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Employee COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs

last updated July 23, 2021

 

 
Will I be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine to work on-site? 
All Dartmouth employees and appointees who are expected to access Dartmouth campuses and premises or participate in any in-person Dartmouth programs or activities, are required to be fully vaccinated with a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (“COVID-19 vaccine”) authorized (including any emergency use authorization) or approved by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) by September 1, 2021.  
 
The vaccine will be available, per state guidelines and pending availability, at no charge, to all Dartmouth employees who are on-campus. 

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Does this policy apply to student employees? 
A degree-seeking student’s primary affiliation with Dartmouth is as a student. All Dartmouth students are required to provide documentation of immunizations, including the COVID-19 vaccine.  Information for students is available from and managed by the Dartmouth College Health Services.  Dartmouth graduate and undergraduate degree-seeking student employees will not follow the same COVID-19 vaccination procedures as Dartmouth staff, faculty and researchers. 

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Can Dartmouth mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees prior to FDA approval?  
Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has been issued under the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has indicated that the federal EEO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, subject to the reasonable accommodation provisions of Title VII and the ADA and other EEO considerations.  

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I already had COVID and recovered from it. Why do I need to be vaccinated? 
The CDC1 explains it like this: You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. 
 
Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. The CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available. 
 
1Source: CDC Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination
 
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I have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Do I need to continue testing? 
Fully vaccinated employees who have shared their vaccination records with Axiom Medical are required to test every 30 days. Vaccinated individuals should regularly review updates related to face coverings, physical distancing, travel and gatherings. 
 
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Will I be paid for the time that I spend getting the COVID-19 vaccine? 
The Task Force has approved the payment of up to 2 hours, including travel time, for employees who schedule vaccination appointments.  This is paid time regardless of whether the appointment is during your normally scheduled work time or not.  For example, if you normally work Monday through Friday and your appointment is on a Saturday, you are eligible for up to 2 hours of paid time for that Saturday appointment. For hourly employees, this time should be recorded on your timesheet as Other Lost Time.  Please notify your supervisor if this paid time will count as overtime in that workweek. 

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If I already got my vaccination, can I receive the paid time? 
The approval of paid time for vaccine appointments became effective starting March 19, 2021, and applies to vaccination appointments on or after that date. 

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Will Dartmouth be giving COVID-19 vaccines to employees or students? 
Dartmouth is eager to support opportunities for staff and faculty to be vaccinated as soon as possible. The information on vaccine availability from each state is changing frequently. Please check the VT and NH websites for opportunities to receive a vaccine in a location closest to your residence.  

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Where can I get a COVID-19 Vaccine? 
Each state has developed their own process and criteria for providing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines to its residents. 

  • Individuals 12+ years old are eligible to be vaccinated in New Hampshire, regardless of residency. Register and schedule an appointment online here: https://www.vaccines.nh.gov
  • Individuals 12+ years old are eligible to be vaccinated in Vermont, regardless of residency. Register and schedule an appointment online here: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/vaccine
  • Individuals living outside of New Hampshire and Vermont can use the CDC’s state look-up tool to be directed to their state health department. 

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What vaccines are accepted? 
Acceptable COVID-19 vaccines are those that received full approval or emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or those that received or are undergoing assessment for emergency use listing (EUL) through the World Health Organization (WHO).

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If I get sick from the vaccine, do I need to stay home or can I come in to work because I know it is because of the vaccine? 
If an employee feels unwell and believes that the symptoms could be related to their recent vaccination, they should contact Axiom Medical at 1-877-502-9466 x2 and discuss this with the Axiom Medical screener.  Axiom Medical has a Dartmouth-approved protocol to follow and will advise whether or not the employee can work on-site or should stay home.  
 
If Axiom advises the employee to stay home due to symptoms/concerns, the first day post vaccination will be covered by Other Lost Time.  If the employee is cleared to return to work but doesn’t feel up to it, they should use PTO. If an employee feels unwell after multiple days following vaccination, they are encouraged to consult their medical provider. 
 
Employees working remotely should notify their supervisor of their absence due to illness the day after their vaccination and record Other Lost Time for their regularly scheduled hours on that day.

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Can a supervisor ask for proof of vaccination in support of Dartmouth’s provision of up to 2 hours of paid time off for a vaccination appointment or one day of paid time off post-vaccination? 
The materials that employees provide to Axiom Medical to evidence their vaccination status are the exclusive means of determining employee compliance with Dartmouth’s employee vaccination policy. (See this question below.)  

A supervisor may ask an employee to present proof of vaccination to confirm whether an employee’s work-site precautions (e.g., masking, physical distancing, etc.) are consistent with Dartmouth requirements. The supervisor, however, may not ask for, or keep a copy of, the materials presented, nor may they ask any questions about why the employee qualified or not for the vaccination.  Employees should be instructed to show proof of vaccination only, taking care not to share any other medical information with the supervisor.  Proof of vaccination is considered medical information.  

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all medical information about a particular employee be stored separately from the employee's personnel file and, with limited exceptions, be kept confidential.  Supervisors should not copy, keep, or retain any employee medical documents or files.

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When is someone considered “fully vaccinated”? 

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their final dose in a COVID-19 vaccine series. Acceptable COVID-19 vaccines are those that received full approval or emergency use authorization by the FDA or those that received or are undergoing assessment for emergency use listing (EUL) through the World Health Organization (WHO).

fully vaccinated

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I have been fully vaccinated. How do I submit this information and get permission to be tested less frequently?
In order for your reduced COVID-19 testing frequency to take effect, you must submit your vaccination information to Axiom and complete this online consent form.  Employees may request technical assistance if needed by scheduling a 5-minute appointment with Human Resources using this online scheduling tool or calling 603-646-3411.

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How do I know that my vaccination records have been uploaded correctly? 
You will receive an email with the subject line "Vaccination Record Confirmed" from "iBot Agent 12c PROD - IRA-Tech@dartmouth.edu" indicating that Dartmouth has received your completed vaccination record. Please allow up to 3 - 5 business days for this email confirmation after (1) you are fully vaccinated and (2) you have submitted your vaccination information.

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How will testing be reduced for employees who have submitted documentation of full vaccination? 
Fully vaccinated employees will be required to test every 30 days.

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Am I required to submit documentation of my vaccination status? 
Sharing your vaccination information with Dartmouth is voluntary. If you choose not to share the information and you are working on campus you will continue to be required to complete COVID testing and be subject to the same additional requirements and restrictions as non-vaccinated employees (e.g., PPE and physical distancing, depending on the particular worksite), as required by Dartmouth policy.  

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If I am fully vaccinated, but work closely with someone who is not vaccinated, do I still have to test weekly? 
No. As of July 1, 2021, employees who are fully vaccinated and who have submitted their proof of vaccination record are only required to participate in ongoing asymptomatic surveillance testing every 30 days.  Additional testing for fully vaccinated employees is optional.

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If I work closely with someone who receives an exemption, do I still have to be masked when we are in the same space? 
Dartmouth College has a duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free from known serious health and safety hazards. Unvaccinated employees who are scheduled to work on-site are required to complete twice weekly testing and may be required to use additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and adhere to physical distancing requirements depending on the worksite. These safety measure apply to unvaccinated employees (and employees who have not submitted proof of their vaccination status to Axiom Medical) working on-site.   
 
Vaccinated employees are expected to meet current Dartmouth and CDC posted guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals.  Fully vaccinated employees may, as a personal choice, take additional preventive measures that may be more restrictive than the current guidelines, such as continuing to wear facial coverings indoors and outdoors, continuing to be tested, and/or continuing to physically distance, to the extent practicable within a given worksite. 

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Why would Dartmouth allow any unvaccinated employees to work on-site given the health risks they may pose to others? 
Dartmouth College has a duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free from known serious health and safety hazards.  The safety requirements for unvaccinated employees, including frequent testing, face covering, and physical distancing, are the appropriate safety measures required to provide a safe workplace. Vaccinated employees may also choose to follow the same restrictions and safety requirements as unvaccinated employees as a personal choice, to the extent practicable within a given worksite.

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Will I be able to know who is not vaccinated that I work closely with? 
Human Resources and employees’ supervisors will be able to confirm which employees have provided evidence of their vaccination status to Axiom Medical in order to ensure those employees who have not done so are adhering to the College's policies applicable to them. Beyond that, Dartmouth will not be sharing information on the vaccination status of employees or students with other employees or students. 

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Who do I contact if I have concerns about workplace safety?
All employees have a right to raise workplace safety and health concerns free from retaliation. Workplace COVID-19 safety information can be found online here. Workplace safety concerns can be reported to ehs@dartmouth.edu or 603-646-1762. Concerns about employee interactions related to COVID-19 can be directed to human.resources@dartmouth.edu or 603-646-3411.

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What should I do if I am unable to receive the vaccine? 
Employees wishing to seek a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement should complete the online request form.

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If I receive an exemption or otherwise decline a vaccine, will I still be paid for testing time and will testing still be done on campus? 
Reasonable effort will be made to allow employees to complete required testing during their normally scheduled work hours.  Available appointments can be found here. If there are no appointments available during your regularly scheduled hours, please make an appointment closest to your schedule. Time spent at the testing site is considered time worked.

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What does increased testing mean if I am not vaccinated? I am already testing twice a week. 
Fully vaccinated individuals who have shared their vaccination records with Axiom Medical are required to test only once every 30 days.  
 
Individuals who have not been fully vaccinated or who have not shared their vaccination records with Axiom Medical will be required to complete testing twice each week in addition to other precautions (e.g., PPE, physical distancing, etc.) appropriate to a given worksite. 

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If I have an exemption, can I continue to work remotely? 
Vaccination status alone will not determine an employees’ remote or on-site work arrangements at Dartmouth. The ability to work remotely is a determination made in adherence with the Alternate Work Arrangements policy.  Some positions do not have the ability to be perform work remotely.  The exemption request process will support an employee and supervisor exploring options for an unvaccinated individual to meet the safety requirements of working on-site. 

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If I object to the vaccine for philosophical personal reasons and don’t have an exemption, can I continue to work remotely? 
Vaccination status alone will not determine an employees’ remote or on-site work arrangements at Dartmouth. The ability to work remotely is a determination made in adherence with the Alternate Work Arrangements policy. Some positions do not have the ability to be perform work remotely. The exemption request process will support an employee and supervisor exploring options for an unvaccinated individual to meet the safety requirements of working on-site. 

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Do I need to provide proof of my religious belief? How do I do that? 
Information on the process for requesting an exemption can be found on IDE's Employee Accessibility Resources page. For a religious exemption, employees and appointees will be asked to provide a letter describing the basis for their request for a religious exemption from the vaccination requirement.

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I do not practice an organized religion, but I do have spiritual/religious beliefs. Am I eligible for an exemption? 
Employees may choose to request exemptions for medical or religious reasons. These exemptions are intended to meet Dartmouth’s obligations that exist under federal and state law.  For the purposes of Dartmouth’s vaccination requirement, “religion” includes all aspects of religious observance and practice as well as belief, not just practices that are mandated or prohibited by a tenet of an individual’s faith. Religion includes not only traditional, organized religions, but also religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, or only subscribed to by a small number of people. Information on the process for requesting an exemption can be found on IDE's Employee Accessibility Resources page.
 
Beyond these two exemptions, Dartmouth understands that a person may choose not to be vaccinated for other reasons.  Unvaccinated employees without an approved medical or religious exemption will remain subject to enhanced testing and may also be required to use PPE and physical distancing depending on the worksite.

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What if my request for an exemption is denied? Can I appeal? 
Information on the process for requesting an exemption and the availability of an appeal can be found on IDE's Employee Accessibility Resource page.  All unvaccinated employees scheduled to work on-site, regardless of registered exemption, will be required to use additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and, depending on the unvaccinated person's worksite, physical distancing requirements and to adhere to increased testing frequency and other limitations and modifications that may be applicable to the employee or appointee's particular position.

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The policy states that being pregnant is a valid reason for requesting an exemption, what if I plan to become pregnant? 
Certain conditions may qualify as a reason to delay vaccination.  Any questions about your specific situation should be shared as part of the process to request an exemption. Information on the process for requesting an exemption and the availability can be found on IDE's Employee Accessibility Resource page.

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What if I do not get vaccinated and don’t have an exemption, will I be disciplined or lose my job? 
Unvaccinated employees who are scheduled to work on site are required to complete twice weekly testing, and may be required to use additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and adhere to physical distancing requirements depending on the worksite.  Ongoing employment is contingent on adherence to these safety protocols. 

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If I receive discipline for not getting vaccinated, will that be noted in my personnel file?  
An employee will not receive discipline specifically for not being vaccinated.  An employee is expected to adhere to the established safety protocols applicable to their Axiom-documented vaccination status.  Lack of adherence to those protocols may lead to disciplinary action.

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