UI Health Care compliance with CMS’ COVID-19 health care staff vaccination rule
Published on 3/1/2022

As a reminder, compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 health care staff vaccination rule requires staff to document either their vaccination or their exemption by satisfying one of the following three criteria:

  1. Submit your COVID-19 vaccination information through self-service; or
  2. Apply for a medical exemption; or
  3. Submit an attestation for a religious or strongly held belief exemption

Completing the compliance and requesting an exemption 

If you have any questions about whether or not you fall within the scope of this mandate, please contact your HR representative.

Need the vaccine? 

Individuals who would like to become vaccinated should call the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) at 319-356-3631, option 3, or visit your local pharmacy. If you receive your vaccination outside of the UEHC, you must submit proof of vaccination through Employee Self-Service. Please note that you must receive the second dose of a two-dose series by March 15 to complete the compliance.

FAQs:

Why is UI Health Care seeking to verify my COVID-19 vaccination status?

To meet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 health care staff vaccination requirement that requires individuals to either document their vaccination or document their exemption, UI Health Care faculty, staff, volunteers, students, vendors and service providers, and select UI employees who support clinical and patient care activities at UI Hospitals & Clinics facilities, are being asked to indicate compliance by Feb. 13.

As we care for Medicare and Medicaid patients, we are required to comply.

How do I know if I am subject to the compliance?

If you are a paid employee of UI Health Care and are designated Health Care Compliant (HCC) “yes”, you are subject to this mandate.  You can check your HCC status in your e-personnel file.  Additionally, the compliance will appear on your CQ dashboard which you can check in the UI self-service portal.

How do I comply with this vaccination rule?

Individuals can indicate compliance by:

How do I access the Compliance & Qualifications (CQ) system?
What vaccines are recognized for this program?

As of Nov. 15, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed the following COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., COMIRNATY, Tozinameran)
  • AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
  • Novavax COVID-19 vaccine
  • Sinopharm BIBP COVID-19 vaccine
  • Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine

If you participated in a U.S.-based clinical trial and are documented to have received the full series of an “active” COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and vaccine efficacy has been independently confirmed, you are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after completing the vaccine series. (Currently Novavax COVID-19 vaccine meets these criteria.)

If you have other questions about eligible vaccines, you may call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631, option 3, or send an email to employee-health@uiowa.edu.

Am I considered fully vaccinated if I received a vaccine that is not listed, or I received doses from several vaccines?

To be fully vaccinated, you must receive a complete series of COVID-19 vaccine(s) that are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or WHO authorized or approved.

If you have questions about whether or not you are fully vaccinated, you may call the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631, option 3, or send an email to employee-health@uiowa.edu.

I have a health condition that prevents me from being vaccinated. How do I request a medical exemption?

Medical exemptions may be requested by submitting the medical exemption request form found in Universal Workflow. Note that to be approved for a medical exemption, you will be required to upload a document in Universal Workflow signed by a licensed medical professional as required by CMS. Further information is included on the form.

How do I request an exemption based on a strongly held or religious belief?

If you have a strongly held religious belief, observance, or practice; including a moral or ethical belief, observance, or practice, you must request an exemption by submitting the Religious Accommodation / Strongly Held Belief Request Form. To access, you must log in to Universal Workflow and complete the relevant form.

I received the full COVID-19 vaccination series from the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC). Do I need to upload an image of my vaccination card?

No action is needed on your part.

I received partial COVID-19 vaccination series from the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) and partial from another provider. Do I need to upload an image of my vaccination card?

If a person received their first vaccination dose through University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC), and their second dose somewhere else, they will need to upload an image of their vaccination card. If a person received their second vaccination dose through UEHC, no further action is required.

I previously received an exemption and have now been vaccinated. Can I record the vaccination?

Yes, if you did not get vaccinated at UEHC you may upload your vaccination card. To do so go to Employee Self Service. Employees should also reset their survey response in Ready Set to reflect their most current vaccination status. Resetting your survey can be done by emailing employee-health@uiowa.edu.

I lost my vaccination card, where can I get a new one?

You can retrieve your COVID-19 vaccination record through MyChart if you have a UI Health Care provider. If you received your vaccination in the State of Iowa, individual immunization records including COVID-19 immunizations can be obtained through IRIS (Iowa’s Immunization Registry Information System).

Individuals may obtain immunization records through the following options:

  1. Contact your health care provider.
  2. Complete and submit an immunization record request form to the Iowa Department of Public Health Immunization Program.
I only received my first vaccination dose for a two-dose vaccine (such as Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech). Where can I receive a second dose?

The University Employee Health Clinic can provide second doses of vaccinations for employees, or employees may go to their regular health care provider or any local pharmacy.

UI Students can contact Student Health or go to any local pharmacy.

All others should visit Vaccinate Iowa to find a suitable location.  Regardless of where you receive your second vaccination, please remember to bring your vaccination card with you.

Am I permitted to redact or alter part of my vaccination card before I upload the image?

If your “Patient number” is provided on the card, you may redact or obscure that number. Do not redact or obscure any other information on the card. Please see the following questions for information about security and access to the uploaded document.

Who has access to see my vaccination information?

Information and documents related to your COVID-19 vaccination will only be visible to you, your local HR representative, HR leader, associate dean for faculty (for faculty members), Faculty and Staff Disability Services, and (for UI Healthcare employees) Leave and Disability Administration.

Is my vaccine information stored securely?

Yes.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your second dose of the following vaccines:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., COMIRNATY, Tozinameran)
  • AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria)
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
  • Sinopharm BIBP COVID-19 vaccine
  • Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine

Or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

If you haven’t yet received a vaccine, please familiarize yourself with the time required to complete your vaccination sequence.

For students:

I am a student who is not directly part of UI Hospitals & Clinics, and I received an email that I must comply with the CMS vaccine mandate. Why?

Certain students and volunteers who interact with patients or staff or complete coursework within UI Hospitals & Clinics have been identified as in-scope for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 health care staff vaccination requirement as they are anticipated to be onsite at least 10 days a year at a UI Hospitals & Clinics facility. You must document your vaccination or your medical or religious exemption in Employee Self-Service.

For more information, visit coronavirus.uiowa.edu/vaccine-information.

I am an employee who is not directly part of UI Hospitals & Clinics, and I received an email that I must comply with the CMS vaccine mandate. Why?

To meet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 health care staff vaccination requirement, certain UI staff, volunteers, vendors, and service providers who are anticipated to be onsite at least 10 days a year at a UI Hospitals & Clinics facility are being asked to document their vaccination or an exemption in Employee Self-Service. The requirement also covers select employees who interact with patients of UI Hospitals & Clinics or indirectly support clinical and patient care activities.

How do I comply with this vaccination rule?

Individuals can indicate compliance by:

How do I access the Compliance & Qualifications (CQ) system?