Frequently Asked Questions About Vaccines at Holy Cross
Are students required to be vaccinated?
All Holy Cross students, except for those who have asked for and been granted an exemption, must be vaccinated before returning to campus in fall or for summer activities.
How do I request an exemption from the vaccine requirement?
Students can apply for a religious or medical exemption using this form.
Why is Holy Cross requiring the vaccine?
This is a vital step for our community in order to have the kind of fall semester we all want; with in-person classes and activities, a full slate of athletics competitions and minimal social distancing requirements.
The vaccines have proven safe and effective, according to public health experts and agencies around the world, including the CDC, and they are now widely available across the country for people older than 16.
I'm an international Student, will a vaccine received in another country satisfy the requirement?
We expect that international vaccines that are accepted by federal and state guidelines will satisfy the vaccination requirement. The College will make every effort to assist international students with this requirement.
Are faculty and staff required to be vaccinated?
No. But we are strongly encouraging all faculty and staff to be vaccinated. Public health guidance tells us that having as many vaccinated community members as possible will help protect those who may not be able to get the vaccine.
How do I let the school know I’ve been vaccinated?
1. Log into your patient portal: healthservices.holycross.edu
2. Click on "Immunizations"
3. Click on "Recommended"
4. Enter the dates you received your COVID vaccine under the vaccine you received. There is a space for Moderna, Pfizer and J&J
5. Back at the top of the page, Click on "Upload"
6. In the drop down list select "immunization history"
7. Upload proof of your vaccination-- picture of your vaccine card, or anything that has your name, date of birth and vaccine information
How do I sign up for a vaccine?
If you are eligible, you can book an appointment online based on your eligibility criteria.
If you are not yet eligible, you can pre-register for an appointment here. Once you pre-register, once you become eligible for a vaccine, the state will contact you with your registration link.
If you need help with this process, you may also contact 2-1-1.
I am an out-of-state or international student. Am I eligible to receive a vaccine in Massachusetts?
Yes. The Department of Health and Human Services has explicitly stated that out-of-state and international students are eligible to receive a vaccine in Massachusetts.
Will I need two vaccines and what happens if I leave the state before I get my second vaccine?
Two of the currently available vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, require two shots spaced 21 and 28 days apart, respectively. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine only requires one vaccine.
The American College Health Association urges college students to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and not to delay initiation until they reach their summer destination. Many retail pharmacies and mass vaccination sites are now able to accommodate people who require only a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, and those sites that do not do so now may be more accommodating as vaccine supply increases. If you need help finding an appointment, you can check vaccinefinder.org/search.
Will I have to pay for the vaccine?
No. The vaccine is being provided free of charge to all individuals by the federal government. However, the state sites may still ask for insurance information to cover administrative fees, which are billed directly to and paid for by your insurance.
What are the risks of these vaccines?
Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet on FDA.gov that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine.
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers
- Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers
We recommend that you contact your primary care physician if you have additional questions.
What are the benefits of taking this vaccine?
We refer you to the Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC for a summary of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination based on what we currently know.
What if I have an underlying medical condition or another health-related concern?
Please contact your primary care physician to discuss whether it is appropriate for you to receive the vaccine.
If I get a vaccine, will I have to continue to take part in the campus’ COVID testing program?
Yes, if you are currently in the testing program or if your time on campus increases to require testing. Current data indicates that it typically takes a few weeks for the body’s immune system to develop protection against the virus that causes COVID-19 after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick, despite having been vaccinated. For this reason, you will continue to take part in the COVID testing program at this time.
Do vaccinated students still have to quarantine if they are found to be a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID?
Students who have received either two doses of Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior are now not always required to quarantine following an exposure to COVID-19. Students should upload proof of their COVID-19 vaccine to their Patient Portal under Immunizations.
There may be occasional circumstances where vaccinated students are still required to quarantine. For example, in the event an entire wing, floor or residence hall is put into quarantine following a potential cluster of cases.
If I get a vaccine, do I still have to wear a mask and engage in social distancing?
Holy Cross has a universal mask policy, which applies even to those who have received a vaccine. When off-campus, the CDC is advising people to continue to wear masks and avoid close contact with others.
If I get a vaccine, do I have to quarantine upon return from travel, or provide a negative PCR test prior to my return?
Students who have received either two doses of Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior are not required to quarantine upon return from travel, and do not need to provide a negative PCR test to be cleared to return.
What if I have another question?
If you have any personal, health-related questions, please contact your primary care physician.