Coronavirus (COVID-19) Medical Information
IMPORTANT: Wabash College will require COVID-19 vaccination for all students and employees for the fall 2021 semester. The FDA authorized vaccines protect individual health and reduce the spread of the virus among members of the College community. Please see additional information in the FAQs below.
The Healthy Campus Task Force has developed handy checklist of summer health policies and protocols for students, faculty, and staff working on campus this summer.
The Student Health Center is closed for the summer.
Current students who have been vaccinated are expected to submit a copy of their vaccination card using the COVID Pass App (click below). Incoming students should submit a copy of their vaccination card on the New Student Road Map.
For more information on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the CDC website.
General COVID-19 Information
The best source for up-to-date information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website and the CDC FAQ page. We recommend you bookmark these pages for easy reference. Submit Wabash-specific questions via email.
Disclaimer: These FAQs are subject to modification depending on guidance from the CDC, the Indiana Department of Health, the Montgomery County Health Department, as well as the incidence and prevalence of COVID-19 at the national, state, or local level.
Why is Wabash requiring vaccination against COVID-19?
Our goal for this year is to enhance our students’ opportunities to have a more fulfilling college experience. As a community that values close, face-to-face interactions, COVID-19 vaccination provides the best opportunity to accomplish that goal. If everyone is not fully vaccinated, the CDC’s guidance for Institutions of Higher Education requires continuation of the mitigation practices we used last fall, including masking, physical distancing, surveillance testing, and reduced campus access for guests, and the American College Health Association recommends COVID-19 vaccination requirements for on campus students.
I’ve been vaccinated, how do I share that information with Wabash?
Returning students and employees who have been vaccinated should upload a copy of their vaccination card using the COVID Pass app. New students in the fall 2021 semester can upload a copy of their vaccination record on the New Student Road Map.
I've had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, can I be vaccinated?
Yes, as soon as you have gone through your 10 days of isolation and have recovered (you have no ongoing symptoms), it is safe to receive any of the three authorized vaccines in the U.S. We are still learning how long immunity may last from COVID-19 infection, but the CDC considers someone immune from re-infection for a period of 90 days following onset of COVID-19 infection. The period of immunity is likely longer, but there are no good ways to determine how long that time period might be for an individual. Typically, asymptomatic or mild infections lead to a less robust and shorter duration of immunity. This also appears to be the case for those with weakened immune systems who don't mount a good immune response to the infection. We do know that receiving an authorized COVID-19 vaccine following infection provides a major boost in antibody levels and likely will lead to a prolonged period of immunity. Right now it's recommended that previously infected individuals receive a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine following infection to ensure good protection, particularly against variants of concern such as the Delta variant. Early data is starting to show that a single shot of an mRNA vaccine following infection may produce an adequate booster effect, but that is not an official recommendation at this point. Note that if you were treated with monoclonal antibodies for your infection, or were diagnosed with MIS-C or MIS-A, you need to wait 90 days before receiving vaccine. You can read more about COVID vaccines here.
Where can I get vaccinated?
The fastest way to identify a location where you can be vaccinated is to use the CDC’s website and enter your zip code. Persons in Indiana can register for a vaccination through the Indiana Department of Health website. Many vaccination locations offer vaccinations during business hours with no appointment necessary.
Why is Wabash requiring a vaccine that has Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and is not fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration?
COVID-19 vaccines are available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. Before these approvals were granted, the vaccines were tested on tens of thousands of individuals (data from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson). The study groups were as large or larger than those for previous vaccines licensed by the FDA. Additional data has been collected from the millions of people who have received the vaccines under the EUA. All three of the authorized vaccines in the U.S. prevent a vast majority of cases and hospitalizations and are nearly 100% effective at preventing death. The FDA process for vaccine licensure is very complex and can take months to complete. Both Pfizer and Moderna have submitted licensure applications to the FDA. It is important to note that the three vaccines currently being used in the U.S. have been scrutinized for safety and effectiveness far more than any other FDA licensed vaccine in history. Read more about the side effects on the CDC website.
I will only have had one dose of the vaccine when I arrive on campus. Can I get the second dose after I arrive?
Yes, vaccines are readily available at the Montgomery County Health Department and local pharmacies, both within easy walking distance of the College. The College may be able to offer vaccines on campus. You should expect to participate in additional virus mitigation practices, for example return-to-campus and surveillance testing, masking, etc., until you are fully vaccinated. To enhance your campus experience, we urge you to begin your vaccination process as soon as possible.
Does the College make an allowance for individuals who cannot be vaccinated?
Students—using their Wabash email address—may contact Associate Dean of Students Heather Thrush beginning on July 26 to request a medical or religious exemption form and instructions for providing documentation. All exemption applications will be reviewed in a timely manner with decisions announced as soon as possible; we plan to begin announcing decisions by August 2. Employees should contact Director of Human Resources Cathy Metz to request an accommodation before providing any information.
If I am vaccinated, do I need to wear a mask?
At Wabash, persons who have provided proof of being fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks on campus – outside or in buildings. They are also exempt from using the COVID Pass symptom monitoring app and, if asymptomatic, are not required to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
I had COVID-19. Does that exempt me from the vaccine requirement?
No. Medical studies suggest that a percentage of people infected with COVID-19 do not develop appropriate levels of antibodies. Vaccination provides far greater protection, reduces the risk of severe illness or hospitalization, and decreases transmission among individuals.
Can a student live at home and not get the vaccine?
Wabash is a residential liberal arts college and we are planning for in-person classes. We are not planning virtual courses this year.
Will Wabash accept vaccinations from other countries?
Yes, as long as they are approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization. The College will assist international students who wish to receive one of the three vaccines approved in the United States, but those students should first check in with the Student Health Center.