COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Requirement FAQs

The health and safety of the campus community has been and will continue to be the university’s highest priority. 

Part of meeting that responsibility involves ensuring that as many members of the campus community as possible have received the COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose.

To that end, Case Western Reserve has announced that the university will require all faculty, staff and students to do one of the following:

  • submit proof of vaccination (partial or full), or
  • notify the university that you have not been able to access an eligible vaccine but wish to receive one, or
  • apply for a medical or religious exception.

As of Dec. 17, the university also requires that all members of the campus community document receipt of a booster dose.

The on-campus vaccination clinic schedule is available on this calendar. Pharmacies across the country also are providing free booster doses.

If you have a university-approved exemption for COVID-19 vaccinations, it also applies to this new measure. You do not need to take any additional steps. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Booster Requirements

General Questions

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicate that fully vaccinated individuals who have not yet received a booster dose are more than twice as likely to contract COVID-19 than those who have received a booster. The university is requiring the booster to protect the health and well-being of the campus community.

You are permitted to delay getting a booster until 90 days from the date that you tested positive, though we and the CDC recommend that you get your booster as soon as you complete your isolation period.

Yes. If you are more than 90 days from your positive test, you are required to get a booster.

If you had a positive test result through CWRU or have already communicated with Health Services about a positive test, you do not need to do anything. As noted, it is recommended that you get your booster as soon as you have completed isolation. However, you will be compliant with the booster requirement until 90 days from your positive test.

If Health Services is NOT aware of your positive test, please follow these steps to submit a copy of your off-campus test results. Please note, Health Services will be in contact if additional information is needed, but, due to current staffing limitations, it may take some time to verify the result. Note: Antibody tests will NOT be accepted as proof of infection.

If you do not have proof of your positive test (lab result from outside lab, a picture of the positive rapid antigen card), please email covidvaccine@case.edu to report the date of your positive test. Staff from Health Services will be in contact with you to discuss additional details.

If you have a positive test and need medical assistance, students may call 216.368.2450. Faculty and staff should call their primary medical provider. Information on the University Health & Counseling Services site details the procedure for individuals who test positive during any holiday breaks.

If you are not eligible to get a booster, you are in compliance with the new requirement.

Once you become eligible, you will have two weeks from that date to provide documentation of your booster through myhealthconnect.case.edu.

You are eligible for a booster:

  • Five months after the second dose of an mRNA vaccine, including Pfizer and Moderna
  • Two months after the single dose of J&J Janssen vaccine
  • At least five months after full vaccination outside the U.S. with a WHO-EUL approved vaccine (the booster dose should be the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine).

For example, a student who received a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine Aug. 15 is eligible for a booster as of Jan. 15, 2022. This student would need to receive a booster shot by Jan. 18.

If you received an additional primary dose because you are immunocompromised or have another medical condition for which the additional dose is recommended, you should receive a booster five months (Pfizer/Moderna) or two months (Johnson and Johnson) after your additional primary shot, per CDC guidelines.

Per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should not receive the booster before the designated periods of time have passed. If you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you should not receive the booster until five months have passed. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you should not receive the booster until two months have passed.

International Vaccines

If you are fully vaccinated with a WHO-EUL vaccine (2 doses of Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells), Sinovac (CoronaVac), AstraZeneca/Covishield, Covaxin, COVOVAX/Novavax), yes, you need a booster per the university’s requirement. You should receive an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). Per current CDC guidance, you should wait to receive a booster until at least five months after receiving the primary dose(s) of your WHO-EUL vaccine.

Per CDC guidelines, you should be re-vaccinated with a US-FDA approved/authorized vaccine like Pfizer or Moderna, including booster doses when eligible (five months after completion of primary vaccine).

If you are fully vaccinated with a mix of WHO-EUL vaccines—i.e., one dose of Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells), Sinovac (CoronaVac), AstraZeneca/Covishield, Covaxin, COVOVAX/Novavax, and one dose of Pfizer or Moderna—then you need a booster per the university’s requirement. You should receive the Pfizer or Moderna booster five months after receiving the primary doses of your vaccine.

No. Per CDC guidelines you are considered fully vaccinated and do not need an additional dose at this time.

If you would like another dose, you may receive a second dose of Pfizer/Moderna when it has been at least one month since your first dose.

However, you do not need to do anything additional to comply with the booster requirement.

Compliance Process

No, if you received your booster at CWRU, you do not need to take additional action.

No. Unless you received an error message on the screen after your upload, you should presume that your upload was successful. If any issues exist, health services will contact you.

No. Unless you received an error message on the screen after your upload, you should presume that your upload was successful. If any issues exist, health services will contact you.

Medical Questions Relating to Boosters

Please review Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to assess which booster is most appropriate for you. Students with questions may email covidvaccine@case.edu. Faculty and staff with questions should directly consult their medical providers. Please note that staff at the CWRU vaccine clinics will not be able to provide guidance about which vaccine to receive.

Possibly. According to the CDC, side effects experienced after booster shots are similar to those reported after initial vaccination. The most common side effects are injection-site pain, fatigue, and headache, usually occurring one day after vaccination.

Faculty and staff should speak with their primary care providers regarding their reaction to the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccination; if the provider considers the reaction problematic enough that an exception is warranted, you may apply for a medical exemption from the Office of Equity and provide appropriate documentation.

If you are a student, you may speak with your primary care provider or contact University Health Services regarding your reaction; again, if the provider considers the reaction problematic enough that an exception is warranted, you may apply for a medical exemption from the Office of Disability Resources and provide appropriate documentation.

Exemption Questions

Other

The university is providing staff members up to three days paid of sick time if they experience vaccine side effects that require them to miss work.

The information requested for your vaccination goes into University Health Services electronic medical record software, which is designed to store and protect private information.

In addition, the university considers this information ‘restricted’ per our classification system. As a result, it is subject to our university’s most stringent security standards—you can read details on University Technology's website

Finally, this information is maintained entirely separately from student records, as well as employee files.

If you received your vaccine in Ohio, please call University Health Services at 216.368.2450 during clinic hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET) for assistance. We can obtain your official vaccination record from the state and enter the information within the vaccine module.

If you received your vaccine outside Ohio, please contact your state’s department of health to get an official vaccination record or a new card. Either can be submitted via our secure health record system. You can find detailed instructions on our verification page.