Since Monday, April 19, 2021, vaccines have been available to all adults in the U.S. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s data, more than 122 million U.S. residents have been fully vaccinated, or 37 percent of the country’s population. The increased vaccination rates have played a decisive role in decreasing the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, neighbors and guests remains at the forefront of our decision-making. Given these developments, the University will require all students who are in person this Fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to being on campus. This policy will go into effect on August 1, 2021. There is only one exception for students to come to campus if they have not been fully vaccinated, and that is to receive a vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Being fully vaccinated means that two or more weeks have passed since receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series or since receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine. Students who complete a COVID-19 vaccination series with a vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) or an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine will comply with the University’s immunization requirement. Students must provide proof of being fully vaccinated prior to arriving on campus. Students will not be permitted to live in on-campus housing until they are fully vaccinated and provide proof of the same. This applies to international students as well who cannot become fully vaccinated in their home countries prior to arriving on campus.

The University will provide vaccinations, free of charge, to students who can present to the vaccination clinic located at 508 W Street NW, Washington, DC 20059 – the Numa P. Adams Building.

Documented Exemptions

Please note that while students with approved medical or religious exemptions for the COVID vaccination requirement will be allowed to attend classes on campus (following appropriate safety protocols), they will NOT be permitted to live in on-campus housing.

The Office of Residence Life will provide information about potential off-campus housing options; however, students will be solely responsible for securing their own off-campus housing arrangements.

Vaccine Policy FAQs

What do I do if I am an international student without access to the vaccine in my home country?

For international students who cannot become fully vaccinated in their home countries prior to arriving on campus, the University will provide vaccinations, free of charge, to students who can present to the vaccination clinic located at 508 W Street NW, Washington, DC 20059 – the Numa P. Adams Building. After receiving their vaccination, students must leave campus immediately. Students may not return to campus, except to receive their second dose of a two-dose series, until they are fully vaccinated.

As of right now, international who will actively work to get vaccinated upon their arrival in Washington, D.C. must abide by the district’s two-week quarantine policy and assume personal responsibility for finding housing off campus since they cannot live on campus. The University is exploring options to help international students find temporary housing solutions off campus, and we will update you further if and when we are able to progress in those plans.

What if I am at high risk for COVID but have a medical or religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement?

Students with approved medical or religious exemptions for the COVID vaccination requirement will be allowed to attend classes on campus (following appropriate safety protocols); however, they will NOT be permitted to live in on-campus housing. The Office of Residence Life will provide information about potential off-campus housing options; however, students will be solely responsible for securing their own off-campus housing arrangements. Learn about off-campus housing options.

What are the medical and religious exemption criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students?

Students must obtain official documentation from a licensed health care provider certifying that you should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine because you have a contraindication recognized by the CDC.

For religious exemptions, if the bona fide religious beliefs of a student are contrary to the immunization requirement for a COVID-19 vaccine you must complete a notarized religious exemption form, which includes a letter from your clergy or religious representative and submit it through Med+Proctor before you register for classes or apply for housing.

If I have an approved medical or religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, what additional safety protocols will I be required to follow?

Students with approved exemptions will be required to follow all safety and health protocols including wearing masks and eye protective PPE while on campus, daily screening, routine COVID-19 testing, etc.

Will I be required to provide proof of vaccination? How?

Students will provide proof of vaccination through the secure Med+Proctor portal, just as they have done with other vaccinations that are already required by University policy.

What is the deadline to submit proof of vaccination?

You must submit your proof of vaccination or certified statement of vaccination by August 1, 2021 in order to move into the dorms.

Which COVID-19 vaccines are accepted by Howard University?

All COVID-19 vaccines that are approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization will be accepted by Howard University.

Will masks still be required?

Until further notice, masks will be required in all indoor facilities. Masks are not required while in your rooms or offices where all individuals are vaccinated. At this time, masks will also be required outdoors while on campus; this policy is being continuously reviewed, and we will make adjustments as needed.

What happens if I do not get fully vaccinated by the start of the Fall semester and I do not have an approved exemption?

Students who are not fully vaccinated by the start of the Fall semester and who do not have an approved medical or religious exemption will not be allowed on campus for any reason to take part in any on-campus activities, including attending classes.

Will vaccinated students still need to get tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis?

Yes, students will be required to be tested once a week whether they are vaccinated or not. According to the CDC, although the chance of spreading COVID-19 is reduced for vaccinated individuals, COVID-19 can still be carried by a vaccinated individual and passed to a vulnerable community member who is unvaccinated. Testing allows the University to track the virus and stop the spread.

What if I am not comfortable with taking the vaccine? Can I do virtual learning/work from home?

Unvaccinated students are allowed to participate in virtual and remote activities, to the extent they are available. Please note that not all classes will be offered in a virtual format

Who can I contact if I have questions about exemptions?

For any immediate questions, please call the hotline at 202-806-3345 or 800-822-6363.