COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I get a vaccination appointment?

    Any Colorado resident 12 and older has many options to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Do I need to pay for a vaccine?

    No. Vaccines are free to all eligible individuals. You will need to provide your personal health insurance information in order to sign up for an appointment. This will allow the provider to bill your health insurance for the cost of administering the vaccine. The vaccine is free to you. You will not be charged personally for the vaccine by either the provider or your health insurance.

  • Where can I find out more about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines?

    Read more facts about the COVID-19 Vaccine here. Watch Dr. Steve Federico, Director of General Pediatrics at Denver Health, discuss the benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19 and other details for individuals to know when considering vaccination here

  • Can I work remotely while I am working towards being fully vaccinated?

    The DDPHE public health order does not change any of our current guidance on remote or in-person work. Our public health partners support our current guidance on in-person work in our schools and buildings. All DPS employees, contractors and volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30, 2021 regardless of work location.

  • How will DPS ensure that all staff are in compliance with this order?

    1. DPS will need to submit evidence to the city that all of our employees are in compliance with the DDPHE public health order. 
    2. We will develop a timeline of reminders for employees and resources to support them in the process.  
    3. Managers will receive frequent reports for employees who still need to comply with the process, and can work with Human Resources if they need additional support.

  • Does the DDPHE public health order provide an alternative to those who are not vaccinated? Can I just get tested every week instead?

    No, the DDPHE public health order requires school personnel to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30, 2021. DDPHE does not believe that frequent testing provides sufficient protection against the spread of COVID-19 and particularly the delta variant.  

  • I have had COVID and have the antibodies. Do I still need a vaccine?

    Yes, having contracted COVID-19 does not exempt an employee from the public health order. You will still need to receive the vaccination and submit your documentation. 


  • What is the Denver Public Health and Environment Public Health Order?

    Mayor Michael Hancock and the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment released a public health order on Aug. 2 that includes new requirements on COVID-19 vaccinations. The health order applies to all city employees and employees working in certain designated industries such as schools, child care, hospitals, and many more. This includes both public and private education agencies. It calls for all personnel in these fields to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30.

  • Does the Denver Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) Public Health Order apply to DPS?

    Yes, the DDPHE public health order requires employees, personnel, and those who do work on behalf of schools (including volunteers and substitute teachers) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30, 2021. Other designated industries such as child care, hospitals, and many more are also required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30, 2021.

  • What is required by the DDPHE public health order?

    All employees, contractors and volunteers of DPS are required to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30, 2021, unless a reasonable accommodation is approved. The DDPHE public health order requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation for any personnel who has a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination. 

  • What does fully vaccinated mean?

    A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series (e.g., Pfizer, Moderna) and two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson).

  • Do I have to get the vaccine?

    Yes, all employees, contractors, volunteers, and others who do work on the behalf of DPS are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30, 2021.

  • Does DPS verify vaccination through the Department of Health’s database?

    No, DPS is creating our own database and will require vaccinated employees to upload a copy of their vaccine card.

  • What vaccines can I get?

    BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janseen are approved for use. Please consult with your primary care provider on your vaccine options.

  • Do volunteers or substitute teachers have to follow the vaccine mandate?

    Yes, the DDPHE public health order includes all volunteers and substitute teachers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30, 2021.

  • Does the DDPHE public health order apply to contractors and volunteers of DPS?

    Yes. The DDPHE public health order applies to employees of DPS, as well as individuals who provide services onsite on a contractual or volunteer basis.

  • How will the order apply to contractors who work in schools or with students?

    Independent contractors will be required to certify for themselves and any of their employees that they are vaccinated. We will contact independent contractors with the specifics of what is required of them.

  • How will the order apply to volunteers in schools?

    Anyone who volunteers in a DPS school is required to go through our volunteer application process with Volunteer Services. This process will now include a requirement to demonstrate that the volunteer is vaccinated or has an accomodation. 

  • Will I get to see if my co-workers & colleagues are vaccinated?

    No, we will not share the personal vaccine status with individuals. Managers and HR Partners will be aware of any approved accommodation or exemption, but they will not have access to the reason for accommodation/exemption.

  • Other school districts are allowing the option to vaccinate, why is DPS requiring it?

    Denver’s public health order issued on August 2, 2021 by Mayor Hancock mandates that all employees, personnel, and those who do work on behalf of schools to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Other school districts may not fall under similar city-issued mandates, which allows them to have optional vaccinations. Some entities are requiring vaccination even without a city-issued mandate.

  • What happens if I don’t want to get vaccinated and I don’t have a medical accommodation or a religious exemption? Will I get fired right away?

    DPS is committed to not immediately terminating any employee on Oct. 1 if they are not yet fully vaccinated or don’t have an approved accommodation or exemption. 

    At a minimum, employees who have not taken a step toward compliance by Sept. 30 will be provided with a reminder on Oct. 1 that they are out of compliance and need to take action to avoid formal disciplinary action. If you continue to remain out of compliance, additional consequences will follow. Additional consequences and disciplinary actions include reprimands and may include dismissal.

  • What happens if employees don’t follow masking requirements?

    Individuals that do not follow masking or other requirements (such as testing, etc) will be notified of non-compliance and moved through our progressive discipline process. This process typically begins with a warning and can include additional consequences, up to and including termination.


  • What happens if I am not fully vaccinated by Sept. 30?

    We want to support every employee in this process and DPS is committed to not immediately terminating any employee on Oct. 1 if they are not yet fully vaccinated or don’t have an approved accommodation or exemption. However, DPS may need to take corrective action for employees that continue to refuse to comply with the DDPHE public health order. 

    At a minimum, employees who have not taken a step toward compliance by Sept. 30 will be provided with a reminder on Oct. 1 that they are out of compliance and need to take action to avoid formal disciplinary action. If you continue to remain out of compliance, additional consequences will follow. Additional consequences and disciplinary actions include reprimands and may include dismissal.

  • How do I notify DPS that I am fully vaccinated?

    Beginning August 23, employees will be able to upload proof of vaccination into Employee Space. Follow these instructions for completing your health assignment. An email with detailed instructions will be sent to your work and personal email on August 23. Employees will also receive an email notification to their dpsk12.org emails when the health assignment becomes available to them. 

    Please do not give your vaccine card to your supervisor or anyone else.

  • What document(s) do I need to show proof of vaccination?

    • Your vaccination card is proof of vaccination.
    • You can also access the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) Public Portal to view and print an official record of your immunization. 
    • If you got your vaccination in Colorado, you can also download the myColorado App and click on the myVaccine Record section. The app may require additional log-in information to access the record the first time. 

  • Will my vaccine record be kept confidential?

    Yes, DPS will store its records regarding vaccination status in a secure file that can only be accessed by a limited number of individuals who are implementing this public health order. Supervisors will have information about who is in compliance with the order, but they will not have access to copies of your vaccination records.

  • Do I need to use sick or vacation time for my vaccination appointment? What if I feel sick and need to take time off after vaccination?

    • All staff will receive their normal pay for their vaccination day, and do not need to request time off in the system to attend the appointment.
    • When entering your time in TruePay to account for receiving your vaccine:
      • Salaried/exempt staff will use the default “Regular Elapsed” designation;
      • Hourly or salaried/non-exempt staff will need to designate their vaccination time as “Non Worked Approved’ time.
    • If staff need time off due to vaccine-related symptoms, they must use their leave accruals, such as sick, vacation, personal time or sick leave bank.

  • If I’m already fully vaccinated (earlier this year or recently), do I need to do anything?

    Yes, you must upload a picture of your vaccination card into Employee Space. Beginning August 23, follow these instructions to complete your documentation.


  • What steps will I need to take if I get approved for medical accommodation? What medical accommodations will I have?

    Medical accommodations are made for individuals with medical situations that prevent them from receiving the vaccination. Possible accommodations include masking and regular testing, and may include other options based on individual situations, work role and responsibilities, etc. After the Leaves of Absence team approves your request, an HR representative will work with you and your manager to determine available accommodations.

  • How do I seek medical accommodation from the COVID-19 Vaccine related to a disability? What documentation do I need? When can I submit my medical accommodation request?

    You and your health care provider will need to complete a form that describes the medical reason for exemption from the COVID-19 Vaccine. Click here to access a copy of the form. You and your health care provider must complete this form before uploading to Employee Space. 

    You will be able to upload the form and other documentation for medical accommodation beginning on Aug. 23. An email with detailed instructions will be sent to your work and personal email on August 23. Employees will also receive an email notification to their dpsk12.org emails when the health assignment becomes available to them. Click here for detailed instructions on completing a medical accommodation request in Employee Space.

  • What is a religious exemption? Is it the same as a personal belief exemption?

    In order to qualify for a religious accommodation, employees are required to provide a written and signed statement stating that they object to the vaccination due to a sincerely-held religious belief. Philosophical, political, sociological objectives or personal preferences related to vaccination will not form a basis for a religious accommodation. Employees must complete this form and upload it to their Health Record in Employee Space (beginning August 23) in order to request religious exemption.

  • How do I seek a religious exemption from the COVID-19 Vaccine because it is contrary to a sincerely-held belief? When can I submit it?

    You must complete this form to request a religious exemption from the COVID-19 Vaccine. All sections of the form must be completed, including a description of the sincerely-held religious belief. After you complete the form, you must upload it to Employee Space. 

    You will be able to upload the form beginning on Aug. 23. An email with detailed instructions will be sent to your work and personal email on August 23. Employees will also receive an email notification to their dpsk12.org emails when the health assignment becomes available to them. Click here for detailed instructions on completing a religious exemption request in Employee Space.

  • What steps will I need to take if I get approved for religious exemption? What accommodations will I have

    Accommodations for religious exemptions will be masking and regular testing. If there are medical conditions that prevent masking and/or regular testing, you must complete a medical accommodation request.

  • When will I hear about my religious exemption or medical accommodation request? Should I go to work even if I haven’t been approved yet?

    Requests for accommodation or exemption will be reviewed in the order they are received. We are working hard to review all requests as quickly as possible. However, this process may take several days. You can continue to report to work on your regular schedule and follow masking and other safety precautions while you wait for more information on your request.