COVID signs in the union and outdoor scenery

COVID signs in the union and outdoor scenery by Niyathi Sulkunte

For the fall 2021 semester, UNC Charlotte applied to be an on-campus vaccination site. Through this avenue, UNC Charlotte was able to host three different vaccination clinics. Two for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on March 31 and another on April 12. The third clinic was held on April 20 and offered the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be given in a clinic on-campus on May 11. 

According to Christy Jackson, Director of Communications for the Division of Business Affairs, “We have administered close to 3 thousand doses on campus -- including both the J&J vaccine and the first dose of the Pfizer shot.” 

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was halted in recent developments due to complications described in the April 13 Niner Notice to the UNC Charlotte community. 

According to the April 13 Niner Notice, “...The CDC and FDA issued a statement recommending a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine until a full review is completed based on reports of a serious side effect, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), experienced by six people in the United States.” The University decided not to hold any more Johnson and Johnson vaccine clinics. The rest of the notice describes the symptoms of CVST. 

On April 16, UNC Charlotte announced on the Niner Nation Cares website that they were releasing an exemption form for students and employees to be exempt from completing the daily Niner Health Checks and random mitigation testing. 

UNC Charlotte offers an exemption for the Niner Health Check and on-campus mitigation testing if students and employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The form is available through the Niner Nation Cares website. The University is not requiring the vaccine or filling out this form, but there are some benefits for getting it. 

Students and employees will continue to receive the email every day. However, they will not receive the reminder emails to complete the health check, nor will their NinerNet accounts be locked. The University encourages students and staff to complete the Niner Health Check if they feel symptoms of COVID-19 or come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

In addition to being exempt from the Niner Health Checks and mitigation testing, there are benefits regarding completing the form. According to the Niner Nation Cares website, students can be entered to win one of several prizes, among them “a free parking permit for the upcoming academic year or $500 on their 49erID card.” The documentation must be submitted by June 15 in order to participate. 

The University does ask that the vaccine be fully administered before the form is completed as one of the necessary steps is to show proof of CDC vaccination card via documentation in PDF or JPEG format. This also includes the two-week waiting period from the date that students and employees received the shot to when they are allowed to complete the form for submission. 

While students who live on campus may be exempt from the random mitigation testing, they are still required to participate in surge testing in the residence halls. 

The process for submitting the form is simple. The form asks the following questions: Have you been vaccinated? Which vaccine did you receive? What was the date of the shot? and there is a section to upload proof of vaccination in a JPEG/PDF format. Students and staff will submit this form and they should hear from the University in three to five business days for approval or denial. 

According to Jackson, approximately five thousand students and employees have completed the form as of April 29.

 “However, we know many in our campus community have received their shot at other locations, so we appreciate any support you can provide in getting the word out about submitting the reporting form,” said Jackson. 

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