UNC Charlotte is following county, state and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19 vaccines for our students, faculty and staff. All members of Niner Nation are encouraged to take the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them. It is a critical component of our way out of this pandemic and back to being together on campus.
North Carolina Vaccination Groups
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has stated that a free COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all who want it, but supplies will be limited at first. As a result, NCDHHS has five groups for vaccine distribution, based on those who are most likely to get COVID-19 and those more likely to get dangerously ill from it. The groups are:
- Group 1: Health care workers and long-term care facility residents and staff
- Group 2: Adults 65 years of age and older
- Group 3: Frontline essential workers (Please see the important updates below on this group)
- Group 4: Adults at high-risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness (includes students with pre-existing health conditions)
- Group 5: Everyone
All groups are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
This morning, the CDC and FDA issued a statement recommending a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine until a full review is completed based on reports of a serious side effect, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), experienced by six people in the United States. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CVST is a very rare but serious blood clotting condition. According to the CDC, all six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.
UNC Charlotte will not offer any future clinics administering the J&J vaccine until the CDC and FDA have concluded their review and further public health guidance is issued. We are investigating our ability to offer Moderna and Pfizer vaccines through on-campus clinics going forward. Additionally, Atrium Health is offering Pfizer through community events at Bank of America Stadium. More information can be found on the Niner Nation Cares website.
We are in contact with the UNC System Office, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and Atrium Health to seek guidance on appropriate next steps.
It is important to remember that mild side effects from all three COVID-19 vaccines are normal and expected. These include a mild fever, body aches, tiredness, nausea and pain at the injection site. These symptoms usually pass within a day or so and can be treated at home with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers.
According to the CDC, more serious symptoms of a CVST include: severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain and shortness of breath. If you have had the J&J vaccine and experience any of these symptoms within three weeks after vaccination, you should contact your primary health care provider or the Student Health Center. If the symptoms are severe, call 911. General questions about the J&J vaccine can be directed to COVIDvaccine@uncc.edu.
Getting a vaccine remains critical in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Remember that the rates of complications after having COVID-19 are much higher than rates of vaccine complications. Visit myspot.nc.gov and filter by brand of vaccine to find additional options in your local area.
On Thursday, March 25, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that the State of North Carolina will open COVID-19 vaccine distribution to Group 4b, which includes multiple people residing in close group living facilities such as students living in residence halls, starting March 31. All North Carolina adults will be eligible beginning April 7.
UNC Charlotte has partnered with Atrium Health to facilitate vaccine distribution to students, as it did for employees earlier this month. More information is forthcoming and will be shared via University email directly with students.
Establish a MyAtriumHealth account to ensure you are able to quickly register for a vaccine when appointments become available.
You do not have to be an Atrium patient to sign up for an account.
- Go to my.atriumhealth.org.
- Click Sign up Now to create an account.
- Answer the questions and then fill out the information to create an account. (Note: You may be asked a series of questions or be asked to take part in a soft credit check in order to verify your identity when you create your account. If you have any issues, there will be a number at the top of the page you can call for assistance.)
- This will also allow Atrium to notify you when you are eligible for the vaccine.
If you already have a MyAtriumHealth account, you are all set. Just make sure you can log in using your username and password.
You are free to receive your vaccine at your provider of choice. You do not need to provide documentation of your vaccine to the University, but you should retain your vaccination record.
- Vaccination and return to work: Similar to other colleges and universities, UNC Charlotte does not currently require the COVID-19 vaccine. While we encourage every member of Niner Nation to be vaccinated, we respect an individual’s right to choose not to do so. However, not receiving the vaccination will not exempt employees from the expectation of returning to work July 6.
- Letting us know if you received the vaccine: In April, the University will launch a voluntary reporting form to help assess the rate of vaccination on campus. Your answers will help in preparations for the fall, and we will share more information about this in the next couple of weeks.
- Niner Health Check and mitigation testing: At this time, based on the guidance of the CDC and the North Carolina DHHS, vaccination does not exempt individuals from the Niner Health Check or mitigation testing. We will continue to assess the latest guidance and provide additional information to campus as we receive it.
Are faculty and staff considered essential employees under the state’s Group 3?
Yes. The state considers college and university instructors and support staff to be essential employees as outlined on the state’s DHHS website.
Are students eligible for vaccination in Group 3?
Most students will not be eligible for vaccination because of their student status through the University in Group 3 -- with the exception of graduate teaching assistants teaching on campus and students required to report to campus currently for the jobs.
However, many of our students may qualify as an essential worker because of their off-campus job responsibilities.
We anticipate more students will be eligible for vaccination in Group 4 and then all will be eligible in Group 5.
On Tuesday, March 2, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that the State of North Carolina will open COVID-19 vaccine distribution to Group 3b, which includes UNC Charlotte faculty and staff, starting March 3.
All employees and students are encouraged to receive the vaccine for their health and the health of the community as we prepare for the fall semester and the return to more normal operations. Similar to other colleges and universities, UNC Charlotte does not currently require the COVID-19 vaccine.
Faculty and Staff
You are encouraged to contact your healthcare provider and schedule a vaccine appointment.
The University plans to partner with Atrium to offer vaccinations to our students as soon as students are eligible to receive the shot -- most will be in groups 4 or 5. More information will be shared as soon as it is available.
Employees may use up to two hours of paid work time to receive their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during scheduled work hours with prior supervisor approval. More information can be found on the Human Resources website
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the state announced there would be limited Group 3 eligibility beginning Feb. 24.
- This will open up vaccination to a small subset of frontline essential workers, focusing on in-person daycare, pre-K and K-12 teachers and support staff employees.
- This includes any UNC Charlotte student teachers in the K-12 system.
- It does not include other UNC Charlotte employees or students.
- The group will further open on March 10 to other essential employees. However, it is unclear at this time if this will include any or all University employees or if we will be phased into another subgroup of Group 3. We expect to receive more details closer to March 10, and will share that information as we receive it.
We still expect most students will not be eligible for the vaccine until Group 5, unless high-risk factors place them in earlier groups. We will share additional information if it becomes available.
Atrium Health is offering multiple vaccine events at the Bank of America Stadium. Appointments are required for each event.
- April 10 (first dose)
- May 1 (second dose)
- 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- April 13-14 (first dose)
- May 4-5 (second dose)
- 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- April 20-21 (first dose)
- May 11-12 (second dose)
- 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- April 27 (first dose)
- May 18 (second dose)
- 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Schedule an Appointment:
- Appointments are required.
- Visit the Atrium Health Website to schedule an appointment.
- Both doses will be scheduled at the same time.
- Bank of America Stadium - 800 S. Mint Street, Charlotte, N.C. 28202
Parking and Transportation:
- Free parking is available at Legacy Union Parking Deck (720 S. Church St.)
- Take the LYNX Blue Line to Stonewall Station
- Take the CATS bus Sprinter Route to Uptown
Preparing for your appointment:
To ensure everyone getting vaccinated can get in and out as quickly as possible, please review the information below to prepare for your appointment.
- Wear something with short sleeves or no sleeves. The COVID-19 vaccine will be injected just below the shoulder, so be sure to wear something that makes your upper arm easy to access.
- Eat within 2 hours of your appointment, avoid caffeine and take all medications as instructed before your vaccine.
- Wear a mask to your vaccination appointment.
- Arrive at your scheduled appointment time. This will ensure the line doesn’t get backed up.
- Check in at registration. During registration you’ll be asked screening questions to check for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Plan to wait 15-30 minutes before leaving. For your safety we ask that you wait 15-30 minutes, depending on your medical history, after getting the vaccine before you leave. This is a guideline set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Make sure to get both doses, if applicable. If you’re scheduled for a two-dose vaccination, the first shot gets your immune system ready. It helps your body recognize the virus and fight it if you’re exposed. The second shot will make your immune system’s response stronger. Missing the second dose could mean you won’t build full protection against the virus.
Possible vaccine side effects:
You may have minor side effects after getting your COVID-19 vaccine. This is common and happens with other vaccines, like the flu vaccine. The risk of side effects is much less serious than the risk COVID-19 poses to you and the community.
After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you could have:
- Muscle pain or swelling at the site of the shot
- Low fever
- Joint pain
- Tiredness (fatigue)
Side effects may be more noticeable after the second dose. This is common. When planning for your second dose, consider setting aside time afterward to rest.
Side effects should only last a day or two. If symptoms last longer than 48 hours or you have a symptom not listed above, schedule a visit with your primary care provider. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot give you COVID-19, but it’s possible for you to become infected with the virus before getting vaccinated.
This information was provided by Atrium Health.
Who can get the vaccine at these events?
The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone ages 16 and older. People ages 18 and older can get any approved COVID-19 vaccine. People ages 16 and 17 can get the Pfizer vaccine.
Is there a cost to receive the vaccine?
No, there is no cost to receive the vaccine.
While the University strongly encourages all members of the community to receive the vaccine, similar to other colleges and universities, UNC Charlotte does not currently require the COVID-19 vaccine.
Please retain your vaccination record and treat it as you would other important documentation. It could be important for the CDC’s quarantine/isolation protocols or future travel and activity restrictions. Per the CDC, once you are fully vaccinated, you are not required to quarantine if you are identified as a close contact unless you become symptomatic.
COVID-19 Vaccine Panel
The Atkins Library Digital Media Literacy Group will host a panel discussion Wednesday, April 21 at 1 p.m. focusing on the COVID-19 vaccines. Speakers will address topics ranging from scientific information, political influences, medical mistrust and misinformation and disinformation. More information can be found online.
Find Your Vaccination Location
- Find your spot to take your shot
- Double check your vaccine group and find where in North Carolina you can receive your vaccination.
- Novant Health resources
- Atrium Health resources
- South Carolina residents
Local Health Departments
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccine Website
- NCDHHS COVID-19 Vaccine Website
- COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
- Your Questions Answered: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine (Atrium Health)