Vaccination Requirement for Fall 2021

A close angle of the Emory University logo on the side of a building

Dear Emory Community,

With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in full swing, more than 14,000 Emory students, faculty and staff have received at least one dose through Emory Healthcare while many others in our campus community have been vaccinated elsewhere. Thorough scientific studies have shown the vaccines are safe and highly effective at protecting you against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is crucial for all of us to return to campus in the fall, and I am encouraged to see that increasing numbers of Emory students, staff and faculty are receiving vaccinations.

With the supply growing and eligibility expanding, I initiated a thorough review of Emory vaccination policies that was focused on the health of the campus community. After analyzing the results of this review and considering a range of factors affecting the well-being of the Emory community, I am announcing today that Emory University will require all students to be immunized for COVID-19 for the fall 2021 semester.

Student vaccinations will create a healthier environment in our classrooms, which will be at full density during the fall. It will also allow for student life activities including programs, athletics and intramural sports, performances and events, and appropriately-sized gatherings. In addition to vaccinations, we will also continue to employ the public health measures we have embraced over the course of the pandemic including the wearing of face coverings and testing. 

I encourage all students to get vaccinated. We will have vaccine supply for students who cannot be inoculated prior to arriving on campus. Students will be able to apply for an exemption to the vaccine requirement based on medical conditions or strong personal objections. Later today, follow-up communications will be sent with more information about the vaccination requirement for all students for fall 2021.  

At this time, Emory will not require vaccinations for staff and faculty, but I strongly recommend that all Emory staff and faculty members get vaccinated for COVID-19. 

We will continue to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 and the presence of variants and will be prepared to adjust our plans in response to evolving conditions and public health recommendations. Thank you for continuing to keep the Emory community healthy and safe. You’ve done an outstanding job this semester. Let’s keep the momentum going during this final month.


Gregory L. Fenves