Deadline today: Self-report your COVID-19 vaccination status
Widespread vaccination and wearing face coverings are the two most important tools we have to protect the health and safety of all of us, and the very best way to end this pandemic.
Last week, we received great news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for people ages 16 years old and up, moving it out of emergency use for this population and making it the first FDA approved vaccine to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Other vaccine manufacturers are also working toward full FDA approval, and we believe this will be an important step toward increasing the number of vaccinated people in Michigan and throughout the country.
As announced in July, all faculty, staff and learners at all three University of Michigan campuses and Michigan Medicine are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit their vaccination information or exemption request by today, Aug. 30. This includes all remote, regular and temporary employees.
Enforcement of the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy
Effective Aug. 31, all non-bargained for employees must: be fully vaccinated and documented full vaccine series in Wolverine Access; OR have received and documented the first dose of their two-dose (partial) vaccination process in Wolverine Access; OR have submitted a medical or religious exemption request.
If the conditions outlined above are not met, and no action has been taken, the employee will be subject to the five-step discipline process as outlined in SPG: 201.12. This is the same policy used for Michigan Medicine’s influenza vaccination process. The first step will focus on further education about the policy and the vaccine and will include a verbal warning.
All employees who have submitted a partial vaccination status will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing until they are fully vaccinated (two weeks post final dosage). Also, employees who have initiated an exemption or temporary postponement request, or who are awaiting verification of vaccine status, will be considered in compliance with the policy while their information is under review, but will be required to undergo weekly testing.
Exemption requests must be submitted by today, Aug. 30, for consideration. The committees reviewing both medical and religious exemptions are working diligently to notify employees of either approval or denial. It is anticipated that all requests will be completed within the next two weeks. If the employee’s exemption is denied, they will have seven days from the denial notification to begin their vaccination process.
There are two ways employees can see their COVID-19 vaccine status — the ResponsiBLUE app and HealthRx. There is a short delay in the status updating to HealthRx, which will be used as the source of information by mangers for compliance. Employees will be required to show proof of submission to their manager until the approval appears in HealthRx.
New employees will work with Occupational Health Services during their new employee health assessment to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination policy. New employees will upload their vaccine documentation to Wolverine Access within two days of the start of their employment. Those returning from a leave of absence will also be required to submit documentation to Wolverine Access within two days of their return to work.
Bargained-for employees should refer to their collective bargaining agreements.
Regardless of vaccination status, employees who are in clinical and non-clinical facilities must follow the U-M face-covering policy and perform daily symptom checks using the ResponsiBLUE app. Changes are being made to the ResponsiBLUE app so that it can also be used to verify vaccination status.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to have weekly COVID-19 testing completed. The only exception to this is those employees considered fully remote. If an employee reports to any Michigan Medicine facility during their work week they will need to be tested upon arriving onsite.
For asymptomatic individuals, weekly testing must be administered through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program (CTSP). Information about how to schedule an appointment and what is involved in testing can be found on the Campus BluePrint FAQs. The Towsley testing site will be open six days a week, and hours and number of testing sites will be expanding. Alternative testing options are being discussed for those who are not able to utilize the CSTP sites.
Michigan Medicine leaders held a special vaccine Town Hall on Thursday, Aug. 26 to provide information and answer questions from our employees. A recording is available of the entire session, and additional questions and answers have been added to the vaccine FAQs.
Thank you for ensuring that we have the safest workplace possible for our faculty, staff and learners, as well as the safest health care facilities for our patients and community.