COVID-19 Vendor Vaccination Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

Our primary focus is the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. In our current public health landscape, individuals conducting business on our campuses present unique challenges for maintaining a safe and productive environment.

To that end and consistent with university guidelines and the recent federal action plan, all, vendor employees, subcontractors and subconsultants identified as embedded within The Ohio State University, as defined below, are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8, 2021. Some exceptions are allowed and are outlined on our Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.  

Requirement FAQs

Compliance requirements as of Oct. 25, 2021

Overview & Definitions

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How do you define Ohio State campus facilities?

This definition includes any Ohio State campus and any location where the university conducts business.

How do you define embedded?

Embedded status applies to those vendor employees who routinely share an indoor environment with students, faculty or staff for three consecutive hours or more, more than once in a calendar week, or for more than six consecutive hours on any one day in a calendar week.

Employees in the vendor organization who do not meet the definition of embedded are encouraged but not required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Typically, embedded vendors have electronic or other advanced access to our campus facilities and systems.
  • The university may require vendors that it believes to meet the definition of embedded to execute an agreement confirming their compliance with this requirement.
  • Medical Center Lab courier service vendors are considered embedded.
  • This requirement applies to any Ohio State campus and in any location where the university conducts business.
  • University leasehold tenants are not covered by this requirement. (eg., Wendy’s, Café Oasis, Au Bon Pain), however, these tenants are strongly encouraged to comply.

Who is considered a vendor?

The term “vendor” includes vendors, sales representatives, consultants, contractors, subcontractors, subconsultants and any other such service providers as the university designates. The university retains sole discretion to determine whether a vendor is covered by the requirement.

Government auditors and inspectors are not considered vendors and are not covered by this requirement.

What is the vendor COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement?

All vendors that have been identified as embedded within our university, as defined below, are expected to have their employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or meet exemption criteria by Dec. 8, or test weekly.

Vaccination Requirements

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Who does the vendor COVID-19 vaccine requirement apply to?

The vendor COVID-19 vaccine requirement applies to all employees of vendors who have been identified as embedded on any Ohio State campus and in any location where the university conducts business. To meet the definition of embedded, the employees must be physically present on an Ohio State property. Vendor employees who do not meet the definition of embedded are encouraged but NOT required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Vendors are also required to affirm that their embedded subcontractors and subconsultants are in compliance with this requirement.

How will I know if I am considered an embedded vendor?

All vendors are expected to evaluate whether they meet the definition of embedded and, when applicable, self-identify as an embedded vendor. Vendors who self-identify as embedded should notify their regular university contact and also affirm their compliance online.

In October and November 2021, Ohio State contacted vendors that the university believed to meet the definition of embedded and asked them to reach out to their regular university contact and to affirm their compliance online.

What should I do if I am unsure if I am an embedded vendor?

Vendors should contact their local university representative for additional information.

Can embedded employees be exempt?

A list of exemptions is available on the university’s Safe and Healthy website. Vendors are expected to evaluate whether their employees meet exemption criteria. Once a determination is made, the vendor should affirm their compliance online.

Vendors who meet the exemption criteria need only complete the form found here. Documentation requests and online forms located at the Safe and Healthy website are for university students, faculty and staff only.

I am a vendor registered in the Wexner Medical Center’s Vendormate System. What do I need to do?

For any vendor registered in the Wexner Medical Center’s Vendormate system, credentialing should be verified and submitted similar to other criteria (flu, measles, TB, etc.), with a badge printed and worn while in patientcare areas.  If not credentialed in the system, badges will not print and access to Wexner Medical Center facilities will be denied.

What are vendors required to do when they have employees who obtain badges from the Wexner Medical Center?

Vendors must comply with the Wexner Medical Center's additional vaccine requirements if they have employees who obtain medical center badges regardless of where the primary contact resides - either at the university or medical center. 

Additional information regarding vendor interactions at the medical center can be found here, or contact VendorMaintenance@osumc.edu

My contract with the university begins after Dec. 8, 2021. By what date will I need to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or a vaccine exemption?

Vendors who first become obligated to meet the vaccine requirement after Dec. 8 deadline, will have 30 days after the contract is fully executed to acquire their first dose and affirm compliance by completing the online form.

During that time period, all vendor employees will be required to test for COVID-19 infection once a week. More information about testing will be made available to any vendor needing to meet that requirement.

If I am no longer able to fulfill contractual obligations due to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, what will happen?

Vendors who have concerns should contact their university representative for additional information. 

Affirming Compliance

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What do vendors need to do to document compliance with the requirement?

Embedded vendors should affirm their compliance via the online attestation form and notify their regular university contact.

When I affirm compliance, what am I affirming?

You are affirming that you, the vendor, will ensure your embedded staff, subcontractors and subconsultants will comply with the vendor COVID-19 vaccine requirement. 

What is the deadline to comply with the university’s contractor COVID-19 vaccine requirement?

Vendor employees meeting the definition of embedded as previously defined will be required to be fully vaccinated by Wed., Dec. 8, 2021.

  • To meet this deadline, the first dose must be received by Nov. 10, and the last dose must be taken no later than Nov. 24.

Vendors who first become obligated to meet the vaccine requirement after the Dec. 8 deadline will have 30 days to come into compliance.

After the Dec. 8 deadline, all embedded vendor employees, and embedded subcontractors and subconsultants who are not fully vaccinated will be required to test for COVID-19 infection once a week. More information about testing will be made available to any vendor needing to meet that requirement.

What if a vendor does not submit the online attestation form by the deadline?

Progressive actions that may include:

  • Limitations or restricted presence on Ohio State’s campus
  • Removal of access to facilities and systems
  • Further action up to and including contract termination

COVID-19 Vaccination

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Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

You can walk in for an appointment today or schedule one on Ohio State’s Columbus campus or at Wexner Medical Center locations around central Ohio at no cost to you.

There are also sites throughout the state of Ohio, including in the communities in which the university’s campuses are located, so it is easy to find a location near you.

What COVID-19 vaccines qualify for this requirement?

A COVID-19 vaccine will qualify under this policy if the vaccine has:

  • Full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval
  • FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL)

As of August 23, 2021, Pfizer (2 dose) has received full FDA approval. Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (1 dose) and Moderna (2 dose) have FDA EUA.

For the status of COVID-19 vaccines included on the WHO EUL, please see the WHO’s COVID-19 vaccine website.

Will there be a requirement to get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

At this time, third doses are available for some populations but those doses are not required in order to meet the university’s requirement.

Additional requirements may be added to the Non-Discretionary Vaccine Policy based on guidance issued in the future by the CDC and FDA.

If you have questions or concerns not addressed in the FAQs, vendors can submit your question at the form provided here. Additional information is available on the Safety and Healthy website.