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May 17, 2021 – Undergraduate student vaccination requirement for fall 2021

Posted by on Monday, May 17, 2021 in Community Messages.

Dear students,

Thanks in large part to your tremendous efforts over the past year to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we are now planning for a fall semester that more closely resembles a traditional university experience. To keep our community as safe as possible and help ensure our ability to continue to conduct in-person teaching and learning, we will require all new and returning students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic year.  

This requirement is consistent with our other university policies governing student vaccine requirements. Accommodations for medical exemptions can be requested through the Student Access office and religious exemptions can be requested through the Equal Opportunity and Access office. The deadline for submitting an accommodation request is June 15. 

In partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, we have worked to offer students ongoing opportunities to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including making appointments available to all students beginning in mid-April. The Student Health Center has announced that it will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine beginning Monday, May 24, by appointment only. Students staying in Nashville for the summer are encouraged to call Student Health at 615-322-2427 to schedule an appointment. Time slots will be available 1–3 p.m. Mondays and 9–11 a.m. Thursdays.

We strongly urge you to explore every option available now, including local health departments and other community providers, to get the vaccine. All World Health Organization-authorized vaccines will be acceptable; Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are included. Information will be provided for international students who have difficulty accessing vaccines in their home country before they come to campus this fall.

COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing the virus, and experts believe getting the vaccine prevents serious illness even if you do get infected. The rapid development and expansion of the vaccine is an unprecedented achievement in the history of medicine and is one in which scientists and clinicians at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center played leading roles. This underscores the power of our university’s relentless pursuit of innovation and our mission to be of service to our community.

Please be on the lookout for more details throughout the summer about how to provide proof of vaccination, requesting an accommodation to be exempted from the vaccination requirement and any additional changes to safety protocols.

The university’s public health experts, in conjunction with the COVID-19 Safety Protocols Working Group, will continue to monitor the status of the pandemic and share updates as soon as they are available.

To new students, we welcome you and are excited to have you join us. To returning students, we can’t wait to see you again this fall. Thank you for your ongoing resilience, and Anchor Down!

G.L. Black
Associate Provost and Dean of Students