COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

If I receive my first dose elsewhere, can I schedule an appointment at UMC 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.

I am in the COVID-19 vulnerable population. How do I request priority access to the vaccine?
A vaccine distribution list is being managed by the Office of Emergency Management in alignment with the Alabama Department of Public Health’s guidance. UA vaccine distribution information is posted. Any employee who has requested and received an approved accommodation is already on the list for priority access. A request form for employees who may require medically-related priority access but have not requested a Spring 2021 accommodation is available. The form will allow you to submit for consideration medical certification confirming that you are in the COVID-19 vulnerable population. The form is the only way to apply for preferred access to the vaccine based on your status as a member of the COVID vulnerable population. When you become eligible for vaccination, you will receive an email and text message notifying you about next steps to accept or declineYou must respond within 24 hours.

If I already have an approved Spring 2021 Accommodation, do I need to apply for priority access?
No. Any employee who has requested and received an approved accommodation is already on the list for priority access when vaccines are available and ADPH authorizes distribution beyond current groups. UA’s distribution plan is posted on the website.

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.

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 90 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 91 (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 the Friday, Saturday or Sunday following your eligibility notification. Appointments are currently only being offered these days to facilitate scheduling and expedite distribution.

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 first group of vaccines received will come from Moderna. 

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.

How will I be notified if I’m eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
You will receive an email or text message and will have 24 hours from the time the email message was sent to accept the offer and schedule an appointment, or decline.

What if I have previously tested positive for COVID-19?
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 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. We will continue to monitor guidance related to the vaccine and notify you when you become eligible in accordance with medical and federal guidelines. Note: If you have tested positive in the last 90 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 91 (depending on availability).

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

What is the COVID-19 vaccination process?
After agreeing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, you will be asked to schedule an appointment. 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. 

Will retirees or immediate family of UA employees be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
UA’s College of Community Health Sciences expects to receive doses for the campus community with individuals categorized for priority by campus Emergency Management officials working daily with guidance from ADPH.  Vaccines have been offered to UA retirees aged 75 and older who are associated with the University at this time. We do not expect to receive enough doses for other retirees or employee families. ADPH is responsible for broader community distribution in coordination with other healthcare entities and providers. 

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 Spring 2021 plan 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 an administrative fee. UA may cover the employee administrative fee centrally rather than billing to individual insurance. Information for other recipients is developing. Vaccine recipients are asked to bring insurance information to the appointment.

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 will 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?
Please contact UA’s COVID Support Program or COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

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.