COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement FAQ

What is the requirement for fall 2022? 

It will be announced on July 1, 2022.

Why is Lenoir-Rhyne requiring the vaccination?

The decision was based on ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our campus and broader community and consistent with one of our LR values -- being a caring community. 

In addition, we believe requiring the vaccine is essential to provide the full LR experience for our students, faculty and staff—without masks, social distancing, quarantining and mandatory testing.  

The only way for our campus to return to normal operations and our goal to offer a fully safe and vibrant working and learning environment is to have a vaccinated campus.

Are other colleges in our region requiring the vaccine?

More than 500 public and private universities nationwide are requiring the vaccine and the list is growing weekly. There are now 12 universities in North Carolina requiring the vaccine.  Universities requiring the vaccine include Wake Forest, Duke, University of Virginia, Elon, Furman, Wofford, Queens, Shaw, Johnson C. Smith, Livingstone, Brevard, Virginia Tech, James Madison, VMI, University of Michigan, Indiana University, Harvard, Yale, Hampton, Vanderbilt and most of the  Ivy League schools. An updated list of colleges and universities by state requiring the vaccine is available at University Business.  

How do I submit my proof of vaccination? 

I have previously had the COVID-19 virus. Will I be required to be vaccinated?

Yes. The CDC has indicated that antibody tests are not a true measure of how protected you are from COVID-19, and there is no waiting period recommended if you have recovered from COVID-19. They have indicated that a positive antibody test does not mean you have sufficient protection from COVID.

I am an international student and need to be vaccinated upon arrival to the United States. What should I do?

LR will provide assistance in making arrangements for international students to receive the vaccination upon arrival. International students should contact Dean of Students Katie Fisher (and your coach if you are a student-athlete) to schedule your arrival date to LR. The arrival date to LR should be on a Monday through Thursday so you can receive the first shot of your vaccine and schedule your second shot. You will be quarantined for seven days upon arrival. You will then need to wear a mask, remain socially distant and participate in daily COVID-19 screenings until receiving your second shot.

I have questions about the vaccine. Where can I learn more? 

We have compiled information and resources online.

I believe I may be eligible for a medical or religious exemption. How do I notify the university? 

You first have to submit a completed LR exemption application form to apply for an exemption. A committee will review your application and render a decision. Submitting a form does not guarantee that an exemption will be granted. The form is available on the website. It is important to complete the form ASAP.

If more than 1,000 members of the community are already vaccinated, why do you have to require it? 

Lenoir-Rhyne has more than 3,200 faculty, staff and students. Our goal is to offer normal university operations and be able to offer a fully safe and vibrant working and learning environment. The only way to do this is through herd immunity, and the only way to herd immunity is through vaccinations. 

Will weekly testing be required if I am vaccinated?

No. While LR will continue to conduct random testing, you will not be subject to high-volume testing once vaccinated.

I will not be able to complete the vaccine process by the deadline. What should I do

We have communicated this requirement in June so that you should have time to complete your vaccine process by August 16. If you are not able to complete your second shot by August 10 please contact the appropriate person below so we may work with you:

Once I am fully vaccinated, will I still have to wear a mask and remain socially distant in classes, residence halls and the dining hall?

Once you are fully vaccinated, you will not have to wear a mask or maintain social distance from others. Campus life for you will return to normal as it was prior to the pandemic. If addition, if you are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID, you will not be required to quarantine.

If I am an LR employee and do not get the vaccine, will I be permitted to work from home, and/or teach my classes online?

No. Since the vaccine is readily available, there would not be an accommodation to work from home due to not being vaccinated. Those employees or students who receive a medical or religious exemption are also expected to be at work and attend classes. All requests for accommodations for other issues are submitted and reviewed through the Office of Disability Service.

If I live on campus, may I have visitors from off campus in my room?

Visitation within campus residence halls will be allowed among the members of the student body who have been vaccinated.

Does taking the vaccine affect fertility?

Medical experts continue to assert that the COVID vaccines do not impact fertility. Please consult the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. This is the premier organization for research and recommendations on reproductive health.

What is the latest information regarding the side effects of the vaccine associated with the heart?

There has been a very, very small number of cases (approximately 1,200 of 300 million doses) of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine creating acute issues, including mild myocarditis or pericarditis. Almost all cases have resolved with little treatment and patients recovered quickly. Current data indicates you have a 99.996% chance of not having this effect. Only 1 in 250,000 doses have this mild condition. Experts indicate there is a much higher risk of contracting a serious heart issues if you are infected with the COVID virus. You can read more at these two links:

I am a University Christian High School (UCHS) student and take some classes at LR and/or use the library and other resources on campus. Am I required to have the COVID vaccine?

Yes. If you have a documented medical reason or bona fide religious exemption please be sure the forms are signed by you parent or guardian if under 18 years of age.

I am enrolled in the LR Scholars Program as a high school student and take some of my classes at LR. Am I required to take the vaccine?

Yes. If you have a documented medical reason or bona fide religious exemption please be sure the forms are signed by you parent or guardian if under 18 years of age.

I am an incoming international student and have received the vaccine in my country that was approved by the WHO (World Health Organization) but not the FDA. Will I need to be vaccinated again in the US when I arrive?

Lenoir-Rhyne will accept WHO approved vaccines for international students who are fully vaccinated.

Lenoir-Rhyne will work with those students when they arrive who would also like to be vaccinated by one of the FDA authorized vaccines which have a higher efficacy rate. These are the Pfizer, Moderna, and the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccines.

What happens if I refuse to take the vaccine?

LR expects that all faculty, staff and students will adhere to the COVID-19 requirement. It provides the best opportunity to return to normal campus operations and to provide the full LR experience for our students, faculty and staff—without masks, social distancing, quarantining and mandatory testing.  

This is the best way for our campus to offer a fully safe and vibrant working and learning environment.

Lenoir-Rhyne will consider exemptions for the vaccine for documented medical reasons and adherence to sincerely held, bona fide religious beliefs. These forms are available now online and should be submitted ASAP..

Faculty, staff or students who have not been fully vaccinated and do not have an approved exemption for medical or religious reasons will not be able to be on campus. Students may defer enrollment for a semester or chose to transfer to another university. LR employees are required to be on campus and must have the vaccine to continue their employment opportunity with the university.


Additional Questions

If you have a question not answered in the frequently asked questions, please send an email to Cat Niekro at Please provide your full name and note your relationship to the university, e.g., current student, faculty or staff member, parent, alumnus/a, etc.