Coronavirus FAQs - Vaccines

As of Aug. 27, 2021, Kent State is requiring all students who study, work or engage in activities on our campuses, and all faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 20, 2021.

Flashes Take Care of Flashes

We took these measures because, with the FDA’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, and its expected approval of the Moderna vaccine next month, we now have an official acknowledgement that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at stopping the spread of this deadly virus. The vaccines underwent intensive clinical trials for effectiveness and safety before they were authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA continues to study and monitor how well the vaccines work, as well as their safety. As Flashes take care of Flashes, we must act to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all.

Vaccines are the primary and most effective tool against serious illness and the best path out of the pandemic. Not only do vaccines prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and death, they also help prevent the virus from mutating into one that is resistant to existing vaccines.

Vaccines also allow us to continue the vibrant and valuable in-person learning, events and campus experiences that we all desire.

We know this requirement brings with it the need to address your questions. Below are the most common questions to date.

Vaccine Questions Specific to Kent State

College Credit Plus Students: Will They Have to be Vaccinated to Take Their Kent State Courses?

CCP students who are taking their courses remotely and are not on our campuses will not have to meet the vaccine requirement. However, any who are eligible for an FDA-approved vaccine and who wish to take in-person classes on one of our campuses should be vaccinated.

Any student seeking an exemption should follow the exemption procedure. More information on the exemption procedure will be shared in the coming weeks.

Exemptions: Are They Permitted?

On Aug. 27, 2021, Kent State issued a COVID-19 vaccine requirement effective Dec. 20, 2021. Exemptions to this requirement will be granted for medical, religious or personal conscience reasons.

Lack of Vaccination or an Exemption by the Dec. 20 Deadline: What Happens?

Starting with the Spring 2022 Semester, students will be ineligible to participate in on-campus experiences, including attending in-person classes or living in the residence halls. 

For faculty and non-union staff, after reminders of compliance needs as well as time to get into compliance, progressive discipline will be implemented.

Reporting My Vaccine
Study-Abroad and Study-Away Programs Offered by Kent State: How Are They Impacted by Kent State's COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement?

All students participating in Kent State-sponsored study-abroad or study-away programs are included in the university’s vaccination requirement. Students who have a KSU-approved exemption must follow all host country and local guidelines for unvaccinated visitors. A KSU-approved exemption from the vaccination does not provide exemption from local law and regulations for COVID-19.


COVID-19 Booster Shots: FAQs

What’s the difference between a COVID-19 booster shot and an additional dose of vaccine? Do I need either one?

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots and additional doses (often called third doses), are now available at the DeWeese Health Center.

A booster shot is administered when a person has completed their vaccine series but protection against the virus has decreased over time.

Additional doses or third doses are administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. This additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for those who have received Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

  • Pfizer and Moderna booster recipients must be at least six months past the completion of their initial vaccine series, and be  at least 18 years old for Moderna and 16 years old for Pfizer.
  • For those who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are recommended for those who are at least two months past their initial shot.

Individuals eligible for booster shots may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may prefer the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. Recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also now allow for this type of mix-and-match dosing for booster shots.

According to the CDC, available data as of October 2021, show that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death, even against the widely circulating delta variant. Current vaccines are also expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths due to infection with the omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths. The recent emergence of omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.

COVID-19 Vaccines: How Can I Get One?

University Health Services is offering COVID-19 vaccines at the DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus from Monday through Friday, at varying times between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Use this link to schedule an appointment or call the health center at 330-672-2322 to schedule a vaccine appointment. While walk-ins are not accepted, those who want a same-day appointment should be able to register for one. The Moderna and Pfizer brand vaccines are available, and you may select which vaccine you prefer at the time you schedule your appointment.

Vaccines also are available at a variety of other locations statewide. Register through Ohio’s vaccine portal at

COVID-19 Vaccine Costs: How Much Is It?
  • The government is providing the vaccine free of charge, and health plans are required to cover the cost of administration.
COVID-19 Shots: How Many Do I Need?
  • Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine separated by 21 or 28 days are required for the Pfizer and Moderna brand vaccines, respectively. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires just one dose. Currently the Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for youth ages 5-17. A lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children ages 5 to 11. However, those shots are not available at the university at this time.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable; recipients must receive the vaccine made by the same manufacturer for each dose. In the future, it is expected that additional manufacturers and guidelines will be available, including the potential for single-dose vaccines. However, for booster shots, it is permissible to receive a different brand than one’s original vaccine.
Eligibility: Who Can Receive the Vaccine?
  • Currently in Ohio, everyone age 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Kent State strongly urges all members of our community to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Would there be any problems if I were to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time or in close proximity to one another?

  • The CDC states that COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing.

Health Considerations

After Getting the Vaccine FAQs

After Getting the Vaccine

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

  • The most common reported adverse events were headaches, pain at the injection site, fatigue and a general feeling of unwellness. 

Should I come to work if I experience side effects? 

  • Some people in the clinical trial have experienced injection site pain or redness, fatigue, muscle/joint pain, headache and fever. These side effects may be more likely after the second dose of the vaccine. It is OK to come to work with very minor symptoms. All others should be reported to your doctor. Employees with a fever of 100°F or more will need to follow normal call-off procedures. 

How do I report side effects?

  • The CDC is expanding its safety surveillance through the launch of a smartphone-based tool called v-safe that you can use to quickly tell the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It regularly collects text and email feedback. 
  • For those who do not opt into v-safe, adverse events can be reported in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Co-managed by the CDC and the FDA, VAERS serves as a national system for collecting and analyzing possible vaccine side effects. 
  • If you have questions about symptoms, talk with your doctor or schedule a telehealth appointment. 
  • In the unlikely event of a serious or life-threatening concern, go to the emergency department of the nearest hospital or call 911. 

What is v-safe? Do I have to participate? 

  • V-safe, or vaccine safety assessment for essential workers, is a smartphone-based text-to-web survey and email-to-web survey active surveillance program for early vaccine recipients.
  • V-safe will perform health checks at two periods after vaccination. In the first week after vaccination, check-ins will occur daily. After that time, weekly check-ins will occur for six weeks following vaccination.
  • The system will provide telephone follow-up to anyone who reports medically significant (important) adverse events.
  • Vaccine recipients will be provided details on how to participate in v-safe in their after-visit summary (AVS). It is not required but is encouraged. 



  • For now, Kent State is asking all members of our community, vaccinated or not, to continue to wear face coverings indoors, unless they are alone in a private office or lab space. Those who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a face covering outdoors, but the university strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals continue to wear face coverings outside, particularly when they cannot maintain a safe physical distance from others. 


  • According to guidance issued by the CDC on Feb. 10. 2021, vaccinated people exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet the following criteria:
    • They are fully vaccinated and at least two weeks have gone by since receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or more than two weeks have gone by following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
    • They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
  • People who do not meet the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Allergic Reactions: I've Had an Allergic Reaction to Other Vaccines, Should I Get the Vaccine?
  • There is a remote chance that there could be a severe allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, which could include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, fast heartbeat, rash, dizziness and weakness.
  • You should not get the vaccine if you had a severe allergic reaction to a past dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • The CDC recommends a 15-minute observation period following vaccination for every person. People who have had severe allergic reactions or who have had any type of immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or injectable therapy should be monitored for at least 30 minutes after getting the vaccine.
Anxiety: If this Situation Causes Me Anxiety, What Should I Do?
Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Future Pregnancies: Can I Get the Vaccine?

If I am breastfeeding or pregnant, can I still get the vaccine?

  • Manufacturers that are testing the vaccines in clinical trials so far have not included pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. 
  • Many individuals in these situations historically have not been studied in clinical trials and still receive vaccines. 
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated that the vaccine should be available to pregnant and breastfeeding women if they choose to get it.


  • According to the CDC, if you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.
  • There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, according to the CDC.
  • Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.
Flu Vaccine: Is This Vaccine Similar? Can I Get Both Close Together?


  • The world is still learning how long immunity to the coronavirus lasts after a vaccination. Intensive monitoring and evaluation will continue after the vaccines are in use to determine if repeat immunizations will be needed. Booster shots are available. 


  • The CDC states that COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing.
Johnson & Johnson FAQs
If I Had a Positive COVID-19 Test Previously or Have Had a Positive Antibody Test, Should I Still Get the Vaccine?

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had a COVID-19 infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that individuals who have had a diagnosed COVID-19 infection should still get the vaccine but the CDC suggests waiting 90 days post-illness.

Should I Get the Vaccine If I Am Not Feeling Well?
  • If you are not feeling well, it is recommended that you wait until you are feeling better to get the vaccine. If you have scheduled an appointment to receive the vaccine and are not feeling well on the day of vaccination, you should cancel and reschedule at a later date. 
  • If you have a fever (100°F or greater), it is not safe to receive any vaccine.
  • If you are currently in isolation for COVID-19 or in quarantine due to a positive exposure to COVID-19, you should plan to wait to receive the vaccine until you have been released from isolation or quarantine

View the FAQ Archive