Employee Vaccine Requirement FAQ

Juniata College will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

What is required? 

  • By February 1, 2022, employees need to provide documentation of full vaccination, which includes the receipt of a booster within 30 days of eligibility (6 months from the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or 2 months from receipt of the J&J) and email a copy of their vaccination cards to Human Resources at hr@juniata.edu.
  • Those who would like to apply for a medical or religious exemption from the College’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement may do so by submitting their request to hr@juniata.edu by January 18, 2022. Medical exemptions must be verified by a currently licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. Religious exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Request for Medical Accommodation
  • COVID -19 Vaccine Request for Religious Accommodation
  • Other exemptions from the vaccine requirement (beyond medical and religious) will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and, if approved, a monthly fee of $200 will be imposed for continued COVID-19 testing and for the potential of increased medical expenses due to higher rates of hospitalization and care for those unvaccinated. Email exemption requests to hr@juniata.edu.

What will happen if I can’t get the whole series by February 1, 2022? 

Please submit your vaccine card as it stands. You may let us know when you are scheduled for the second dose or booster or if you have received either of those. We will log your scheduled date and you will be considered in compliance with our requirements.  

I already reported my vaccine status to HR. Do I have to submit it again? 

Yes, HR must have a scanned copy of your vaccine card on file. 

What are the types of “other exemptions” that may be considered on a case-by-case basis?  

We will consider other exemptions on a case by case basis. We will accommodate Medical and Religious exemptions as documented and required by law. Non-Medical/Religious exemptions will be considered, however, and if approved, individuals will be required to pay a monthly fee for testing. 

If I have an exemption, do I have to pay for my weekly COVID testing? 

If you have an approved medical or religious exemption, you will not be assessed the testing fee. You will be assessed a testing fee on a monthly basis for any other approved exemption that is not for medical or religious reasons. 

What happens if my doctor cannot provide documentation of my medical exemption by the January 17, 2022 deadline? 

Your Doctor’s Office can provide us with an email indicating that your case is under review. 

If I was recently diagnosed with COVID, do I still need to get vaccinated? 

Depending on when you were diagnosed, you may or may not be eligible to be vaccinated and should consult your doctor to determine when you should begin your vaccination series or receive your booster. If you have been recently diagnosed with covid and are not eligible for the vaccine, the college will consider you exempted until the time that you become eligible.  

A medical provider has recommended a delay in receiving a dose or booster due to testing positive for COVID. Do I need to file a medical accommodation form? 

No. You can scan and send your vaccine card to hr@juniata.edu along with your reason for delay.  

What happens if I do not qualify for an accommodation, and I choose not to receive the vaccine?  

You will be required to document your choice and pay a monthly fee for testing. 

If I am just now starting the vaccination series, it would be impossible to complete the vaccine series and then get a booster since boosters are to be done at least 5-6 months after completing the primary COVID vaccination series. How will this be handled?  ( See FAQ: COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots | CDC or Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines | CDC

Juniata requires the booster for an employee to be considered fully vaccinated. As long as you have started the series, and obtain your booster at the time you become eligible, you will be in compliance. 

I started the series after the mandate was released. Is it ok if I submit my vaccine card showing I have started the vaccine series prior to 2/1/2022 to be in compliance? Or do I have to have the first two doses by 2/1/2022? 

As long as you have started the series, you will be considered in-compliance as long as you complete the series as expected. You will need to submit your card again when you receive subsequent doses. 

I received my first dose prior to 2/1/22, but I am not fully vaccinated. Will I need to participate in weekly surveillance testing? 

Yes, we will ask you to participate in weekly testing until you are fully vaccinated with the first two doses. You will also be required to test once your booster eligibility period has passed and you have not received the booster.  

What should I do if I have misplaced my vaccine card? 

Please contact the health care provider where you received the vaccination for a new record. 

A mandate and a charge for the unvaccinated seems extreme for Juniata. What about acceptance of a diversity of thought and belief? 

Juniata College’s decision to require reporting of vaccinations and booster shots for its employees was made to try and further protect campus from an ever-changing virus. In order to make our community as safe as possible, we are following science-based recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. We understand that there are individuals within our community that may not agree with this decision, but we want the community to know that this decision was based exclusively on keeping students, faculty and staff safe. 

Why do we require a Booster to be considered fully vaccinated? 

Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time and due to changes in variants. Although COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing severe disease, recent studies suggest their effectiveness at preventing infection or severe illness wanes over time, especially in people ages 65 years and older. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. Data from clinical trials showed that a booster shot increased the immune response in trial participants who finished a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series 6 months earlier or who received a J&J/Janssen single-dose vaccine 2 months earlier. With an increased immune response, people should have improved protection against getting infected with COVID-19. For Pfizer-BioNTech and J&J/Janssen, clinical trials also showed that a booster shot helped prevent severe disease. (See FAQ: COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots | CDC or Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines | CDC