May 13 Student Memo

Fall 2021 Mandatory Student COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

 May 13, 2021

COVID-19 can be a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Anyone can get very sick from COVID-19, including people who are otherwise healthy. Due to the high risk for all individuals and the community, it is especially important to take all measures to mitigate spread of COVID-19. For the safety and health of students and the broader MICA community, and in preparation for return to in-person learning during Fall 2021, a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy is in effect for all MICA students.

Students are required to submit written documentation attesting to their proof of vaccination to MICA’s Student Health Center by uploading their materials to the secure Medicat Student Health portal found on the Health Center's webpage.

To remain compliant for Fall 2021, the deadline to submit COVID-19 vaccine documentation is Thursday July 15, 2021.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true that you can get sick with COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccine?

No, you cannot get sick with COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines contain harmless pieces of genetic material rather than the live virus that causes COVID-19. Per the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight these viruses. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms and the most common vaccine side effects include:

  • Soreness, redness or swelling where the shot is given
  • Mild headache, low grade fever, muscle aches, nausea, and fatigue

These side effects could affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Almost all people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine have no serious problems. However, if a student believes that they are experiencing adverse effects related to the vaccination, they should contact their primary care provider.

When should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

You should plan to the get COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that most of the currently authorized vaccines require two separate injections. (See references below) 

I am an international student and unable to get the COVID-19 vaccine shot prior to my on- campus arrival.

MICA will not prohibit any international students from attending this fall who cannot be vaccinated in their home country prior to the start of the fall semester. If this is the case, we ask that you complete the attached temporary waiver for international students and know that MICA is working out details on providing you access to the vaccine upon arrival. However, students will need to get their vaccine shot within one week of their arrival to campus.

I am an international student and received a COVID-19 vaccine which is not currently authorized in the United States.

Due to the complex and evolving nature of vaccine distribution worldwide, it is highly recommended that all students receive a locally available COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Those who are unable to obtain/complete a COVID-19 vaccine series authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be required to initiate an FDA authorized vaccine series within one week of their arrival to campus.

MICA will accept any completed WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccines for the Fall 2021 semester. Please provide documentation by Thursday, July 15, 2021.

What if I have a medical or religious reason for declining the COVID-19 vaccine?

An exception to the vaccination policy may be requested for documentation of one of the contraindications recognized by the CDC.

If receiving the vaccination conflicts with sincerely held beliefs, a request for religious exception may be made.

Students who have a medical or religious exception to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement may submit a medical or religious exception request (see accompanying forms) for internal review. The deadline for receipt for these forms is Thursday, July 1, 2021. Approval of exception forms is pending appropriate completion and documentation.

What happens if I don’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Students who fail to comply and who have not received an approved exception will not be allowed to access campus.

More Information on COVID-19 and Prevention

Centers for Disease Control

Information on Authorized Vaccines vaccines/advice vaccines/advice