UMB COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols

May 18, 2021 (updated July 2, 2021)

COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol: UMB Students

1. EXPECTATION AND EFFECTIVE DATE: All on-campus University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) students [1] are expected to be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, effective Aug. 16, 2021. Students will be considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after receiving a one-dose vaccine.

2. EXEMPTIONS: A student may be exempted from the Vaccination Protocol if: 1) the student submits documentation from the student’s health care provider indicating that the student is medically unable to be vaccinated; or 2) the student has a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that does not allow for the student to be vaccinated. Students receiving an exemption from the Vaccination Protocol will be required to follow safety requirements for nonvaccinated individuals as set forth by University Health and consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Failure to follow safety requirements set forth for nonvaccinated individuals (medical, religious, or otherwise) will subject a student to disciplinary action.

With respect specifically to religious exemptions, a religious exemption request must be written and signed by the student on a form supplied by UMB and must state that the student objects to immunization due to a “sincerely held religious belief.” The statement must address the following:

  • The student must explain in their own words why they are requesting this religious exemption; and
  • The student must indicate whether they are opposed to all immunizations, and if not, the religious belief that prohibits COVID-19 immunizations.

Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to immunization do not justify an exemption. Students may be required to provide additional information regarding their exemption eligibility if requested by UMB.

3. EXEMPTION PROCESS: UMB has a Vaccine Exemption Process by which students may submit requests electronically through a secure, online portal.

4. PROOF OF VACCINATION: Students have the option to either: 1) sign a waiver so that UMB receives confirmation of vaccination directly from the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), which is the repository of vaccination information for the state of Maryland, for vaccinations received in Maryland; or 2) upload a copy of their CDC-approved vaccine card. Proof of being fully vaccinated must be provided by Aug. 2, 2021 (or in the case of schools with later start dates, 14 days prior to the first day of classes).

5. CONSEQUENCES: The consequences for a student not being vaccinated without having an approved medical/religious exemption are as follows:

a. No student is permitted to come onto UMB’s campus unless they have received at least one vaccine dose by Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 (or five days after the start of classes, whichever is later), and they must have received their second dose by Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 (or five weeks after the start of classes, whichever is later). Students should talk to their Student Affairs Dean or Admissions Department about a leave of absence or enrollment options if the student fails to meet these requirements. (NOTE: Students will not be provided an online curriculum where one is not already offered.)

• Consistent with other immunization requirements, failure to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination will result in a registration hold being placed on the student’s account.

    b. Any student who has not provided proof of vaccination by the deadline in Paragraph 4 will be contacted by their Student Affairs Dean.

    • The Student Affairs Dean will consider whether special circumstances exist that prevented the student from receiving the vaccine or filing an exemption by the timeline set forth above (e.g., insufficient time between the date of admission and the start date of classes; lack of access to vaccine; international students whose travel to the United States was delayed). Failing to file a timely application for a medical or religious exemption, on its own, is not a specific circumstance warranting particular review.

    • Where extraordinary circumstances exist, as determined by the relevant Student Affairs Dean in consultation with the relevant Dean and the Provost’s Office, the student will be granted an extension of time to become vaccinated or receive an approved medical/religious exemption.

      c. Students who are not yet fully vaccinated are required to follow safety requirements for nonvaccinated individuals as set forth by University Health (consistent with CDC and OSHA guidelines). Failure to follow safety requirements set forth for nonvaccinated individuals will subject a student to disciplinary action.

      [1] An on-campus student includes any student whose courses or student-related activities are performed in whole or in part on the UMB campus, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Donaldson Brown Riverfront Event Center, Columbus Center, UM BioPark, and other Maryland satellite offices. This also includes UMB students who attend the Universities at Shady Grove. Students engaged in clinical or field site activities should note that external sites may have stricter vaccine rules than UMB. Being unvaccinated may impact the ability of a student to participate in activities at those external sites. Failure to complete the clinical or experiential portion of a student’s education requirements will impact their ability to graduate.

      COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol: UMB Faculty and Staff

      1. EXPECTATION AND EFFECTIVE DATE: All University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) on-campus employees [1] are expected to be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, effective Aug. 16, 2021. Employees will be considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after receiving a one-dose vaccine.

      2. EXEMPTIONS: An employee may be exempted from the Vaccination Protocol if: 1) the employee submits documentation from the employee’s health care provider indicating that the employee is medically unable to be vaccinated or 2) the employee has a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that does not allow for the employee to be vaccinated. Employees receiving an exemption from the Vaccination Protocol will be required to follow safety requirements for nonvaccinated individuals as set forth by University Health consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Failure to follow safety requirements set forth for nonvaccinated individuals (medical, religious, or otherwise) will subject an employee to appropriate discipline.

      With respect specifically to religious exemptions, a religious exemption request must be written and signed by the employee on a form supplied by UMB and must state that the employee objects to immunization due to a “sincerely held religious belief.” The statement must address the following:

      • The employee must explain in their own words why they are requesting this religious exemption; and

      • The employee must indicate whether they are opposed to all immunizations, and if not, the religious belief that prohibits COVID-19 immunizations.

      Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to immunization do not justify an exemption. Employees may be required to provide additional information regarding their exemption eligibility if requested by UMB.

      3. EXEMPTION PROCESS: UMB has a Vaccine Exemption Process by which employees may submit requests electronically through a secure and confidential online portal. Human Resource Services (HRS) will assist employees who are not able to use the electronic process.

      4. PROOF OF VACCINATION: Employees have the option to either: 1) sign a waiver so that UMB receives confirmation of vaccination directly from the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), which is the repository of vaccination information for the state of Maryland, for individuals vaccinated in Maryland; or 2) upload a copy of their CDC-approved vaccine card. HRS will assist any employees who request assistance to upload the vaccine card. Proof of vaccination will be kept separate from employee personnel files and shared only with individuals with a legitimate need-to-know and permitted by law.

      5. CONSEQUENCES: The consequences for not being vaccinated without having an approved medical/religious exemption are as follows:

        a. Such employee will be required to follow safety requirements for nonvaccinated individuals as set forth by University Health (consistent with CDC and OSHA guidelines). Failure to follow safety requirements set forth for nonvaccinated individuals will subject an employee to appropriate discipline.

          b. Such employee will be given a document detailing the risks to themselves and others of not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

            c. Such employee will be required to participate in an educational program discussing the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccinations and the risk of not being vaccinated.

              d. Written reprimand for failure to follow this COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol will be placed in the employee’s personnel file (but will be expunged and not used in any further/progressive discipline upon proof of vaccination).

                e. Such staff employee will receive a “Below Standards” rating on the Safety section of next year’s Performance Development Program (PDP) evaluation (but can be avoided upon proof of vaccination). Such faculty employee will receive a “Below Standards” notation in a safety category of the faculty member’s comparable annual review (but can be avoided upon proof of vaccination).

                  f. Such employee may not be approved for the discretionary programs of telework and will not be approved for University-sponsored travel including grant-funded travel (but both may be approved upon proof of vaccination).

                  NOTE: With the exception of (a), the above consequences will not apply to an employee who has received an exemption to the Vaccination Protocol.

                  [1] An on-campus employee includes any employee whose job is performed in whole or in part on the UMB campus, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Donaldson Brown Riverfront Event Center, Columbus Center, UM BioPark, and other Maryland satellite offices. This also includes UMB employees whose jobs are performed at the Universities at Shady Grove.