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 will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Students must be fully vaccinated before they arrive on campus for the start of their fall academic term or August 30, whichever comes first. Faculty, staff and trainees must be fully vaccinated by August 30. In order to be fully vaccinated by August 30, you must receive your final dose of vaccine no later than August 16. Note that two-dose vaccines generally have 21 (for Pfizer) or 28 (for Moderna) days between the two doses which means you must begin the vaccination series no later than July 26 or July 19, respectively. Danforth Campus students who have already been vaccinated are asked to upload their verification documentation by July 15 in order to allow us enough time to prepare for any vaccination clinics that may be needed at the start of the semester. See the June 7 message to students for more information.
I have a medical condition or my religious beliefs prevent me from receiving the vaccine. What should I do?
Exemptions to mandatory vaccination may be granted based on certain medical contraindications or on sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances. Individuals seeking an exemption must submit the appropriate exemption request form by July 15. If an individual who has received a medical exemption subsequently chooses to receive vaccination, they must provide acceptable documentation of medical clearance before receiving vaccination from the university. See the full policy on COVID-19 vaccination on the Human Resources website for more information and links to the exemption forms for employees. Students may request an exemption by visiting the Immunization Exemption Policy page on the Habif Health and Wellness Center website.
If my medical or religious exemption request is 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 will happen if I refuse to get vaccinated?
Faculty and staff who fail to meet applicable deadlines will be prohibited from accessing university facilities and will be subject to immediate unpaid suspension. If vaccination or exemption is not obtained, the individual will be subject to further measures, including termination of employment. Students who fail to meet applicable deadlines will be prohibited from accessing university facilities and participating in university activities and programs. Students will be administratively withdrawn from their courses and will not be permitted to register for classes. Students who have been assigned to Residential Life Housing will have their housing contract terminated.
Why is the university requiring the vaccine?
Having a fully vaccinated campus will enable us to protect the health of our community as we return to full in-person teaching, learning, research and campus life in the fall. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued updated guidance for institutions of higher education, which indicate that fully vaccinated campuses can return to full-capacity, in-person learning with limited restrictions. 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 are we requiring 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. Based on this information, both Pfizer and Moderna have filed for full FDA approval, which is expected to be granted.
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 is the deadline for vaccination?
All faculty, staff and trainees must provide proof of full vaccination by August 30. Students must be fully vaccinated before they arrive on campus for the start of their fall academic term or August 30, whichever comes first. Danforth Campus students who have already been vaccinated are asked to upload their verification documentation by July 15 in order to allow us enough time to prepare for any vaccination clinics that may be needed at the start of the semester.. We will work closely with international students who cannot access an acceptable vaccine in their home country, but proactive engagement with Student Health is expected in these unusual circumstances. Please keep in mind that for two-dose vaccines doses are administered 21 (Pfizer) or 28 (Moderna) days apart. That means in order to meet the deadline, students, faculty, staff and trainees will need to receive their first dose no later than July 26 or July 19, respectively.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Which vaccine is the university administering? Can I choose which one I get?
Our university clinics are offering the Pfizer vaccine (two doses) or the J&J/Janssen vaccine (one dose). You may choose which one you receive when you make your appointment. Alternatively, you may choose to obtain the Moderna vaccine at a non-university site.
How do I make an appointment to get the vaccine?
Washington University faculty, staff, trainees or students who would like to be vaccinated on the Medical Campus should email email@example.com to schedule a vaccine appointment. To make appointments for spouses or dependents (age 12 or older), or to schedule an appointment at a location other than the Medical Campus, please use this link https://vaccinate.bjc.org/schedule to schedule with BJC or go to https://www.vaccines.gov/ to find vaccination sites anywhere in the US.
Is there a cost to receive the vaccine?
No. COVID-19 vaccination will be provided free of charge to all Washington University students, faculty, staff and trainees.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can I contact with a question about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Consult your personal physician for medical advice. You can email email@example.com with questions about the university vaccine requirement, and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about your vaccination appointment.