FAQs: Vaccines

Are Mason students required to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. All Mason students must submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a booster shot (unless you have an approved medical or religious exemption). Only COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted.

Upload your COVID vaccination documentation to the patient portal. Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement page for more information about the requirement. Contact the Immunization Office (703-993-2135) if you have questions.

If I had COVID-19 and recovered, do I need still need to be vaccinated?

Yes. Mason strongly encourages all faculty and staff and requires students to be vaccinated and boosted, including those who have had COVID-19 and recovered. The university is following CDC guidelines, which advise that  individuals “should be vaccinated regardless of whether [they] already had COVID-19.”

Is natural immunity from a previous COVID-19 infection grounds to apply for a medical exemption from the vaccination?

No. Public health experts recommend vaccination and boosters even with prior COVID exposure or illness.

I lost my vaccination card / documents. What should I do?

Contact the provider who administered the vaccination to request a replacement card. This may be a health department, pharmacy, or another health care provider. Documentation should include your name, the name of the health care facility/provider, type of vaccine, and the date of vaccination. 

If you were vaccinated in Virginia, you can request a copy of your immunization record using the Virginia Immunization Information System.

If you were vaccinated in another state, contact the state department of health to inquire about immunization records.  

If you cannot find documentation, your provider can complete the COVID Vaccine/Testing Form (PDF). 

I am a newly admitted or re-admitted student. Does the COVID vaccination also have to be transcribed onto the Mason Immunization Record Form?

No, it does not have to be transcribed onto the Immunization Record Form.   

You should submit your COVID vaccination documentation along with the Immunization Record Form (PDF).

What if I will not have received my second dose/ booster?

Schedule appointments to get your shots or submit a medical waiver or religious waiver.

Then submit documentation of your first dose, then of your second dose, then of your booster. 

Submit documents through the:

What if I have questions about the vaccination requirement or proof of vaccination?

Contact the Immunization Office (703-993-2135).  

What if I have questions about COVID vaccines?

Contact your health care provider or call Student Health Services (703-993-2831). 

Visit the Office of Safety, Emergency, and Risk Management for FAQ about the Mason vaccine clinics. 

Information about COVID vaccines is also available from the Centers for Disease Control.

I am a student; what if I have a medical reason that prevents me from receiving a vaccination?

Your health care provider must complete and sign the Mason Certificate of Medical Exemption for Immunizations Requirements Form. Upload it to the patient portal.  

Newly admitted or newly re-admitted students should submit the form with your Mason Immunization Record Form (PDF). 

What if I have a religious exemption to vaccination?

Students must submit the original, notarized Virginia Certificate of Religious Exemption Form (Form CRE-1) (PDF) Upload the form to the patient portal AND mail the original to:

Student Health Services Immunization Office

4400 University Drive, MS 2D3

Fairfax, VA 22030

Exemptions do not apply to the Tuberculosis Screening section on the Mason Immunization Record Form (PDF).

I am a current Mason student and already submitted my Virginia Certificate of Religious Exemption to Student Health. Do I need to submit a new one for COVID-19 vaccination?

No, you do not need to submit a new form. 


Third Shots / Boosters

What’s the difference between a third shot and a booster shot?

Third shots are given to individuals who are immunocompromised at least four weeks after a second shot.  A third shot is needed because a person who is immunocompromised may not have the desired antibody production from only two shots. 

A booster shot is given to certain populations at least six months after a second shot because there is evidence to suggest that people's immune response may decline over time.

Who is eligible for a third shot?

Individuals who are immunocompromised as defined by the CDC. A third shot should be administered at least four weeks after your second shot of Pfizer or Moderna.

Who is eligible for a booster shot?

The CDC and FDA have approved and recommended booster doses for certain individuals who received any of the three Covid-19 vaccines available in the U.S.  

Pfizer and Moderna boosters are available for eligible individuals who completed their initial series at least five months ago. Eligible individuals include: 

  • People 65 and older.
  • People ages 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions 
  • People ages 18 to 64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings (i.e., high contact roles, health care, childcare teachers, instructional faculty, public safety, and counselors) may receive a booster after consultation with your primary care provider.  

Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are also eligible for a booster of any of the three vaccines available in the U.S., two months after their initial vaccine.    

Are instructional faculty and staff eligible for a booster shot based on their occupation as an educator?

Yes. Instructional faculty and staff age 18 or older who teach in person classes are eligible for a booster shot.

Where can I get a third or booster shot at Mason?

Pfizer and Moderna boosters are available for eligible individuals at Fenwick A on the Fairfax Campus, Monday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. ET.

If you need a third shot or a booster shot, you can schedule your vaccine appointment.


What if I was vaccinated in another state?

If you were vaccinated in another state, you can still obtain your third shot or booster shot, if eligible, at Mason.

You are required to bring your vaccine card to your appointment.

You may be required to contact your state’s health department to update your vaccination record. Virginia’s vaccination system may not communicate with your states vaccine record system. Regional state systems include: