Vaccination requirement

Given current conditions and our commitment to ensuring the safest possible environment for our patients, faculty, staff, students and trainees, the School of Medicine has decided to align its COVID-19 vaccine requirements with those of Emory Healthcare. We will require vaccination by October 1, 2021.

This policy applies to all SOM faculty, students and staff, including housestaff and postdoctoral fellows.

To fulfill the vaccine requirement by Oct. 1, the first dose of vaccine is required by the following dates:

  • September 2, 2021: Moderna dose 1

  • September 9, 2021: Pfizer dose 1

  • Any day before October 1, 2021: J&J single dose



Exemptions

Exemptions to the vaccination requirement will only be granted for validated medical conditions or religious objections. This policy aligns with the guidelines of our clinical partners and other major academic medical centers.

Exemptions granted through the university's system are no longer valid for SOM faculty and staff. If you wish to file an exemption for medical or religious objections, you must follow one of the options described below. 

How to request an exemption

  • Credentialed TEC providers: follow the instructions provided by Emory Healthcare to request an exemption. The deadline for EHC exemption requests was Sept. 10.

  • Faculty and staff (non-TEC): submit your request through the SOM application using the forms below for faculty/staff. Your request will be reviewed by a School of Medicine committee working in alignment with EHC processes for exemption review. You are required to continue weekly screening tests while your submission is in review.

  • Students: submit your request through the SOM application using the forms below for students. Your request will be reviewed by a School of Medicine committee working in alignment with EHC processes for exemption review. You are required to continue weekly screening tests while your submission is in review.

You will be able to request exemptions on religious or medical grounds. Deferrals may also be accepted for pregnancy or a temporary medical issue that prevents you from getting the vaccine. The exemption forms are linked below. The forms will be submitted using a SOM-specific application. 

View and download the forms:


Submit a vaccine exemption request here


The deadline for faculty and staff exemption requests is Sept. 17. We strongly encourage anyone requesting an exemption to submit it into the SOM application as soon as possible.

  • If your exemption is not granted and the timing of the decision makes it impossible to meet the Oct. 1 deadline, you will be given adequate time from the issuing of the decision to fulfill the vaccine requirement without your employment being impacted.

  • Exemption or deferral requests will be reviewed under the guidance of a multidisciplinary committee, in alignment with Emory Healthcare processes, that will decide whether to approve/deny the exemption. 



Testing

Please note even if your exemption is approved, you must continue to follow the university’s weekly screening test requirements if you are not fully vaccinated.



FAQs

What exactly will change with the shift to Emory Healthcare’s guidelines?

If you have already been vaccinated, nothing will change. Please note that you are still required to upload documentation in HOME if you received your vaccine outside Emory or as an Emory patient. 

If you have not yet been vaccinated:

  • The deadline for vaccination will extend to Oct. 1, 2021.

  • Allowable exemptions will change. You may no longer request an exemption based on a strong personal objection, and you must submit additional documentation to validate a medical or religious exemption.

  • If you requested and received an exemption through the university process/portal, you will be required to resubmit your request through the School of Medicine process outlined above.

Will this change apply to all SOM faculty, students and staff, or only those working in clinical institutions/in direct patient care?

All SOM faculty, staff and students will be required to follow Emory Healthcare’s vaccination and exemption guidelines. While some of us do not work directly with patients, patients remain a critical part of our environment – in clinical research, in our teaching curriculum, and in our hospitals. Because so many of our faculty and staff flow freely between our clinical and university facilities, we have determined that for the safety of our entire community, it is important to follow the guidelines of our clinical partners.

Will the shift to these new guidelines apply to employees who are working remotely?

Yes. Remote employees are also required to either get vaccinated or submit a vaccine exemption request for medical or religious reasons only.