UW–Madison responds to federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate
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Dear students, faculty and staff,
COVID-19 vaccination saves lives and protects us and our friends, families and communities against serious illness. On Sept. 9, President Biden issued an executive order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all federal contractors. UW–Madison currently holds federal contracts valued at more than $116 million. In order to comply with the broad scope of the order, all employees (not only those who directly work on federal contracts) must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious accommodation exempting them from the requirement. This includes student hourly employees.
The executive order requires that employees complete their vaccination series (one dose of Johnson & Johnson or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna) no later than Jan. 4, 2022. Alternatively, employees may request a medical or religious exemption
Employees who do not comply with the vaccination requirement or receive an accommodation permitted under the executive order by Jan. 4, 2022, will face sanctions that will begin with education and will lead to discipline possibly culminating in termination.
Fortunately, thanks to tremendous effort by employees and students, our campus has already achieved a very high rate of vaccination – currently 95% of employees and students are fully vaccinated.
The remainder of this message shares additional information about the vaccination requirement.
Employees (including student hourly employees) who have not yet provided proof of vaccination will receive additional information via email. Employees (including student hourly employees) who have already provided proof of vaccination to UHS do not need to take any further action.
Who is required to be vaccinated?
All UW–Madison employees, including student hourly employees.
The requirement applies regardless of:
- whether you are working in-person, remotely or in a hybrid status.
- whether you are working on the main Madison campus or any other location.
- your employment type – faculty, emeritus with greater than zero-dollar appointment, academic staff, university staff, limited appointee, temporary employee, graduate assistant (teaching assistant, research assistant, lecturer student assistant, project/program assistant), post-degree trainee (research intern, research associate, postdoctoral fellow, postdoctoral trainee), student-hourly employee.
- whether you are full-time or part-time.
I was vaccinated off campus – how do I share my record with UHS?
You can find instructions for sharing your records at go.wisc.edu/uploadvaccine, or talk to your Divisional Disability Representative (DDR) for assistance. Please allow up to 5 business days for your records to be processed.
How can I get vaccinated?
You may receive any of the FDA-authorized vaccines: Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer. All are available at no cost to you. Make an appointment through University Health Services, talk to your health care provider or visit vaccines.gov.
For more information about the types of vaccines, safety and what to expect, visit the COVID-19 vaccination page.
I received a vaccine that is on the list of vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization but not authorized by the FDA. Do I need to get a different vaccine?
No. If you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization, you do not need to get a different vaccine.
I received a vaccine that is NOT on the list of vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization. Do I need to get a different vaccine? Yes, if you were vaccinated with a vaccine not authorized by the World Health Organization, you need to get a WHO-authorized vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer. Make an appointment through University Health Services, talk to your health care provider or visit vaccines.gov.
When do I need to receive my dose(s) in order to be in compliance no later than Jan. 4, 2022?
If you receive Johnson & Johnson, you must receive your shot by Jan. 4.
If you receive Moderna, you must receive your first shot by Dec. 7 and your second shot by Jan. 4.
If you receive Pfizer, you must receive your first shot by Dec. 14 and your second shot by Jan. 4.
Can I get vaccinated on work time?
Yes. Employees shall be granted a reasonable amount of time, including reasonable travel time, during their normal work hours to complete required COVID-19 vaccination.
What if I experience side effects and am unable to work?
UW–Madison provides a variety of potential leave options to employees when they are unable to work for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These leave options apply to employees in the following employment categories: Faculty, Academic Staff, Limited Appointees, or University Staff.
The leave options that you may qualify for are based on several factors, including:
- The eligibility requirements for each leave program
- Your employment category (Faculty, Academic Staff, Limited Appointees or University Staff)
- The pay basis of your appointment (annual-basis or academic year-basis)
- The reason you are unable to work and are requesting leave
- Prior leave you have used or taken
- Staffing needs of your operational area
- Approval of your work unit/supervisor
Please refer to Leave Options for Leave Related to COVID-19: An Overview for Employees. This document is designed to help you understand the various leave options and determine which, if any, may apply to your individual circumstances.
How do I request a medical or religious accommodation to be exempt from the requirement?
Per federal guidance, employees who provide information that qualifies them for a medical or religious accommodation will be exempt from the vaccination requirement. More information will be provided soon about how to apply for an accommodation. Anyone who receives an accommodation will be required to test weekly for COVID-19 through a process determined by UW–Madison.
I previously had COVID-19 – can I receive an accommodation?
No. Federal guidance on the executive order does not allow an accommodation on the basis of a prior COVID-19 infection.
What are the consequences for not complying with this requirement?
Employees who do not comply (become vaccinated or receive a university-approved accommodation) by Jan. 4, 2022, will face sanctions that will begin with education and will lead to discipline possibly culminating in termination.
Who do I contact with questions or concerns?
For information about this requirement as it relates to your employment, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about vaccination, visit the COVID-19 vaccination page or contact email@example.com.