Johns Hopkins announces COVID-19 vaccine mandate for faculty, staff

Faculty and staff must provide proof of vaccination or apply for medical or religious exceptions by Aug. 1

Moderna vaccine vial, vaccine document card, and syringe

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins leaders announced today that all university faculty and staff will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Aug. 1 in order to promote public health on university campuses and support university operations this fall. Exceptions for medical and religious reasons will be granted. All on-campus undergraduate and graduate students are also required to be vaccinated.

"We were heartened to see the safe increase in on-campus instruction, research, and other work during the recently concluded spring semester, and we are confident that with broad vaccination we can do even more this summer and fall," wrote university President Ronald J. Daniels, Provost Sunil Kumar, and interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Mary Miller in a message to the Johns Hopkins community Wednesday.

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Resources and updates for the Johns Hopkins community, including vaccination and testing guidance, information on university operations, and more

The policy applies to all faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who will be working or studying at a U.S.–based university campus or work site. That includes members of nonclinical departments in the School of Medicine; clinical departments will follow Johns Hopkins Health System COVID-19 vaccine policies. It also includes members of collective bargaining units; contractors providing services to the university community and whose primary work location is on university properties located in Maryland or Washington, D.C., regardless of employer; and those who are doing business on behalf of the university, including individuals engaged in work-related travel. The university will launch a vaccine registration system on July 1 that is similar to the system used for submitting proof of influenza vaccination to track compliance. University affiliates are urged to keep their vaccination records and to upload an image of their cards or to apply for a religious or medical exception through the registration system as soon as possible after July 1. Registration will be required by Aug. 1.

To help achieve vaccination goals, Johns Hopkins is providing free vaccination clinics on its campuses for members of the university community. Those clinics will continue throughout the summer at a variety of locations to make vaccination as convenient as possible. International students or others who cannot access the vaccine in their home communities will be able to be vaccinated when they arrive on campus.

Information about the vaccine's development, safety, and effectiveness is available on the Johns Hopkins Get the Facts, Get the Vax website as well as in archived town hall discussions with vaccine experts.

Revised return to campus guidance and other information about how to submit vaccination documentation will be forthcoming on the Johns Hopkins website. University leaders also issued a list of changes to summer and fall operating plans that will begin July 1. Among them:

  • Physical distancing requirements and occupancy limits in elevators and bathrooms will be lifted on July 1, though distancing is recommended for those who are not vaccinated.
  • Spaces for eating will be available both in undistanced format (for those who are vaccinated) and distanced format (open to all and required for those who are unvaccinated).
  • In accordance with Baltimore City guidelines, masks will still be required indoors in classrooms, labs, common spaces, and shared offices. If the city eliminates its indoor masking mandate, the university may do so as well for those who have been vaccinated.
  • Once-weekly COVID testing will be required for vaccinated, residential undergraduates. Twice-weekly testing will be required for all unvaccinated faculty, students, and staff. Testing on demand will remain available for all affiliates.
  • Daily health checks through Prodensity will remain required.
  • The university's travel policies will return to normal beginning July 1.
  • Visitors and guests will be allowed on campus but must follow the same COVID-19 safety rules as JHU affiliates.
  • Opportunities will be available for those who want to return to in-person work to do so beginning July 1, and workplaces are expected to transition to their fall operating posture by mid-August. Plans for the resumption of in-person work by staff members will continue to be reviewed for equity and consistency over the next two weeks.