Are students required to get the COVID-19 vaccine? What about students who are returning for the first time for the spring semester?
The university requires all students to upload proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  Students who are enrolling for the first time, or are returning after an absence, for spring 2022 are required to do so or apply for medical or religious exemption by January 10, 2022. Students who do not comply will be notified by their school that they have not met entry/re-entry requirements and will be administratively withdrawn before classes begin on January 18, 2022.

Do I need to get a COVID-19 booster?
The CDC has recommended COVID-19 booster shots for certain populations, including individuals who are 65 years and older or who have underlying medical conditions. Boosters are also recommended for individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago.

At this time, the university is not requiring boosters for students, faculty or staff, primarily because it is not medically necessary as a public health measure for our community. While boosters are not required at this time, they may provide additional protection to individuals.

For university community members who would like to receive a booster, appointments are readily available at most public clinics or retail pharmacies. To find a booster vaccine near you, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/search/ and type in your zip code. Students and employees who receive a booster should update their vaccination records on the Habif Health and Wellness Center website or ReadySet, respectively.

Is the university requiring students and employees to get the vaccine?
Yes. To protect the health of our community, all Washington University students, faculty, staff and trainees on the Danforth and Medical Campuses were required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Students were required to be fully vaccinated before they arrived on campus for the start of their fall academic term or August 30, whichever came first. Faculty, staff and trainees were required to be fully vaccinated by August 30.

I have a medical condition or my religious beliefs prevent me from receiving the vaccine. What should I do?
Exemptions to mandatory vaccination were available based on certain medical contraindications or on sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances. Individuals seeking an exemption were required to submit the appropriate exemption request form by July 15.

If my medical or religious exemption request was approved, what will I need to do?
All individuals who are not fully vaccinated are subject to additional public health requirements depending upon the specific circumstances and the infection rates in the community. This includes, but is not limited to, masking on campus at all times (except when eating) while indoors in semi-private spaces, in indoor private spaces in the presence of others, and outdoors when distancing cannot be maintained; and maintaining physical distancing while eating in any indoor or outdoor space.

What happened to individuals who refused to get vaccinated?
Faculty and staff who failed to meet applicable deadlines were prohibited from accessing university facilities and were subject to immediate unpaid suspension. If vaccination or exemption was not obtained, the individual was subject to further measures, including termination of employment. Students who failed to meet applicable deadlines were prohibited from accessing university facilities and participating in university activities and programs. Students were administratively withdrawn from their courses and were not permitted to register for classes.  Students who were assigned to Residential Life Housing had their housing contract terminated. 

Why did the university require the vaccine?
Having a fully vaccinated campus enables us to protect the health of our community as we  have returned to full in-person teaching, learning, research and campus life this fall. We also have a responsibility to protect the patients we serve in our hospitals.  A fully vaccinated community also helps protect those in our university community who are unable to get the vaccine or more vulnerable because of poor immune response to vaccines due to underlying medical conditions.

Why ded we require the vaccine before it has full FDA approval?
The COVID-19 vaccines that are approved for use in the United States have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a stringent process and the vaccines have undergone continuous and close monitoring by the FDA and through the use of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Hundreds of millions of people have received these vaccinations worldwide over the last year beginning with clinical trials. There is an immense amount of information about both the effectiveness of these vaccines and their side effects.

I work remotely. Do I still have to get the vaccine?
Yes. All students, faculty, staff and trainees are required to get the vaccine, regardless of whether they are currently working on campus. 

I’ve already had COVID. Do I still have to get the vaccine?
Yes. While those previously infected do have some protection against reinfection and likely a lower risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others, it is premature to say that those who have had previous infection do not need to be vaccinated. It is unclear if natural immunity is as robust or long-lived as that which is generated by vaccines. There is substantial evidence that vaccination boosts antibody responses in those previously infected. 

What was the deadline for vaccination?
All faculty, staff and trainees were required to provide proof of full vaccination by August 30. Students were required to be fully vaccinated before they arrived on campus for the start of their fall academic term or August 30, whichever came first.

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated”?
Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or a single dose from a one-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use by the FDA or the World Health Organization.

Will the university give me time off to go get vaccinated?
Yes. Employees may receive a vaccine on regular work time and supervisors must allow time for employees to be vaccinated.

Which vaccines are acceptable to meet the university requirement?
We are requiring that all students, faculty, staff and trainees receive a vaccine authorized by the FDA or the World Health Organization. Click the links to see current lists of authorized vaccines.

Will the university provide me with the vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccination appointments are now available through the university for all Washington University students, faculty and staff.  To make a vaccination appointment, email covidvaccine@wustl.edu

Where else can I get the vaccine?
BJC HealthCare is offering public vaccination for all Missouri residents 12 and older, and for all Illinois residents 12 and older who work in Missouri. If you live and work in Illinois, please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health for information on scheduling your vaccine in Illinois. Click here to make a vaccination appointment through BJC. Walk-ins are also available at two locations, no appointment necessary:

  • Christian Hospital NE, Detrick Auditorium

11133 Dunn Road Paul F. Detrick Building, Auditorium Ground Floor

Saint Louis MO 63136-6163

  • Clayton Avenue Building

4353 Clayton Avenue Suite 172

Saint Louis MO 63110-1621

In addition, there are multiple other options. Visit https://www.vaccines.gov/  to find available vaccinations near you.

How do I provide my vaccine documentation?

FACULTY AND STAFF

  • Take a picture or scan your COVID-19 proof of vaccination
    • Please save the file in one of the extension formats: pdf, png, jpg, jpeg, txt, doc, docx, tif, tiff
  • Log in to your ReadySet account and go to the “My Health” tab
    • For a better experience, using Google Chrome is recommended
  • Choose “Documents” from the side navigation and then click “Upload Document”
  • Click “Select a File”’ to upload the document
  • Name the file in the “Document Name”’ field
  • Select “Document Type” and “COVID-19 Vaccination”

Note: Faculty and staff who receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the university do not need to upload documentation. Your information will be updated in the system for you.

STUDENTS

Upload an image of your COVID-19 vaccination record card in your student health portal by visiting the Habif Health and Wellness Center website and clicking on the link for “Log in to the student portal.” Danforth Campus students, if you are already fully vaccinated, please complete this no later than July 15.

What if I lost my vaccine card?
If you lost your vaccine card or other proof of vaccination, you should contact the organization where you received the vaccination to obtain proof of vaccination. If you cannot obtain proof, please contact Occupational Health at covidvaccine@wustl.edu.

Who can I contact with a question about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Consult your personal physician for medical advice. You can email covidquestions@wustl.edu with questions about the university vaccine requirement, and you can email covidvaccine@wustl.edu  with questions about your vaccination appointment.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION