Vaccine Requirement & Reporting

Updated January 2022

COVID-19 vaccines are an effective and critical tool to combat COVID-19 and help us have another successful year of in-person, residential education. According to the CDC, the vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective. Current data also suggests that vaccinated individuals are less likely to become infected and the vaccines are highly effective against the most severe consequences of COVID-19.

The University of Richmond announced in June 2021 that to promote the health of our community and continue to move forward as a community, the University would require all students, faculty, and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one of the vaccines received full approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 16 years and older. Unless granted an exemption, all students, faculty, and staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Additional information about the vaccine requirement and reporting process is detailed below.

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  • Requirement

    The University will continue to require all students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless an exemption has been granted. All students, faculty, and staff are required to report their vaccine status to the University. Details on how to report your status is noted below. To meet the University’s vaccine requirement, students, faculty, and staff may choose the now FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which presently remain subject to FDA Emergency Use Authorization. International students who have received a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization have met the University’s vaccine requirement.

  • Boosters

    We are closely monitoring advice from public health officials regarding a COVID-19 booster. If you are fully vaccinated, the University strongly encourages you to get a booster. You are eligible for a booster five months after your last dose of the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna vaccine, or two months after your dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

    Given the potential for waning protection against infection from the Delta variant and the emergence of the Omicron variant, the CDC recommends that everyone over 16 get a booster shot when they are eligible.

    • Undergraduates and law students who have received a COVID-19 booster are required to upload a copy of their vaccination card to their Student Health Center portal.
    • MBA and SPCS students are required to report their vaccine status, including receiving a COVID-19 booster, using this form.
    • Faculty and staff are required to report or update their vaccine status, including receiving a COVID-19 booster, using this form.

    Again, if you are fully vaccinated, we strongly encourage you, as soon as you are eligible, to get a booster. Emerging data shows COVID-19 boosters are providing enhanced protection against infection and serious illness from the Omicron variant.

    Please note: The CDC has recently changed its quarantine guidelines. Those guidelines do not require a person to quarantine if they have had a booster and are identified as a close contact; however, students who are eligible for but have not received a booster, or are not vaccinated, will need to quarantine if identified as a close contact.

    Additional information about COVID-19 booster shots is available on the Virginia Department of Health website.

  • Getting a Vaccine

    COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are readily available through many health care providers and pharmacies. For information on where to obtain a vaccine, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov if you are in Virginia or vaccines.gov if you are outside of Virginia.

  • Reporting

    Our COVID-19 response planning depends on knowing how many students, faculty, and staff are fully vaccinated. All students, faculty, and staff are required to report their vaccine status to the University and to update their vaccine status within five days of any change in status.

    • Undergraduate and law students should report their vaccine status and upload their vaccination card through their Student Health Center portal.
      • Undergraduates and law students who have received a COVID-19 booster should upload a copy of their vaccination card to their Student Health Center portal.
    • MBA and SPCS students should report their vaccine status by completing this form.
    • Faculty and staff should report their vaccine status by completing this form.

    We will treat information about vaccine status confidentially, consistent with applicable laws and regulations.

  • Exemption Process

    As is our current practice for other required vaccines, students, faculty, and staff may seek an exemption from the vaccine requirement if they have a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or a sincerely held religious belief against receiving the vaccine. For the COVID-19 vaccine requirement only, students, faculty, and staff may also seek an exemption from the requirement to have a COVID-19 vaccine based on personal convictions strongly and sincerely held by the person seeking the exemption.

    To apply for an exemption from the vaccine requirement:

    Members of our campus community who are not fully vaccinated, including those who are granted an exemption from the vaccine requirement, will be required to follow the University’s health and safety protocols for unvaccinated individuals in order to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to those on our campus who are not vaccinated.

    Currently, these protocols include participating in University-sponsored prevalence testing and wearing a mask indoors and in outdoor locations where physical distancing is not possible, as described in the University’s mask policy, which is in line with CDC guidelines.