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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Northwestern announced on May 12 that it will require COVID-19 vaccination for all students (including exchange and visiting students) in on-campus programs for the 2021-22 academic year. Students must have their vaccination or exception on record in order to register for classes.

Additionally, Northwestern announced on June 24 that it will require COVID-19 vaccination for all faculty and staff. Subject to limited exceptions, faculty and staff who work on campus are expected to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 1, 2021 and are expected to attest to their vaccination status. Faculty and staff who choose to not receive a vaccine or who fail to report their vaccination status to the University by Aug. 1 will be considered unvaccinated. Unvaccinated staff or faculty who work on campus will typically be required to:

  • Complete twice-weekly COVID-19 testing on campus
  • Complete the daily Symptom Tracker application on those days when they are on campus
  • Wear a mask in all shared indoor settings

Questions? See General Vaccine FAQs, Student Vaccination Requirement FAQs, Faculty/Staff Vaccination Requirement FAQs, or email vaccine@northwestern.edu.

Report Vaccination or Request Exception

Students

All students are required to fill out the COVID-19 Vaccination Form to report their vaccination or request an exception. If a student also works at NU, they should complete the student form.

Students should complete this form once they are fully vaccinated or if they need to request an exception. Students who are partially vaccinated and are scheduled to receive a second dose should wait to fill out this form until they have completed the vaccination requirement.

Student Vaccination Disclosure

Exceptions 

Students can request an exception to the vaccination requirement due to health conditions, religious beliefs, access issues, or other personal reasons. These exceptions should be submitted through the COVID-19 Vaccination Form.

Students requesting an exception are required to provide supporting documentation outlining why their personal health, religious beliefs or circumstances prevent them from obtaining a vaccine. For exception requests related to health conditions, this documentation will require a note from a licensed medical provider and no additional documentation is required.  For exception requests not related to health conditions, students are required to upload a personal statement. Students receiving a vaccination exception will be required to participate in increased levels of COVID-19 testing, masking and quarantine/isolation procedures.

Please note, students may request a temporary exception if they have recently tested positive for COVID-19, undergone antibody therapy in the last 90 days or are hesitant to receive the vaccine due to the emergency-use authorization status. Students who tested positive or have undergone antibody therapy will be expected to fulfill their vaccination requirement once they are cleared by their health care provider. Students who receive an exception related to emergency-use authorization status must be vaccinated once full FDA approval is received for any COVID-19 vaccine unless they apply for and receive another exception at the time of full FDA approval.

Reporting Deadline

Students not able to meet the requirement prior to arriving at Northwestern (such as international students) will need to apply for an exception in order to register for classes. Please submit your COVID-19 Vaccination Form before July 12, 2021 to avoid a registration hold being placed on your account.

Faculty and Staff

Subject to limited exceptions, faculty and staff who work on campus are expected to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 1, 2021. In addition, they are expected to attest to their vaccination status.

Faculty and staff who require assistance with scheduling a vaccine appointment should contact vaccine@northwestern.edu for support. 

Faculty and Staff VACCINATION DISCLOSURE

Exceptions 

We understand that some individuals may have health conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent them from being vaccinated. We also understand that some have concerns about getting one of the available vaccines while they are under FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) status. Anyone who chooses not to receive a vaccine for any of these reasons, who is otherwise not fully vaccinated, or who fails to report their vaccination status to the University as of Aug. 1 will be considered unvaccinated.

Unvaccinated staff or faculty who work any portion of the workweek on campus will typically be required to:

  • Complete twice-weekly COVID-19 testing on campus
  • Complete the daily Symptom Tracker application on those days when they are on campus
  • Wear a mask in all shared indoor settings.

These obligations constitute requirements for employment eligibility for unvaccinated staff and professional duties for unvaccinated faculty.  

Once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes fully FDA approved, the only permitted exceptions to the vaccine requirement after Aug. 1 will be for health conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs. Any staff or faculty member remaining unvaccinated at that time will be required to complete a formal exception request, which will be considered on an individualized basis. Those who are not vaccinated and who do not have an approved exception/accommodation in place will be escalated to the Provost’s Office (faculty) or Human Resources (staff) for further review and action.

Faculty and staff who are not vaccinated do not qualify automatically for remote work under the policy on Alternative Work Strategies.

Faculty and staff vaccine appointments

Faculty and staff are encouraged to take advantage of the free walk-up appointments offered by pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Jewel Osco .

If a faculty or staff member is a patient of Northwestern Medicine, NM is offering free COVID-19 appointments.

If you still need assistance making a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, contact the vaccine support team by emailing vaccine@northwestern.edu

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness

Webinar on Vaccine Safety

Watch Feinberg School of Medicine's Dean Eric G. Neilson, MD, and Robert Murphy, MD, discuss the COVID-19 vaccine and respond to vaccine-related questions. 

Panel on Vaccine Concerns

Watch a faculty panel of Feinberg School of Medicine faculty address questions and concerns related to the vaccine. 

Research on Vaccines after COVID-19

We also encourage members of the community to review this recent research publication by Northwestern experts, which highlights the importance of receiving a vaccine even if you have already had COVID-19, given the limited length of natural antibody prevention.