Vaccine laws and regulations

Last updated January 25, 2022.

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COVID-19 vaccine vials

 

Your job, employer, or college/university may require you to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to go to work or school.

Find out where you can get vaccinated

The information provided on this webpage does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this page are for general informational purposes only.

Vaccine requirements for: 

State employees

As of September 20, 2021, all state employees must either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or participate in twice-weekly testing. State agencies communicated information on how unvaccinated or not-fully-vaccinated employees can get tested free of charge. Employees are allowed work time to get tested and administrative or Public Health Emergency Leave to get vaccinated. Not-fully-vaccinated or unvaccinated employees must wear masks inside state facilities when they are around others. Find more information about this policy.

Federal employees

President Biden signed an Executive Order on September 9, 2021, requiring all federal executive branch employees to be vaccinated, and another Executive Order that requires federal contractors to do the same.

Staff at health care facilities and hospitals

In Colorado, health care workers who interact with patients are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This rule is designed to keep Coloradans safe and reduce the strain on our health care system.

The State Board of Health first approved an emergency rule requiring vaccination for health care personnel on August 30, 2021. On December 15, 2021, the Board extended the emergency rule for 120 days. 
 
The rule affects all licensed health care entities. It requires them to mandate personnel to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes employees, direct contractors, and support staff who interact with people receiving or seeking medical care. The rule allows for both medical and religious exemptions for personnel who are unable to be vaccinated. 

Additionally, the federal government requires COVID-19 vaccination for staff within Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities in Colorado.

 

Colleges and universities

Some colleges and universities have instituted COVID-19 vaccine requirements for students, faculty, and staff.  Certain schools may require students, faculty, and staff to receive third (booster) doses in addition to the primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Contact your school for more information about whether COVID-19 vaccination is required. 

The official Colorado Certificate of Medical Exemption and Colorado Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption do not include COVID-19 vaccines because the state does not require this vaccine for school entry. These official certificates of exemption are meant to capture information about vaccines required by the Colorado Board of Health for school entry. Individuals with questions about allowable vaccine exemptions should contact their college/university directly for additional guidance.  

 

Frequently asked questions

Yes. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not apply to businesses like retail stores and restaurants because these businesses do not engage in any form of health care activity. It is not a violation of any federal or state law for a business to ask customers about their vaccination status. Customers may voluntarily share this information with a business if they choose to do so. A business may require public health measures (e.g. mask-wearing) if a customer chooses not to share their vaccination status.  

The state public health department, which maintains the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS), does not share a person’s protected health information, such as their COVID-19 vaccination status, with any business. Individuals may choose whether to share their vaccination status with others.

Employees who work for employers requiring COVID-19 vaccination and who wish to exercise an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine should talk to their human resources office about acceptable exemption forms. The state’s standard certificates of medical and nonmedical exemption only address vaccines required by state Board of Health rules for school entry; they do not address the COVID-19 vaccine because the state has not required this vaccine for school entry.

Employees may be entitled to an exemption through the ADA and Civil Rights Act of 1964. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission has more information on their website.

Yes, they can. Ask your college or university if you have questions about their COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

If you got the COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado, you can get your immunization record through the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) Public Portal. If you have difficulty finding your record, please review this guidance document.  

Alternatively, if you got the COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado  and have a Colorado ID, you can find a digital version of your COVID-19 immunization card through myVaccine Record on the myColorado mobile app.  

If you got your COVID-19 vaccination(s) outside of Colorado, please contact your vaccination provider or the immunization information system of the state in which you received your COVID-19 to request a copy of your records.

Have other questions about COVID-19 vaccines? Visit our vaccine FAQ.