COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ for Yale Students

Will Yale require students to be immunized against COVID-19?

Yes. Yale has determined that all students must be fully vaccinated in advance of arriving on campus for the fall semester. In the April 20, 2021 community message from President Salovey and Provost Strobel, all undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students who plan to be on campus are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the start of the fall 2021 semester. Additionally, students who plan to study or work on campus this summer are expected to be inoculated as soon as vaccinations are available to them. 

Will Yale offer vaccinations in the fall?

Full vaccination prior to arrival on campus is required. For those students who were unable to access vaccine in their home locations, vaccine will be available through Yale Health; however, Yale Health strongly recommends completing vaccination before arrival. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students will be required to quarantine on arrival, participate in required testing and potentially have other limitations on activities until fully vaccinated.

Which vaccines will be accepted?

Vaccines approved in the U.S. will be accepted, currently Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), Pfizer and Moderna. Additional vaccines may be approved in the coming months. See below for information regarding international vaccines.

How can I upload my vaccination documentation once I have been fully vaccinated?

Please upload your information to the Yale Vaccine Portal. If you were vaccinated by Yale Health at the Lanman Center you do not need to upload your information; all other vaccination locations, including Yale New Haven Hospital, require that you upload your information. Please don’t submit until you have completed BOTH doses of Pfizer or Moderna or other two-dose vaccine.

Will there be exemptions to immunizations against COVID-19?

Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons by submitting a waiver request available on the Yale Vaccine Portal. Medical waivers are not automatically granted but must be reviewed and approved by Yale Health on a case-by-case basis. Additional specialist consultation may be required by Yale Health. Religious waivers require a statement describing how immunization conflicts with the student’s religious beliefs. Students granted medical or religious waivers will need to meet testing and other public health requirements that vaccinated students do not.

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to show proof of vaccination for in-person attendance?

Yes. Vaccination is required regardless of previous illness or test results.

Will I be able to register for classes for Fall 2021 without having been vaccinated yet?

Yes, you will be able to register for classes prior to vaccination, but you will have to provide proof of vaccination or receive an exemption to remain on campus this fall.

Will there be a full-remote/virtual option for students who are enrolled in the Fall but aren’t vaccinated?

No. While there may be some remote options, Yale is planning to return to full campus activity and most classes will be offered only in-person.

For any student who wants to attend in Fall 2021 and refuses to be vaccinated, what will their options be?

Students who wish to enroll in Fall 2021 must either be vaccinated, or be granted a medical or religious waiver from vaccination. Those refusing vaccine, or who fail to meet the vaccination requirement by the determined deadline, will not be allowed to remain on campus.

What is the university’s stance on international students who received a vaccine that may not be authorized for use in the U.S.?

At this time, it is not known whether international vaccinations will be considered valid in the U.S. It is expected that guidelines for those receiving these vaccines will continue to evolve. In the interim, please submit proof of vaccination you have received abroad to the Yale Vaccine Portal, even if it is not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at this point. Yale will communicate to the community when new guidance is available and having your vaccination information on file will make this easier. Individuals who are not able to obtain vaccination prior to arrival for the fall semester, or whose vaccination is not recognized in the US, will be provided vaccination through Yale. It is possible that those who have received an international vaccine may be asked to revaccinate based on CDC guidance available in late summer. For additional information for international students, read this FAQ.

Why should I get vaccinated?

Currently available COVID-19 vaccines are all safe and effective, and studies have shown they prevent severe illness and death from the virus. See the CDC’s Frequentyl Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination for more information.

Can Yale mandate vaccines that are currently only subject to Emergency Use Authorizations?

The University’s position is that Emergency Use Authorization supports having a vaccination requirement. 

Why are faculty and staff not required to show proof of vaccination?

Yale strongly urges all faculty and staff to get vaccinated as soon as they can, and will continue to provide vaccine to all at no cost. The university’s policy for faculty and staff is under active discussion but has not been finalized at this time. Faculty and staff vaccinated outside of Yale Health’s vaccine site should submit documentation of vaccination once completed.

My child is only 17 but headed to Yale in the fall. Is a vaccine available?

The Pfizer vaccine may be administered to 16- and 17-year-olds. A parent or legal guardian must sign and return this Authorization for Medical Care and Treatment for Minors form to be vaccinated at Yale. Each of the vaccines given emergency use authorization in the U.S. may be administered to those 18 and older

I am fully vaccinated! Do I still have to participate in the Yale COVID-19 testing program?

Students with a routine testing requirement must continue to test through the balance of the spring semester regardless of vaccination status. When the level of vaccination is higher and case rates are lower, the university will adjust asymptomatic testing requirements in accordance with public health and CDC guidance. If you have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, testing remains critical, as vaccine is not 100% effective and breakthrough cases can occur.

I am fully vaccinated! Do I still need to wear a face covering and watch my distance?

Yes. Until public health experts see evidence that it is safe to discontinue these protective measures, which guard against transmission of the virus, Yale will continue to require social distancing and the use of face coverings. While the vaccine is extremely effective, a small percentage of those who receive it may not be fully protected, so precautions will remain in place. Because it will take many months to vaccinate a large portion of the population, COVID-19 will continue to circulate. Environmental Health and Safety’s website reflects this guidance and provides additional information of importance for the Yale community.

Updated 4/28/2021