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Vaccination requirements

Vaccination requirements apply to all campuses and institutes in the UT System and are established to protect the health and safety of the university community.

Updated: January 13, 2021

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The requirement includes a flu vaccination and may later include a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • The CDC has noted that the flu vaccine is more important than ever in the 2020–21 flu season.
  • Students and employees may request an exemption to vaccination requirements.

The UT Board of Trustees has approved an emergency resolution authorizing the UT System to require CDC- or Tennessee Department of Health–recommended vaccines for faculty, staff, and students at each campus and institute across the state.

The requirement currently includes only the flu vaccine.

It could later include a COVID-19 vaccine as long as the CDC and Tennessee Department of Health continue to support that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

The vaccination requirements are established to protect the health and safety of the university community and are based on the advice of public health experts.

Flu vaccination

As the CDC has noted, the flu vaccine is more important than ever in the 2020–21 flu season because of the potential for the flu and COVID-19 to spread at the same time. Flu vaccinations protect individuals, prevent additional stress on health care resources, and decrease the chances of a flu outbreak masking a COVID-19 outbreak.

Review the CDC’s frequently asked questions about flu and COVID-19.

  • All members of the campus community are required to receive a flu vaccination by the start of spring semester in January 2021 unless they receive an exemption.
  • Students who have all online classes for spring 2021 and do not plan to be on campus for any reason can request an exemption.
  • Flu vaccinations can be obtained at local health departments, health care providers, and many pharmacies.

Student process for documenting flu vaccination

Students should follow the instructions from the Student Health Center to submit proof of flu vaccination or request an exemption.

Consistent with state law, the UT System has required certain vaccinations for incoming students for years. As with those vaccinations, exemptions from these requirements can be made for medical, religious, or other reasons. Students may request an exemption if their spring semester classes are fully online and they will not be living on or visiting campus.

Employee process for documenting flu vaccination

Employees should follow these directions to verify through IRIS that they have received a flu vaccination or to request an exemption.

COVID-19 vaccination

At this time, a COVID-19 vaccination is not required. The university will provide timely updates on the status of the COVID-19 vaccinations. Review Student Health Center information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines follows the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan. To determine your vaccine distribution phase, you can use the state’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility tool.

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