Frequently Asked Questions

Lakers Together FAQ

Question Answer Action

Will vaccination status be shared with instructors or campus employers?

No, however, it is legal to ask someone their vaccination status. Please see information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Vaccines are addressed in Section K.  

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Why did you make all of the vaccines optional? 

Prior to 2021, GVSU did not require any vaccinations of students, faculty, or staff, other than for those with healthcare placements as part of their program.  And we did not collect any information about who is vaccinated.  The only vaccination we have required in the past two years is the original COVID series.  (We have not required boosters.)  We have now returned to the status quo ante by no longer mandating the original COVID shots (except for those CHP/KCON students with clinical placements), although we are adding something new and important.  We are beginning to ask our students about their vaccination history.  Having this information will allow for a more provocative approach, to include a more targeted approach to interventions, education, and outreach.  Note, there are no laws or requirement from the state of Michigan to require vaccines on college campuses. 

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Why are you asking students to report vaccines?

  • In 2021, an estimated 25 million children around the world missed their childhood immunizations last year due to the pandemic, the largest backslide in routine immunization in 30 years. With childhood Immunizations being at record lows, public health officials anticipate reemergence of diseases not seen in decades and potential for increase community health risk.
  • Childhood immunization rates began dropping before the pandemic.
  • Immunizations currently prevent 2-3 million deaths every year.
  • Outbreaks at Universities - There have been several vaccine preventable outbreaks at universities.  Understanding who has not been vaccinated quickly can assist with targeted communication and help prevent further illness and even death.
    • Mumps
      • Temple University mumps (100+ students)
      • Calvin College mumps 2016
      • University of Michigan small outbreak of mumps 2018
      • University of Iowa mumps 2015-2016 (259 students)
      • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign mumps outbreak (300+students)
      • University of Arkansas mumps outbreak 2019
    • Meningitis
      • Princeton University Meningitis outbreak and student death 2013
      • Drexel University student death
      • Central Michigan University student death from Meningitis 2012
      • Kalamazoo College student death from Meningitis 2013
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Which GVSU employees and students are subject to the vaccine requirement?

Due to federal regulations at healthcare organizations, students in health and health-related programs who have placements will still be required to receive the COVID vaccine or follow the exception process outlined on the health compliance website.

 

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Where can I get my vaccine?

Vaccines are available now from health care providers, pharmacies, and local health departments. Visit Coronavirus - COVID-19 Vaccine (michigan.gov) for more information.

Periodically there are also vaccine clinics on campus. Recommended vaccines are available at the Campus Health Center/(Allendale) and the/GVSU Family Health Center.  For more information about the new student vaccination reporting procedure, please visit the vaccination policy webpage.

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Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

GVSU is no longer providing free COVID-19 tests for any students, staff, or faculty but you can order a maximum of 4 free COVID-19 test kits through the USPS website covidtests.gov.

Tests are available at the  Campus Health Center (Allendale), and the GVSU Family Health Center (Downtown) for a fee.

You can also purchase at-home tests at pharmacies and other stores. You may get tested at your health care provider or other area testing sites

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What contributed in the decision to move away the COVID-19 vaccine requirement?  

There were many factors, to include President Biden announced that official designation of the pandemic will end on May 11. The decision was not an easy one, as GVSU still strongly recommends receiving the COVID-19 vaccines to include the booster. Other factors: 

  • We have not had a significant breakout of COVID in the GV community for over a year. 

  • Since the peak of the Omicron surge at the end of January 2022, nationally:  

    • Daily COVID-19 reported cases are down 92%. 
    • COVID-19 deaths have declined by over 80%. 

    • New COVID-19 hospitalizations are down nearly 80%. 

    • We also see the same numbers locally.

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Okay, so why is the new vaccine procedure only for incoming first year students?

 

  • These are the students most likely to be in congregate living spaces.
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Now that the COVID vaccine requirement has ended, what about the immunocompromised? 

  • This is a very sensitive subject, we want to encourage people who are at high risk of getting very sick, to talk with a healthcare provider about additional prevention action as there maybe additional options available.
    • GVSU hasn’t stopped COVID mitigation, prevention, and response efforts. With GVSU’s adoption of the Okanagan charter, the deployment of the Community Health Advisory Team (CHAT), and the new vaccine reporting system, we’ve increased our community health efforts.
    • We still have strong partnerships with our local health department. The CHAT team will continue to meet and collaborate on COVID prevention strategies to include other vaccine preventable threats.
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If our vaccination rates are so good, why did we stop the COVID requirement? 

Although GV's 90% COVID vacation rate can be attributed to the vaccine requirement, once our system of data collection was established it was determined that 70% of our population would have arrived fully vaccinated regardless of a requirement.  70% is on par with our surrounding counties (better in some cases), it should also be noted that since the 2021 requirement the vaccine has become more widely adopted. Note, we still strongly recommended receiving the COVID-9 vaccine and booster. 

  • Currently more than 229 million people in the US (about 69.2% of the population) have been fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine (See CDC Data Tracker, https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations (visited February 9, 2023).
  • Vaccinations in Kent County, Michigan 
    • Completed Primary Series – Ages 18 to 65 -74.3%
  • Vaccinations in Ottawa County, Michigan
    • Completed Primary Series – Ages 18 to 65- 69.6%
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If I have a health condition, can I still get vaccinated?

Always check with your healthcare provider before you receive any vaccinations if you have a health condition.

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I lost my COVID-19 Vaccination record, what do I do?

Michiganders ages 18 and older with immunization records posted in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR), including COVID-19 vaccination, will be able to locate their own record online and download, save or print this information.

To ensure privacy and that individuals are only able to access their own immunization records, Michiganders must create a MILogin account and upload a valid government issued photo ID such as a driver's license, state ID or passport. There is no cost to access the portal.

Immunizations provided in another state or country may not be included in an individual's record in the portal. If an individual's immunization record can't be found, records can still be requested from a physician's office or local health department.

As the portal is only available for those 18 years or older, parents won't be able to download their child's immunization records. Parents may contact their child's physician's office or local health department to get a copy of their immunization records.

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How does quarantine and isolation work?

Complete information can be found on the Quarantine and Isolation page.

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Does GVSU utilize wastewater testing?

GVSU has been monitoring wastewater on the Allendale Campus for close to a year, and recently partnered with Kent and Ottawa counties on a two-year program to detect genetic markers of the COVID-19 virus in wastewater. This effort will shed useful light on spatial and temporal trends in virus levels in wastewater, and provide valuable research opportunities for GVSU students.

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Do vaccines really work?

The science is strong. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown both in clinical trials and through real-world data to reduce the risk for hospitalization and death by over 95%. Currently more than 99% of all deaths from COVID-19 infection occur with unvaccinated persons. Vaccination also substantially reduces the risk of long-haul symptoms from COVID-19.

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Are face coverings required?

The university alert level system incorporates face covering requirements based on the overall impact of COVID-19 on the community and CDC recommendations. This alert level changes as indicators change.  View more info on GVSU's face covering policy here: Face Covering Policy - Lakers Together - Grand Valley State University (gvsu.edu)

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Page last modified December 1, 2023