UVA Vaccine Booster Requirement Information
To the University community:
We write today to inform you of an important change in the University’s vaccination policies for the spring semester. After careful consideration of current and projected public health conditions, including the progression of the new omicron variant, University leaders, with the advice of our public health experts, have decided to require all UVA students, faculty, and staff to get COVID-19 booster shots in order to study, live, or work on Grounds in the spring semester.
To comply with this requirement, all UVA students attending in the spring 2022 semester must upload proof of an approved booster shot to HealthyHoos no later than February 1, 2022. Those who are not eligible to receive their booster by February 1, 2022 must submit proof of their booster no later than 30 days following their first day of eligibility. UVA Student Affairs will provide students and parents with additional information about this requirement after the holidays.
University faculty and staff must upload proof of an approved booster shot through Workday no later than February 1, 2022. Those who are not eligible to receive their booster by February 1, 2022 must submit proof of their booster no later than 30 days following their first day of eligibility.
With the holiday break on the way, we are optimistic that the February 1 deadline will give members of our community adequate time to schedule and receive their booster shots and to upload the required document.
We also strongly encourage all students and faculty who will participate in 2022 January Term courses to get a booster vaccine before courses begin on January 3. The default mode of instruction is in-person. Exceptions are noted in SIS and on the January Term list of courses.
You are eligible for the booster if you are over age 16 and at least six months past your primary vaccination date, if you received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines; or two months past your vaccination date, if you received Johnson & Johnson.
If you previously received a medical or religious exemption from the University’s vaccine requirement, you will automatically be exempt from this new booster requirement and do not need to take any further action, other than to continue complying with testing requirements and other public health policies.
This requirement applies to the entire University, including UVA Health, which will notify its team members in a separate communication soon, including UVA Health’s requirement to provide proof of vaccination via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This requirement is necessary for several reasons.
It is clear that the COVID-19 vaccines become less effective at preventing infections over time. In addition, we are concerned about the rise in cases in Virginia and around the globe, as well as the early indications that the new omicron variant is significantly more contagious than previous variants of the virus.
Higher prevalence of the virus, combined with a more contagious strain and reduced vaccine efficacy, is a troubling situation that could lead to a spike in cases and a strain on our health care resources.
Aside from getting vaccinated for the first time, getting a booster shot is the most effective tool available to limit the spread of the virus and keep the people around you safe.
The holiday break is also an opportune moment to get the booster and be sure it is fully effective before you return to Grounds for the spring 2022 semester.
For more information about the boosters, including how to schedule an appointment from wherever you are, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots page. Information specific to the Charlottesville-Albemarle region is available on the Blue Ridge Health District’s website.
Over the coming weeks, University leaders and public health experts will be monitoring the conditions of the pandemic in order to determine whether additional changes to our public health measures are necessary to keep people safe and keep our semester on track. If any changes are necessary, we will advise you no later than January 14, 2022.
We are grateful for your continued patience and perseverance as we continue to contend with this pandemic. We hope you have a wonderful holiday break, and we are looking forward to seeing you back on Grounds in the spring.
Chief Operating Officer
K. Craig Kent, M.D.
EVP for Health Affairs, University of Virginia
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Health