The university is closely following the state of Tennessee’s legal challenge to President Biden’s Executive Order 14042. The executive order applies to federal contractors, including UT Knoxville, and includes a vaccination requirement.
On November 30, 2021, a federal district judge granted the states of Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky a preliminary injunction that—for now—prohibits the federal government from enforcing the executive order on federal contractors in those states.
With the preliminary injunction in place, the university must comply with Tennessee law, which prohibits state institutions like UT Knoxville from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations.
As a result, vaccine requirements on campus have been lifted. Members of the campus community are asked to make whatever personal choice they think is best with respect to vaccination while being considerate of the choices, health conditions, and requests of others.
The situation may change again as the legal process continues. The university will continue to keep the campus community updated.
Vaccines are safe, effective, free, and readily available on campus and through other providers in the area.
Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations
The university strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. The CDC says staying up to date on vaccinations is the best way to protect yourself and others from serious illness. Being fully up to date means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including a booster dose when eligible.
Being fully vaccinated means a person has received their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and is two weeks past their final dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
Vaccines at the Student Health Center Pharmacy
Both the two-dose Moderna vaccine and single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are available at the Student Health Center Pharmacy. Moderna and J&J boosters are also available. The university offers vaccinations to students, faculty, staff, retirees, and the public age 18 and older. The Moderna vaccine has received full approval from the FDA. The J&J vaccine is approved for emergency use.
Appointment times vary each week. Vaccines are not administered between noon and 1 p.m. The Student Health Center offers the Moderna vaccine on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and the J&J vaccine on Thursday afternoons. Walk-ins for the Moderna vaccine are welcome on Fridays based on vaccine availability.
The CDC recommends a COVID-19 booster at least five months after the initial series of Pfizer or Moderna, and at least two months after the initial dose of J&J. The booster does not have to be the same vaccine received in the initial series. Eligible recipients can choose which vaccine they receive as a booster. Find more information about booster eligibility.
On August 18, 2021, the Student Health Center began distributing an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose to immunocompromised individuals who had received an initial mRNA vaccine two-dose series. Effective October 25, 2021, the Student Health Center also began providing booster doses for all vaccine recipients according to eligibility requirements outlined by the Tennessee Department of Health.
Additional vaccine providers
The university does not offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals who wish to receive a Pfizer vaccine or booster must do so at an off-campus provider.
A variety of distributors, including hospitals, pharmacies, and retail stores, are providing vaccinations. With the vaccine locator tool, you can search your ZIP code to find vaccination appointments near you. Check the vaccine locator tool.
Vaccine fact sheets and additional information
The US Food and Drug Administration requires that recipients or their caregivers be provided a fact sheet before receiving any vaccination, including a COVID-19 vaccination. The fact sheets are intended to help people make informed decisions about vaccinations.