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COVID-19 Vaccine Disclosure

Increasingly, members of the Northwestern community will become eligible for and receive the COVID-19 vaccine. At the same time, federal, state, and local public health guidance, including for those who are vaccinated, will continue to develop.

For a number of reasons, at this time, Northwestern is not requiring students, faculty, or staff to be vaccinated in order to access campus.  However, we strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated if and as soon as they are able.

In order to best enact informed public health strategies for the Spring, Summer, and Fall Terms, it will be helpful to understand how much of our community has been vaccinated.

Any student, faculty, or staff who becomes fully vaccinated (one dose of a single-dose vaccine, or a second dose of a two-dose vaccine) is encouraged to disclose to the University (1) the type of vaccine received (e.g. Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) and (2) the date(s) of vaccination. No further vaccine-related disclosure is expected. This information will be securely maintained and only accessible to those who need access to it due to their role and responsibilities at Northwestern. At this time, we expect to use this information to support our continued management of the pandemic. Examples of how this information may be used include:

  • At an aggregate level, to understand the percentage of the community that has been vaccinated.
  • To determine how vaccine rates might impact the ability to hold in-person classes, events, or other campus activities.
  • To inform the need for ongoing testing and quarantine/isolation housing.
  • To inform potential adjustments to requirements for using Symptom Tracker.
  • To supplement the case management and contact tracing process, to ensure appropriate handling of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated community members.

In the future, there may come a time when vaccines are required in order to participate in certain activities or access certain spaces at the University. We understand that there are medical, religious, and other reasons why an individual might not want to be vaccinated.  Those concerns will be taken into account when deciding whether to require vaccination and addressed through an appropriate accommodations process, if vaccination becomes mandatory. For now, we just want to understand who has received the vaccine, so that we can appropriately strategize for the protection of our broader community, while also developing a process for returning to a more normal campus environment in the summer and fall.