Required COVID-19 Vaccinations in Mercer’s Health Science Programs with Clinical Experiences

August 6, 2021

Many clinical partners in health science disciplines now require COVID-19 vaccinations and masking for Mercer students in clinical settings. The University’s current mask policy specifies that health science students in clinical settings may be required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Based on current conditions and guidance from public health officials, the University now requires COVID-19 vaccinations for all students in health science programs with clinical experiences. By doing so, the schools and colleges can facilitate students’ clinical placements and enable students to complete program requirements and licensure requirements, if applicable, while meeting accreditation requirements.

Students in the following health science programs with clinical experiences are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Nursing

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (all tracks)
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Non-Degree Graduate Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Pharmacy

  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Doctor of Pharmacy

Health Professions

  • Master of Athletic Training
  • Master of Medical Science (PA)
  • Master of Public Health
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Doctor of Psychology
  • Doctor of Public Health (Spring 2022)

Medicine

  • Master of Family Therapy
  • Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences
  • Master of Science in Preclinical Sciences
  • Doctor of Medicine (includes 3-yr accelerated)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Rural Health)

Other health science programs do not have clinical experiences and are excluded from this list of programs.

Health science students enrolled in the above-referenced programs are required to have the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the start of the term and the second dose by October 1 (in a two-dose series) or the single dose by the start of the term. The School of Medicine will provide a brief grace period since their classes started on July 26.

Exemptions from compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination policy include:

  • Medical exemption: The student must provide a letter written on office stationery, signed by a MD (not a relative of the student), and stamped with his/her office stamp. The letter should state the reason for the exemption and whether the exemption is temporary or permanent.
  • Religious exemption: The student must provide a notarized letter from an official of the religion, such as an ordained minister or priest, affirming that the required immunizations are in conflict with the beliefs or practices of the religion. The name of the organization must be specified in the letter, and the letter must be provided on the organization’s letterhead.

Exemption requests should be sent to the dean’s office and the Office of the Provost at provost@mercer.edu.

Students must be vaccinated or have an approved exemption by the deadline in order to continue in the program.

Students with approved exemptions must sign and return the acknowledgment form to the academic unit within 24 hours from advising by the program administrator(s). Failure to sign and return the acknowledgment form within 24 hours will lead to a termination of the exemption.

Exemptions may fundamentally alter a student’s program, and program progression may be delayed. In some cases, the student may not be able to continue in the health science program. Accommodation questions will be addressed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Office of Access and Accommodation.

Students with approved exemptions or those who choose to remain unvaccinated for the coronavirus may be advised to consider careers other than health science.

Students must follow University COVID-19 protocols while on campus.

Please contact the program coordinator, dean’s office, or the Office of the Provost at provost@mercer.edu with questions.