Frequently Asked Questions

Lakers Together FAQ

Question Answer

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.  


Will I be completely immune from COVID-19 after I’m fully vaccinated?

No vaccine is 100% effective and some people will still get COVID-19, but studies show you are much more likely to be able to fight off COVID-19 and reduce spread. The number of fully vaccinated people who will get sick, be hospitalized, or die from COVID-19 is much lower than those who are unvaccinated.


Will GVSU use saliva tests?

GVSU will continue to use nasal swab antigen testing and does not intend to add or change to saliva testing. Our robust testing program, which begin in August 2020, has been highly successful in identifying those who need to be isolated or quarantined and provided support. Testing has also been highly effective in controlling the spread of COVID on campus and mitigating risk. A recent recall of certain nasal swabs was for false negative and positive results; GVSU has not found a problem with false negatives and false positives with tens of thousands of tests administered. Also, it’s important to note that ethylene oxide is a gas and does not coat the nasal swab. Reports claiming nasal swabs used for COVID testing could cause lasting harm because of ethylene oxide are false.


Why require the COVID-19 vaccine and not others?

We are exploring requiring other vaccinations in the future, as many other universities do. For now, because of the imminent health threat of COVID-19, we have implemented the requirement for this vaccine as a condition of attendance and employment.


Why is GVSU requiring the COVID-19 vaccine?

The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community are our top concerns. The COVID-19 vaccine is the single most effective tool in slowing, and even stopping, the spread of the virus. It reduces disease severity, hospitalizations, and deaths. The highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant is becoming more prevalent across the country and in Michigan. Some areas with low vaccination rates are seeing significant increases in their case numbers, including hospitalization rates and intensive care unit occupancy. Unvaccinated people are at the highest risk, and new infections are being seen across all age ranges.


Why did GVSU set a deadline of September 30?

This decision was made after extensive discussion with health and medical experts. Top health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Johns Hopkins Medicine, report Covid vaccines have been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19. We aligned the requirement at GVSU with FDA approval to acknowledge those who waited for additional confirmation of the vaccines’ efficacy and safety. We recognize education is the best way to increase participation. We want to be a resource for information and access to our students and families, particularly those who need additional support.  


Why are you requiring masks and self-assessments when you have a vaccine requirement?

Our goal is to return to as normal a campus environment as possible, which includes relaxing/removing the masking requirements. GVSU's face covering policy is tied to the GVSU Alert Level. According to public health experts, however, that should not be done until a high level of vaccination is achieved within the community. Therefore we must maintain some of the mitigation measures until the time that everyone is vaccinated.


Who is required to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

GVSU is requiring all faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated by September 30. There are limited exceptions for medical or religious reasons. The deadline to file for an exemption is September 15.

Students participating in health and health-related clinical placements may have an earlier deadline based on the clinical site. Check with you program director for specific details.


Which GVSU employees are subject to the vaccine requirement?

GVSU employees under the vaccine requirement include all benefit eligible, non-benefit eligible, and temporary employees paid through university payroll.


Where can I get my vaccine?

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


When am I considered fully vaccinated?

You’re fully vaccinated 14 days after your last dose of your COVID-19 vaccine series. That means 2 weeks after the second Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or 2 weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 


What vaccines are available?

There are 3 COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. – all are safe, effective, and free:

  • Pfizer/Biotech (mRNA) - 2 shots given 3 weeks apart
  • Moderna (mRNA) - 2 shots given 4 weeks apart
  • Johnson and Johnson/Janssen (vector) - one shot

Several vaccines are available outside the U.S. GVSU will accept the vaccines which are “EOI accepted” by the World Health Association (WHO), including Covishield, AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm.


What is the refund process for after getting an exemption?

Those who want an exemption or postponement should file their request immediately. Only those who have their exemption, postponement request or an appeal denied (or are still awaiting a decision on September 30) will be eligible to receive a full tuition refund up until September 30. For everyone else, the standard refund policies and deadlines will remain in place.


What if people don’t get vaccinated?

GVSU is moving forward with the vaccine requirement policy guided by the belief education about the vaccines’ safety and efficacy, and the ability to get the vaccine on campus, will encourage full compliance with the policy. The university will handle refusal to get the vaccine by September 30 on an individual basis. Beginning in October, the university will begin enforcement of the vaccine requirement. This will include an initial phase focusing on education and communication regarding status and intention. For all unvaccinated students and employees — those who do not have an approved exemption or postponement — the university will seek compliance through a series of conversations in alignment with policies and progressive discipline measures.


What if I’m unvaccinated on campus prior to FDA approval?

Students, faculty and staff who are unvaccinated are required to be tested weekly. We will use information from the self-assessment to send notices for weekly testing.


What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?

You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine, since it does not contain any live or dead virus in it. Based on clinical trial and real-world data, the vaccines are as safe as any vaccines that have been routinely used for the last 40 years. Minimal adverse side effects have been reported and are typical of what is generally seen with other vaccines in widespread use. The most common side effects reported are fever, fatigue, chills, body aches, headaches, nausea and injection site pain. The most frequent side effects being reported in addition to the common side effects listed above are dizziness, weakness (fatigue) and a fast heartbeat. The vast majority of these side effects are short-term and usually resolve within a few days. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine safety and side effects, see the initial data review from the CDC.


Is it legal for GVSU to require me to receive a COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes, the Equal Employer Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has approved employers requiring the vaccine.


Is it legal for GVSU to ask about my vaccination status?

Yes. Please see this information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Vaccines are addressed in Section K.


If I’m fully vaccinated do I ever need to get tested for COVID?

You must get tested immediately if you develop COVID-19 symptoms or 3-5 days after being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.


If I have a health condition, can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Always check with your health care provider if you have a health condition.


If I disclose in my self-assessment that I have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been quarantined, what happens to that information?

By completing the self-assessment, you agree to allow the information to be shared with Spectrum Health so they can reach out to you.  Also, the information you share in the self-assessment is considered educational records not health records so it is not covered by HIPAA.


If an employee or student chooses not to vaccinate or get an exemption, what are the consequences? 

Students and employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend or work at GVSU, unless they receive an approved exemption or postponement. Beginning in October, the university will begin enforcement of the vaccine requirement. This will include an initial phase focusing on education and communication regarding status and intention. For all unvaccinated students and employees — those who do not have an approved exemption or postponement — the university will seek compliance through a series of conversations in alignment with policies and progressive discipline measures.


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 at 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.


I already got a COVID vaccine. What else do I need to do?

Report your vaccination date(s) in your online self-assessment. You must also upload proof of vaccination.


How much will I have to pay to get vaccinated?

There is no out-of-pocket cost to receive the COVD-19 vaccine. They are available to all people living in the U.S., regardless of  insurance or immigration status.