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Is OTC requiring/mandating the COVID-19 Vaccine for students in the Health Sciences programs ?

No, OTC is not requiring/mandating the vaccine for students. However, some of the clinical affiliates that programs use for clinical experience are requiring the Covid-19 vaccine for its employees and students conducting clinical hours. Currently you can see all the required vaccinations for programs here 

I have already had COVID-19. Why do I need to be vaccinated?

Vaccines are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control even for people who have had COVID-19. Please click here to learn more about the CDC Guidelines. Additionally, OTC’s contractual obligations with our clinical affiliates requires us to follow their policies. This includes faculty members and clinical students attending the clinical site. 

I just had COVID-19, can I receive the Vaccine?

Yes, current CDC guidelines states that you can receive the vaccine as soon as you are symptom free. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma while sick with COVID-19, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. If you received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma after you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 to prevent you from getting sick, you should wait 30 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare professional if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/prepare-for-vaccination.html 

I am already fully vaccinated. Am I required to get a booster vaccine?

At this time a booster vaccine is not required by any clinical affiliates. However, if their policies change, you would be required to obtain the booster to attend clinical at that location.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Missouri Vaccine Navigator 

The Missouri Vaccine Navigator is intended to help Missourians navigate the COVID-19 vaccination process. This tool may not capture every event in your area, so we encourage you to engage with your local public health officials and health care facilities to learn more. https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/navigator/ 

Area Vaccine Registration Links 

Greene County Vaccine Locations https://www.springfieldmo.gov/5452/Find-a-Vaccine  

https://www.coxhealth.com/covid/vaccine/  

https://www.mercy.net/mo-covid-19-vaccinations/  

https://www.walmart.com/cp/flu-shots-immunizations/1228302  

May I submit an exemption request?

Some clinical sites do allow students to apply for medical or religious exemption. OTC has no role or input as to whether a clinical site allows an exemption for medical or religious reasons. If accepted into the program, you can complete the application with the clinical site(s) utilizing their own internal processes. Once the clinical site has received your request for an exemption, they will determine whether you meet the requirements for an exemption. Exemption is not guaranteed. If granted, pursuant to the clinical sites own policies, you may be subject to extra PPE requirements and weekly testing, which would be your responsibility to pay for and schedule. This cost can range from $85-150 per test.  

What happens if my exemption is not granted?

If unable to obtain exemption, you would be required to get the vaccination in order to continue in the program.

I’m an employee of a medical facility. Do I still need to submit proof of vaccination for my role as a student or faculty accompanying student?

Yes, OTC will need to have a copy of your vaccination records.

I’m an employee of a medical facility that has granted me an exemption as an employee. Will I need to get an exemption as a student?

Yes, employers can exempt you as an employee but might not as a student. Additionally, other clinical affiliates may not grant you an exemption. All clinical affiliates that you would attend as a student in a program would need to grant you an exemption.

How soon do I need to start the vaccination process?

Once you are accepted into a program, you will need to start the process of being fully vaccinated if you are not already, or obtaining exemptions so you can start the given program. Fully vaccinated means you will need to have either one dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine or both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Note, Pfizer is given three weeks apart and Moderna doses are given 4 weeks apart and you are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the second dose.  

Will I still need to wear a mask while at clinical rotations if I am fully vaccinated?

Possibly, the wearing of masks at a clinical affiliate will be based on the clinical affiliates policies. These policies can vary so please contact your programs Program Director for more information on the wearing of masks.

If I am pregnant will I need to be vaccinated?

Clinical sites may not exempt students on the basis of pregnancy, but students are still able to file for medical exemption related to other medical factors 

What types of Medical exemptions might be accepted?

Exact exemptions are up to the clinical affiliate, but here are the current CDC guidelines.

Can OTC exempt me as a student from clinical affiliates COVID-19 vaccine requirement?

No, OTC is not able to exempt students from our clinical affiliates policies as it their policies not OTC’s.

Where can I get more information or ask questions?

Questions can be emailed to healthsciences@otc.edu  

Additional information from OTC can be found here https://www.otc.edu/covid/#vaccine-information  

Additional information from the CDC can be found here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html  

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