COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

What if I will not be in Tuscaloosa at the time required for my second dose?
Second dose appointments will be scheduled during the first appointment. Those who will not be in Tuscaloosa for the second dose are encouraged to seek access to a vaccine in their expected locale. Everyone is strongly encouraged to be vaccinated wherever it’s available, whether through the Student Health Center, University Medical Center, or a variety of other sources. VaccineFinder.org provides distribution locations anywhere in the country. To help plan for vaccine supply, please report vaccinations received at an external location.

If I receive my first dose elsewhere, can I schedule an appointment on campus for my second dose?
You should get your second dose of the vaccine from the same provider who provided your first dose. Appeals for extreme hardship-related requests can be made via the COVID Support Program.

Where do I submit other questions about the vaccine and eligibility?
If you continue to have questions after reviewing all of the information on this website, submit your questions on the form to the COVID Support team. Students can contact the Student Health Center at Immunizations@ua.edu or 205-348-6262.

What reasons might prohibit me from scheduling a vaccine appointment?
Contact the COVID Support Team to be considered for eligibility later on a case-by-case basis depending on the availability of vaccine and other resources if you have:

  • Tested COVID positive in the last 14 days; or
    • Note: If you have tested positive but still received an invitation, UA COVID Support may not have a record of your positive test. Recording your positive results with COVID Support will ensure you are added back to the list of eligible individuals on day 15 (depending on availability).
  • Received or plan any other vaccination (including flu, shingles) in the period of two weeks BEFORE the first COVID vaccine dose through two weeks AFTER the second dose; or
  • Commitments that may prevent you from scheduling your vaccination on days vaccines are provided.

Which versions of the COVID-19 vaccine will UA distribute?
UA’s College of Community Health Sciences will provide COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The University Medical Center is providing the Moderna vaccine, and the Student Health Center is offering Pfizer.  

How many doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will I need?
The current COVID-19 vaccines require two doses within a specified period – between 21 (Pfizer) and 28 (Moderna) days, depending on the manufacturer. UA will assist in tracking and scheduling the second dose.

What can I expect after I receive the vaccine?
The CDC provides useful information about what to expect, including common side effects and helpful tips.

Who will receive a COVID-19 vaccine first?
Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), UA’s Office of Emergency Management will determine the individuals and groups categorized by priority access. and in accordance with ADPH’s vaccine allocation plan. The UA Distribution Plan is continuously updated.

How will I be notified if I’m eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
All UA students aged 16 and older can schedule an appointment through the Student Health Center. Faculty/staff will receive an email or text message to schedule an appointment.

What if I have previously tested positive for COVID-19?
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, you are not eligible to receive the vaccine at this time. In light of limited vaccine supply, delaying vaccinations for those who have recently tested positive will allow those at most risk of infection to be vaccinated earlier. Note: If you have tested positive in the last 14 days but still received an invitation, UA COVID Support may not have a record of your positive test. Recording your positive results with COVID Support will ensure you are added back to the list of eligible individuals on day 15 (depending on availability).

Am I required to be vaccinated for COVID-19?
No. Vaccination is not required for employment or enrollment at this time, but it is strongly encouraged.

What is the COVID-19 vaccination process?
As part of the vaccination process, you will sign an informed consent form and will receive other pertinent information. You will report to the vaccination site on the scheduled appointment date and receive the first dose. After the dose is administered, you will stay at the vaccination site for 15-30 minutes to be monitored for any potential reactions. During this first vaccination, you will also receive instructions on scheduling an appointment to receive the second dose.

What should I expect at the appointment site?
Review the Vaccination Prep page for details. Bring your CWID, government-issued identification (driver’s license, passport or other), and insurance card, if available. Wear a mask and arrive no more than 15 minutes before your appointment time. Wear clothing that allows access to the left shoulder and upper arm, and do not eat or drink anything 15 minutes before your appointment. You will have your temperature taken and asked health questions as part of the process.

What if I experience an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine?
You will stay at the vaccination site under medical supervision for 15-30 minutes to be monitored for any potential reactions. If you later experience an adverse reaction and need immediate medical attention, call 911. The CDC recommends that individuals consider using the V-Safe App. Details are the CDC website.

Will I receive a proof of vaccination once I receive both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine?
Assuming you receive both doses at UA, you will be provided a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card with the dates on which you received the first and second dose. 

If I decline the first offer to take a COVID-19 vaccine but change my mind later, can I still be vaccinated?
If you decline the vaccination when selected and change your mind later, your request will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the availability of vaccine and other resources at that time. Contact the COVID Support Program if you change your mind after declining the vaccine.

Where can I find more information on available COVID-19 vaccines so I can make the best decision for myself?
You should consider your health circumstances and the available information on COVID-19 vaccines. Helpful information is on the on the FDA website, CDC website and ADPH website. Fact Sheets on vaccines authorized for emergency use are available on the CDC website. 

Does my certificate of immunization exempt me from UA COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing?
No. All members of the UA campus community will follow the health and safety guidelines until instructed otherwise. Any changes to the health and safety protocols will be communicated via UA News at the direction of the UA Situational Response Team and the UA System Health and Safety Task Force.

Will there be a charge for the vaccine?
Vaccines are free, but there is an allowance for charging insurance an administrative fee. UA may cover the employee administrative fee centrally rather than billing to individual insurance. Vaccine recipients are asked to bring insurance information to the appointment. The vaccine will be provided at no out-of-pocket expense, including those without insurance coverage.

What if I schedule an appointment to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and miss my appointment?
If you miss your first dose of the vaccine, you may be rescheduled at a later date based on vaccine availability. Please review the Vaccination Prep page for more information.

What if I miss my appointment to receive the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine?
If you miss the second dose of the vaccine, you may be required to start the series over again subject to several factors, including vaccine availability.

Who should I contact if I receive an email or text message to set an appointment, and I have questions about the process?
Faculty/staff should contact UA’s COVID Support Program or COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819). Students can contact the Student Health Center at Immunizations@ua.edu or 205-348-6262

Where can I find out more about the vaccines and why vaccination is helpful?
The CDC website provides a useful FAQ page and these important things to know.