COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Requests

The university’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement is critical for the health of our community and safe in-person university operations. Faculty, staff, postdoctoral/postgraduate trainees, and students may request exemptions from the vaccine/booster requirement for medical reasons or religious beliefs. 

Anyone requesting an exemption must access, complete and upload the request forms through the Yale Vaccine Portal (the portal). Once completed and uploaded on the portal, requests are submitted to the university’s COVID-19 vaccine exemption review committees. Information about the public health requirements that are applicable to individuals who have exemptions may be found on the Vaccine Policy site.  NOTE: If you have an approved medical or religious exemption for a primary vaccine series, you do not need to submit another exemption request for the booster requirement.

Medical Exemption Requests 

Faculty, staff, postdoctoral/postgraduate trainees, and students seeking a medical exemption must access, complete and upload the request form on the portal. The medical exemption request must include a signed form from a medical provider confirming the medical basis for the request. The university’s COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Exemption Review Committee will review the information submitted and make a determination regarding medical necessity of the request.

The Medical Exemption Review Committee may require additional information to complete its review and will contact the requestor. Medical exemptions may be granted on a temporary basis.

Reasons for a medical exemption include:

  • Documented history of severe allergic reaction to a component of each currently available COVID-19 vaccine
  • Documented history of severe or immediate-type hypersensitivity allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine, and separate contraindication to other available formulations
  • Receiving immunosuppressive (weakens the immune system) treatment and advised by a medical provider to defer vaccination until a future date
  • Another medical condition where it is advised by a medical provider to forgo vaccination.
  • A history of myocarditis or pericarditis after a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine

Reasons for a temporary medical exemption include:

  • Having been treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma (90-day exemption)
  • Having been diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (90-day exemption)
  • Another medical condition where it is advised by a medical provider to defer vaccination until a future date.

Examples of conditions that are NOT considered for a medical exemption include:

  • History of severe allergic reactions to foods, oral medications, latex, pets, insects, and environmental triggers
  • History of immunocompromising conditions where the vaccine may be less effective
  • Fear of needles
  • A history of vaccine side effects or general avoidance of vaccines.

Sincerely Held Religious Belief, Practice or Observance Exemption Requests 

Faculty, staff, postdoctoral/postgraduate trainees, and students seeking a religious exemption must access, complete and submit an exemption request form through the portal. The university’s COVID-19 Religious Belief Exemption Review Committee will review the request and the Public Health Ambassador team may reach out to the requestor to schedule a conversation.

The purpose of this conversation is to review the exemption request and provide additional information as may be needed, not to assess the sincerity of religious beliefs, practices or observances.

Updated January 20, 2022