Participate Learning's COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, beginning January 2022, all incoming teachers and their dependents 18 years of age and older will be required to be vaccinated to join our exchange program. All dependent children under 18 and eligible for the vaccine are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. As of August 2021, children 12 and over are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
Why was this requirement added?
The health, safety, and welfare of our teachers and their students is a top priority. As an organization whose mission is to unite our world, we must do our part to contribute to the health and well-being of our global community. Our program rules therefore mandate COVID-19 vaccination for new participants.
Which vaccines are acceptable for this requirement?
Any vaccine recognized for emergency use by the World Health Organization will be accepted.
What type of documentation is required?
You will need to upload a copy of your vaccine card or other official proof of vaccination that was provided to you.
When do I provide proof of vaccination?
Proof of vaccination can be provided during the admissions process along with your other documents.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not available to me at this time in my country. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply as long as you get the vaccine prior to travel to the U.S. or you can receive it upon arrival.
What if I’ve already had COVID, can I show proof of an antibody test instead of having the vaccine?
No, all incoming teachers are required to be vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. agency responsible for public health, recommend COVID-19 vaccinations regardless of prior COVID diagnosis.
Do any U.S. school districts require the vaccine?
Yes, some school districts in the U.S. have started requiring that their teachers be vaccinated, and we expect the number to grow.
Is there a travel requirement for the vaccine?
Currently the vaccine is not a requirement for entry into the U.S. but this may change as there has been much discussion about travel restrictions and requirements. We will inform teachers of any new requirements should this occur.
Are there any exceptions to the requirement? What if I have a medical, personal, or religious reason to not receive the vaccine?
There are no exemptions for this requirement.
What if I only have one dose?
If you are unable to get your second dose prior to June 2022, you will need to receive your second dose or another vaccine upon arrival in the U.S. Check with your doctor for specific advice regarding using different vaccines for second doses. You can also ask our vaccinators upon arrival to the U.S.
I don’t think I’ll have access to the vaccine before June 2022 and want to get it in the U.S.
If you won’t have access to a COVID-19 vaccine prior to June 2022, you will need to receive the vaccine upon arrival in the U.S. Note that teachers who do not complete this requirement will need to return home.
Which vaccines are available in the U.S.?
As of August 2021, the U.S. has authorized three vaccines for emergency use:
- Pfizer-BioNtech (FDA full approval)
- Johnson & Johnson/Janssen
Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control for more details and up-to-date information regarding the U.S.-authorized vaccines.
I’m fully vaccinated but don’t have any documentation.
You will need documentation of vaccination. We recommend you contact your healthcare provider to obtain your immunization records. If you are unable to provide documentation, you should consult with your doctor to determine whether or not it would be appropriate to take the vaccine again, either in your home country or upon arrival in the U.S.
What happens if I change my mind about receiving the vaccine in the U.S.? Only those who are fully vaccinated are eligible for our program. If you are unable to receive the vaccine in your country, you can receive the vaccine in the U.S. upon arrival. Should you change your mind after arriving in the U.S., you will not be allowed to continue and will be required to return home.
I do have access to a COVID-19 vaccine in my country but I prefer to wait to be vaccinated upon arrival in the US.
We strongly encourage all teachers who have access to the vaccine to take it before any international travel, as there is increased risk for exposure during travel. Additionally, some school districts may have a vaccine mandate in place in the next several months, so being vaccinated before arriving in the U.S. is highly recommended. Teachers should speak with their Admissions Specialist to discuss more specific situations.