COVID-19 Vaccinations

April 8, 2021 - 4:00 p.m.

Vaccinations for COVID-19 are not available at FAU as our campuses have not been designated by the state or federal government as a distribution center. Both the federal government and the State of Florida have target populations and vaccine distribution centers available throughout the country. Refer to the links below, as the target populations change often:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take the below COVID-19 precautions when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19:

  • Wear a well-fitted mask
  • Stay at least six feet from people you do not live with
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

Out-of-state and international students may request a letter from FAU Student Health Services to take with them for vaccine documentation. To request the letter please use this form

The CDC has released resources to help people make informed decisions when they are fully vaccinated.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes! The COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing serious disease and death associated with infection by SARS-CoV-2.  Vaccination will not only protect you, but will help protect others from becoming infected with the virus.

2) The COVID vaccines were developed very quickly, are they safe?

Yes. The three vaccines that have received Emergency Use Authorization in the US have all been determined to be safe.   These include vaccines from these manufacturers:  Pfizer-BioNTech; Moderna; and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen.  In order for a vaccine to receive Authorization or Approval, clinical trials must show they are safe and effective.  The known and potential benefits must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine.  Tens of thousands of people received each vaccine during the clinical trial periods.  The trials are overseen by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board.  If there were any issues regarding safety, the trials would have been halted.

3) Is one vaccine better than another?

The vaccines do have differences in their overall effectiveness rates, based on the results of each of the clinical trials.  However, it is important to look past those numbers and focus on the fact that all three vaccines are 100% effective against hospitalization and death from the virus.  There is always a possibility with any of the vaccines that you could subsequently be infected with SARS-CoV-2, however, you will not get as sick and you will not need hospitalization if you do get sick.  All three vaccines are powerful tools in the fight against COVID-19.

4) Are there limitations on age for those receiving the vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for ages 16 and older.  The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for ages 18 and older.  There may also be limitations from the State regarding who can receive the vaccine.

5) Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No.  None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, so it cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

6) If the COVID-19 vaccine cannot make me sick with COVID-19, what are the reactions some people get after receiving the vaccine?

The vaccines may have temporary side effects, including pain, redness and swelling at the injection site; tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills and fever.  However, these side effects are known and potential risks of the vaccine (and are typical of other vaccines, i.e. flu and measles) and should subside in a few days.  There is also the potential for severe allergic reactions to the vaccines, particularly to people that have allergies to any of the components of the vaccines.

7) If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes.  You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19.  This is because we do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.  Even if you have had COVID-19, you may still be infected with the virus again.  Getting vaccinated is a much safer way of building protection to COVID-19 than getting infected.

8) How many shots of the vaccine should I get?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are both two shot regimens.  With the Pfizer vaccine the second dose should be received at least 21 days after the first dose.  With the Moderna vaccine, the second dose should be received at least 28 days after the first dose.

The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine is a single-dose vaccine.

9) Can I get COVID-19 before I am fully vaccinated? How long will it take before immunity develops?

Yes.  It is possible to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 and develop disease before you are fully vaccinated.  Based on the data it takes approximately two weeks after your complete dosing to achieve full immunity. 

10) What if I miss my scheduled 2nd dose of Pfizer of Moderna vaccine?

While the recommended intervals between doses are listed in 8) for the vaccines, if you miss this interval, you should contact the vaccine provider in order to re-schedule your second dose as soon as possible.  It is acceptable for the second dose to be administered up to 42 days after the first dose. 

11) What are the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines and how do the vaccines work?

Each vaccine is different, but the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are built upon the same principle.  The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines utilize messenger RNA (mRNA) as the main ingredient.  mRNAs drive the production of specific proteins.  Within our bodies, these proteins carry out the everyday tasks for our cells and organs to survive and grow.  With the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the mRNA drives the production of a single protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the “spike” protein.  Because this is not a natural protein for our bodies, when it gets produced, we are induced to mount an immune response to the protein, which then protects us from disease.  Other ingredients in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines include natural components found in our cells that help preserve and protect the mRNA because it is a fragile molecule. 


The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is based on an incapacitated adenovirus that has been modified to drive the production of the SARS-CoV-2 “spike” protein.  Adenoviruses typically cause cold-like diseases in humans.  The adenovirus used in this vaccine has been modified so it can no longer grow and cause disease in humans.  Instead, this virus is used to drive the production of the SARS-CoV-2 “spike” protein and induce an immune response in our bodies to protect us from COVID-19 disease. 


As mentioned above in 5), none of the vaccines will produce live SARS-CoV-2 virus, so we cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccines. 

12) Will the COVID vaccine alter my DNA?

No. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines consist only of mRNA, which does not have the ability to alter DNA, it can only instruct the cells on how to make a certain protein.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is based on an incapacitated virus, which does not grow and reproduce, and does not interact with your DNA.  So, your DNA will not be altered by any of the vaccines. 

13) Can I just not get a vaccine and wait until lots of people are vaccinated and the country develops "herd immunity"?

Waiting for herd immunity is not recommended. "Herd immunity" takes time to develop and, ultimately, we may not be successful in obtaining herd immunity with COVID-19.  We do not know the exact percentage of people it will take to be vaccinated in order to establish herd immunity for COVID-19.  Also, because we do not yet know how long vaccine-induced immunity will last, it may not be possible to establish herd immunity.  While waiting for herd immunity to develop you may be exposed to the virus and develop disease, when you could have been vaccinated and been protected.

14) Can I get my first dose with the Moderna vaccine and the second dose the Pfizer vaccine?

No. You should be consistent with the type of vaccine you receive and not mix.  There is no data on the effectiveness of mixing vaccine types.

15) Will I need to wear a mask and practice physical distancing after I get the vaccine?

Yes, you will need to wear a mask after you get the vaccine.  We still have a responsibility to protect one another.  It is unknown when everyone will be able to receive the vaccine, so there will still be people that can get sick with the virus.  Also, even though you’ve been vaccinated, you can still become infected with the virus and potentially transmit the virus to others that have not been vaccinated.  Until we know more about how the vaccine works, how long the protection will last and if we can still transmit virus to others after being vaccinated, we need to keep up with our safety triad:  Wear a mask, practice physical distancing and wash your hands.


On-Campus Impact
Spring 2021 Semester

*Case data updated every 30 minutes.


Summer 2021 Semester Plans



Questions and Requests for Assistance can be directed to a Member of the COVID-19 Team at

Residential Students (including off-campus hotel)

Non-Residential Students (contact the Office of the Dean of Students)