Effective December 6, 2021, the University of Pittsburgh will require all Pitt affiliates on all campuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. This includes:
- Faculty (including full-time, part-time, and adjunct)
- Staff (including full-time, part-time, and temporary)
- Students (including both graduate, professional and undergraduate)
To be fully vaccinated an individual must have completed a primary COVID-19 series of vaccine doses as authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). If added vaccine doses are later designated a part of any vaccine sequence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FDA or WHO, each student, staff and faculty member must be compliant with that change.
The most successful and sustainable approach to keeping our community healthy and safe is one that utilizes vaccination as a condition of studying or working on our campuses. By enforcing this requirement now, we will be able to maintain a high immunization rate on our campuses, while continuing to support our students and research, as well as protect our workforce, with minimal disruption to our programs, activities, or operations.
Failure to meet the December 6 deadline will result in the following:
- Currently enrolled students will not be eligible to enroll in spring 2022 term classes or live in the residence halls as of January 1, 2022. Students who enroll for spring class prior to December 1 but fail to provide proof or obtain an exemption by this deadline will be disenrolled.
- Current faculty and staff will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the University’s disciplinary guidelines, including loss of access to electronic resources and other disciplinary actions up to and including termination of employment.
This is an interim policy. A formal charter and committee are being formed to create a permanent policy.
Guests, vendors and volunteers on campus are not required to be vaccinated to visit our campuses. Please note that Category 1 academic visitors who are not considered federal contractors may be admitted to campus under the University’s current COVID-19 related protocols for guests. Guests must be registered online prior to entering University facilities.
Category 2 and 3 academic visitors, and those Category 1 visitors who are considered federal contractors, are subject to this vaccine requirement.
Faculty, staff, and students can request an exemption from this vaccine requirement. Exemption requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) and can only be requested for medical reasons, or reasons based on sincerely held religious belief or because of a strong moral or ethical conviction. Faculty, staff, and students who are granted an exemption will be subject to additional mitigation measures, such as routine COVID-19 testing.
Medical exemptions require a doctor’s signature. Religious and moral exemptions require a notarized attestation. Download and print one of the following forms:
A photo or scan of the signed or notarized form must be uploaded to request an exemption.
Before requesting an exemption, please review the following recommended eLearning resources:
If you need assistance with understanding the exemption process, completing forms, uploading documents or have other questions, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is everyone covered by this policy?
The University requires every faculty member, staff member and students to comply with the policy. Graduate and professional students enrolled in 100% online programs, guests, vendors and volunteers do not need to submit proof of vaccination or submit an exemption request. Guests must register online prior to entering University facilities.
I already have an exemption to the vaccine on file with student health. Do I need to submit a request again?
Students who have previously received a medical exemption from the vaccine do not need to resubmit a request.
When can I submit a request for an exemption?
Exemptions will be accepted beginning Monday, November 8, 2021.
What documentation is required for exemption?
Individuals who wish to request an exemption from the vaccine must complete three steps:
1. Download, print and complete one of the following forms:
2. Obtain a signature from a doctor for medical forms or a notary for moral or religious forms.
3. Before requesting an exemption, please review the recommended eLearning resources from the CDC above.
4. Upload a photo or scan of your signed or notarized document to the Exemption Request Form online.
Can I attach an additional documentation to supplement the attestation form?
Yes, you can provide additional documentation. However, all of the documentation must be saved as a single file for upload to the online exemption request.
Who can notarize a religious and moral exemption attestation form? Any notary public may notarize these documents. A notary public commissioned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may charge $5.00 to attest a signature. If you need help getting a form notarized, please use one of the following links to request assistance:
Can I complete my vaccine requirement exemption request through student health?
No, students should not go to Student Health. Students should seek exemption approval from their primary care physician and must submit through the vaccine requirement exemption process in the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
How will I know if my exemption is approved?
OEDI will email individuals regarding the approval or denial of their request.
I am working or taking classes remotely 100%. Do I still need to upload proof or obtain an exemption request?
Yes, employees who have a flexible work arrangement that permits them to work remotely 100% of the time still need to upload their vaccination card or submit a request obtain to an exemption. Students who are taking classes remotely must also provide proof of vaccination or obtain an exemption, except for graduate and professional students solely enrolled in 100% online program.
I am currently unvaccinated, but am not required to test on a weekly basis based on my remote employment status. Will I now be required to test on a weekly basis?
If you decide not to get vaccinated, you will need to obtain an exemption from the vaccine requirement in order to remain a member of the community. For the immediate future, we have no plans to require weekly testing of those employees who are 100% remote who obtain an exemption from the vaccine.
I currently attend class remotely. Do I still need to upload proof or obtain an exemption request?
Yes, with one exception: Students who are enrolled solely in an online program are excluded from the policy.
I previously submitted a request for an exemption based on my religious beliefs. Should I still submit a request for an exemption under this new policy?
Yes, previous requests for an exemption based on religious beliefs have no bearing on this exemption process, and individuals should submit a new request for consideration.
Does this affect my fall 2021 term classes or finals?
No, this policy does not affect fall 2021 term classes or finals. To be enrolled in classes starting in the spring 2022 term, students must have either uploaded proof of vaccination or obtained an approved exemption by December 6. If you become compliant with the policy after this deadline but before the start of spring classes, you may be permitted to reenroll.
Do I have to wait the full two weeks to upload my proof of vaccination?
No, you are in compliance with this policy immediately following the single dose of a one-dose vaccine or the second dose of a two-dose vaccine.
What are the vaccination requirements for new employees or new students?
Effective December 6, 2021, new employees must submit proof of vaccination or have received an exemption from the requirement prior to beginning work at the University, and new students must submit proof of vaccination or have received an exemption to enroll in courses.
Do I still need to wear a mask or face covering if I have complied with the vaccination requirement?
Currently, the University requires all members, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors, unless you are in your enclosed private office or dwelling with the door closed. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated, as well as those who are or live with someone who is immunocompromised, should wear face coverings when outdoors and unable to maintain physical distancing. Anyone is welcome to wear a face covering outdoors based on their own comfort level.
How long do I have to wait after having COVID-19 before I get vaccinated?
The CDC provides that people with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and no longer need to isolate. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
What if my exemption request was denied and I don’t have enough time to get two shots before the December 6 deadline?
Exemptions will be reviewed as quickly as possible, but you should submit your exemption as soon as it is ready. Our goal is to complete the review of submissions within 7 days, however, volume will affect that response time. If an exemption is denied late in the process, additional time may be granted to come into compliance for those who wish to become vaccinated after their exemption is denied.
Do I have to request an exemption if I am graduating in December 2021?
No, the interim policy does not affect students the fall term, rather non-compliance will impact enrollment and housing in the spring 2022 term.
My vaccination record is not written in English. Is an English translation required?
Yes, vaccination records must be translated to English in order for student health services to validate.