request form provided by the Federal Government. To request a Religious exemption from the vaccination requirement, complete the following request: NDSU COVID Vaccine Requirement - Religious Exemption Request Form

Employees may request an exemption due to a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Requests will have identifying information removed so the requests for exemption may be evaluated fairly and without personal bias. Requests will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the President.

11. I am a vaccinated student who already received the $100 vaccine incentive. What do I need to do?
You are in compliance and do not need to do anything further.

12. I am a student who did not receive the $100 vaccine incentive. Can I still get the $100 incentive if I become vaccinated?
Yes. The $100 Vaccine Incentive eligibility date is being extended until 1/4/22 for students who did not previously complete the vaccine incentive. The FAQ is located at COVID-19 Student Vaccine Incentive FAQ and the request form is available at: COVID-19 Student Vaccine Incentive Request Form.

13. I am already fully vaccinated. What do I need to do?
Employees should submit documentation of your vaccination at: NDSU COVID Vaccine Requirement Verification Form

One of the following documents may be uploaded as a digital copy, such as a photograph or a pdf scan. Student Health Service will verify the information.

  • A copy of the record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy;
  • A copy of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (CDC Form MLS-319813_R);
  • A copy of medical records documenting the vaccination;
  • A copy of immunization records from a public health or state immunization information system; or
  • Other official documentation verifying vaccination that includes all the following information:
    • Vaccine name;
    • Date(s) of administration; and
    • Name of health care or clinical site administering the vaccine.

14. I am not yet fully vaccinated. What do I need to do?
Begin the vaccination process as soon as possible. Please see the vaccine finder tool for a wide variety of locations to get a vaccine. https://www.vaccines.gov/search/

To assist the tracking of immunization status, we request employees submit documentation of both doses:

15. I already had COVID-19. Do I need to be vaccinated?
Yes, prior COVID-19 infection is not equivalent to vaccination for purposes of this federal mandate.

16. What should I do if I need to delay my vaccination because of a medical reason?
There are instances when the CDC or doctor may recommend delaying a vaccination for COVID-19. For example, the CDC recommends delaying COVID-19 vaccination for at least 90 days after receiving monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment. In instances of a documented medical necessity to delay a COVID-19 vaccination, complete the Medical Exemption Request Form for a Temporary exemption at: NDSU COVID Vaccine Requirement - Medical Exemption Request Form

17. What happens if I am not in compliance with the vaccine mandate?
Guidance for Federal Contractors is to utilize an enforcement policy that encourages employee compliance, including a limited period of counseling and education, followed by additional disciplinary measures if necessary.

18. Will there be a new face covering requirement and physical distancing requirement?
Per federal guidelines, NDSU is expecting to implement new face covering and physical distancing requirements effective January 4, 2022, which will meet the risk level of each county at that time, as determined in the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker County View. Currently all communities in N.D. are at a high or substantial risk, which requires all vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to wear a face covering when indoors, with some exceptions.

Counties with a moderate or low risk level require unvaccinated individuals to wear face coverings. Fully vaccinated people do not need to physically distance. NDSU will continue to monitor the status and will provide an update as we near the date.

19. If I have further questions, who do I contact?
We encourage employees to first contact their supervisor. If you still have questions, you can email ndsu.covid@ndsu.edu

North Dakota Vaccine Plan, Finder and Dashboard

Please click here for vaccine information from the North Dakota Department of Health, including the North Dakota vaccine plan, and dashboard.

Fargo Cass Public Health

Information about COVID-19 vaccine clinics hosted by FCPH, including important health and safety information, is available on its website: www.FargoCassPublicHealth.com/covidvaccine.

Members of the community are encouraged to rely on credible sources for reliable information about COVID-19 vaccine. Both the North Dakota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information on this important topic.

Why do college students need to get vaccinated?

Why college students should get a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Many young people will experience persistent COVID symptoms months after their initial illness.
  • Young adults are responsible for most of COVID-19 spread.
  • College students congregate in group settings where the COVID-19 virus can easily spread.
  • The Delta Variant, which is responsible for nearly all cases in ND, is highly contagious (may cause more than 2x as many infections as previous variants) and may lead to more serious disease.
  • Getting vaccinated will prevent infections and help limit the spread of disease, keeping college students and staff safe.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe!

  • The FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is the FDA’s strongest endorsement of safety and efficacy.
  • It is normal to have some side effects after receiving the vaccine. Side effects are typically mild and include injection site pain, swelling or redness, mild fever, chills, fatigue, headache and muscle and joint aches. These will usually go away in a day or two.
  • While COVID-19 vaccines have been linked to rare, more serious side effects, the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine can lead to infertility. For more information about vaccines and infertility, visit www.health.nd.gov/C19vaccine-and-infertility.

COVID-19 vaccines are effective!
No vaccine is 100% effective. However, COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and those around you from this virus (including the Delta variant). The vaccines continue to provide significant protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death; virtually all recent COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated people.

COVID-19 vaccines are free!
There should be no out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 vaccine. It is possible that health care providers may charge a fee to administer the vaccine; health insurance will cover any potential fee. Those who are uninsured and/or unable to pay the administration fee will not be turned away.

You need the COVID vaccine, even if you already had COVID.
The CDC recommends that everyone be vaccinated, regardless of whether they already had COVID-19 because:

  • Recent data shows that unvaccinated people are more likely to become reinfected with COVID-19 than those who are vaccinated.
  • COVID-19 vaccines provide a stronger and more consistent immune response than natural infection.
  • We do not know how long protection from COVID-19 lasts after an infection.
  • It is nearly impossible to predict who is at risk for reinfection among previous positives.
  • Being vaccinated may protect you against the variant strains of COVID.

How else can college students help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Other ways to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 include wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing of at least 6 feet, avoiding large gatherings, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, minimizing touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and washing your hands frequently with soap and water.

Where can I learn more?
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit www.ndsu.edu/centers/immunize or www.health.nd.gov/immunization-guidance-public.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine? 
Wear clothing that allows the clinician to easily access your upper arm. Consider wearing a short-sleeved shirt or wear a short-sleeved shirt under a sweater or jacket that can be easily removed. 
 
What happens right after I get the vaccine? 
You will be asked to wait 15 minutes in an observation area to monitor for any reactions. 
 
What are common side effects after vaccination? 
Common side effects from vaccination include pain, swelling or redness where the shot was given, a mild fever, chills, fatigue, headache, and muscle and joint aches.
 
Can I take pain medicine (e.g. acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) to manage the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination? The CDC has stated that patients can take pain medication after their vaccination if they feel side effects (e.g. pain, headache, or fever that cannot be tolerated). It is not recommended for individuals to take pain medication in anticipation of potential side effects prior to their vaccine.
 
Can people who have had COVID-19 receive the COVID-19 vaccine? Yes. Vaccination is offered to all individuals, regardless of their history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Are there reasons to not get the vaccine? 

  1. If you have recently had COVID-19. You should be recovered and have completed your isolation period before getting the vaccine. Isolation is generally 10 days but may be longer.
  2. If you were exposed to COVID-19, wait 14 days from your exposure. If you haven’t developed symptoms after 14 days, you may get the vaccine.
  3. Wait 90 days if you have received convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19.
  4. For more information related to the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine please see the Center for Disease Control Website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html

We will provide any information we get about possible events if that becomes available. In the meantime, individuals may choose to contact their own health care providers for more information.