Vaccine Policy

Required Immunizations

As part of the enrollment process at Saint Mary's, students will need to provide proof of immunization against certain viruses. The College requires the following immunizations:

  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella
  • MMR
  • Meningitis
  • COVID-19, including booster

The College strongly recommends the following immunizations:

  • Hepatitis A
  • HPV

COVID-19 Vaccination

Our ability to come together for in-person instruction depends on suppressing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The broad immunization of our student body will be critical to achieving this goal. Because we are a congregate residential community, we must take every step available to prevent this highly infectious disease. Therefore, we have added the COVID-19 vaccine, including a booster, to the list of required immunizations. To read more about this decision, click here

Immunization Exemption

We know a small percentage of students will have concerns about vaccinations, be it for medical or religious reasons. Saint Mary's will make every effort to accommodate a verified exemption, providing the request is submitted according to the following process: 

Medical Exemptions
Students with medical conditions that contraindicate receiving a single specific vaccine or all vaccines must submit supporting documentation from their healthcare provider in order to receive an exemption from immunization.

A student must email the Health and Counseling Center at hccenter@saintmarys.edu to request a document that they will then give to their health care provider. It outlines the requirements for medical exemptions for an immunization(s) and advises the provider what information is needed by the College, and how it should be submitted. 

Religious Exemptions
Religious exemptions from vaccination requirements will not be considered for a single vaccine, given that many of the required vaccinations by the College share development, testing, and manufacturing processes. Students requesting an exemption for religious reasons for all vaccination requirements must email the Health and Counseling Center at hccenter@saintmarys.edu to request a document outlining the steps and requirements for a religious exemption. These requirements include a personally written, detailed letter explaining the basis for their objection to immunization(s), along with supporting documentation from an official representative from their religious or faith organization.

All documents required to support the request for exemption from immunization must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the start of  the academic term.

Upon receiving the required documentation, the request for an exemption will be evaluated by members of the vaccination exemption committee. 

Students will be notified of the decision via email or phone call by a member of the committee.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19 Immunization Exemptions

+Does Saint Mary’s College require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

Yes, the College will require proof of full vaccination, including a booster, for undergraduate and graduate students who reside on campus and/or attend at least one in person class. 

+Will there be exceptions allowed for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Students may submit a request for a religious exemption by emailing hccenter@saintmarys.edu. All documents for a requested exemption must be submitted six weeks prior to the academic year or move in date, whichever is first. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, consistent with our process for reviewing requests for exemptions from other required vaccines.

+What is the exception request process?

Students wishing to apply for a medical or religious exemption for any immunization, including COVID-19, must email the Health and Counseling Center at hccenter@saintmarys.edu for detailed information.

+When is the last day to request an exemption, in order to start classes on time?

As a general rule, students should submit all required exemption documentation six weeks before move in or the first day of classes, whichever happens first. For the fall 2022 semester, documentation should be submitted by July 7, 2022

+Why is Saint Mary’s requiring students to receive the vaccine?

As a congregate residential community, we must take every step available to prevent the spread of this highly infectious disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as local and state public health officials, recommend that all individuals be fully vaccinated. It is encouraging to see the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently being distributed in the US have been found to be safe and are highly effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19 as well as limiting the transmission of the virus. Adding the COVID-19 vaccines to the immunizations already required for enrollment will, if all continues to trend in a positive direction, allow for a safer and more normal experience for our students, faculty, and staff beginning in summer 2021.

+Are faculty and staff required to be vaccinated?

Yes, all employees of the College are required to upload proof of vaccination status. In the Human Resources section of the My Saint Mary’s portal, we have outlined the guidelines for the vaccination requirement, along with key dates, the methods by which an employee might apply for a medical or non-medical exemption, and rationale for the decision. There is also a list of frequently asked questions. 

+How can students prove they have been vaccinated?

As part of the enrollment process, students will need to provide their COVID-19 vaccination dates (two doses for Moderna and Pfizer, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) and upload official documentation that they received the vaccine. Both the dates and a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record card are to be entered/uploaded into the Saint Mary’s patient portal through the Health and Counseling Center’s electronic medical record system. Newly enrolled students are required to complete a Health Form and upload their immunization records six weeks before they move in and/or start in person classes in the fall.