Important COVID-19 Vaccine Update

April 19, 2021

To the George Washington University Community:

We continue to be encouraged by the progress we make each day toward a post-pandemic university, country, and world.  As COVID-19 vaccine distribution expands, more than 120 million U.S. residents have received at least one dose, and we expect the availability of vaccines to increase, allowing everyone age 16 and above the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine this spring or summer.

Given these developments and to further support the health and safety of our community, after consultation with student, faculty, and staff leadership we will require students, faculty, and staff who are in person this fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to being on campus.  

The following guidance will apply to this new requirement:

  • Any vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. will be accepted.
  • Current students, faculty, and staff should upload their vaccination card to the medical portal.  Instructions for this process are available here.
  • We will grant limited exemptions, such as for medical or religious reasons.  We will provide more guidance on the exemption process in the coming weeks.
  • All GW community members who come to campus are required to be vaccinated.  Students who are online-only and faculty and staff approved to work 100 percent remotely will not be required to have received the vaccine.
  • We will exercise discretion in enforcing the mandate for those who have extenuating circumstances that are beyond their control and that will cause delays in vaccination.

More detailed information about the new requirement is available in our FAQs.

We strongly encourage everyone to receive the vaccine at their earliest opportunity.  As more students, faculty, and staff transition back to campus, having our entire population vaccinated is essential to keeping our community healthy and safe.  Information about local vaccine resources is available on our COVID-19 vaccine webpage.

We remain optimistic about the coming months, and we are excited to take more positive steps that prioritize health and safety as well as focus on flexibility and an engaging on-campus experience this fall.

Stay safe and stay well.


Thomas J. LeBlanc, President
M. Brian Blake, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mark Diaz, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Barbara Bass, Vice President for Health Affairs; Dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Lynn Goldman, Dean, Milken Institute School of Public Health
M.L. “Cissy” Petty, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Scott Burnotes, Vice President for Safety and Facilities