Implications of Vaccination Requirements

To the Case Western Reserve Community:

We first want to thank the more than 860 of you who have submitted pictures of your vaccination cards since Thursday, as well as the nearly 170 of you who have requested to be vaccinated on campus.

Second, we strongly encourage those who have not yet done so to follow these examples.

Last week President Eric W. Kaler and Provost Ben Vinson III announced that all faculty, staff and students must verify their vaccination status by 5 p.m. (EDT) this Friday (July 23).

If they cannot verify that they are fully (or at least partially)* vaccinated, they may submit a request for a medical or religious exception**—or indicate that they want to receive one of the vaccines that the university accepts.

Those who have chosen none of these options by the 5 p.m. Friday deadline may not come to campus after that time.

The case for full COVID-19 vaccination has become even more compelling since last week’s message. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky warned Friday of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” noting that the country’s seven-day average for COVID-19 cases has climbed by nearly 70 percent over the previous figure.

The risks to our campus community are simply too high to be anything but resolute on this issue—especially among those living in university housing. While Case Western Reserve will individually review and assess every request for an exception, we also must be clear: students without any vaccinations are unlikely to receive accommodations that include living on campus.

For those who would like to prepare for this possibility, the university lists off-campus housing information on this webpage.

While congregate living arrangements represent the greatest risk of transmission, we know from previous pandemic experience that exposures can and do happen in labs, classrooms, and offices. For this reason, faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated with a university-approved vaccine are likely to be required to mask indoors and participate in weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing at a minimum.

As noted in last week’s Frequently Asked Questions accompanying Thursday’s email, failure to comply with this policy also may affect the nature of employment.

Please protect yourself, your loved ones, and others on campus; the university offers walk-in vaccinations today, tomorrow and Thursday. To learn more, please see this calendar.

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs

Carolyn Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources

* Please note: Those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine—even if it is not among those the university accepts—need not apply for an exception. So long as they have submitted documentation of vaccination, University Health Services will be able to contact them regarding options; these individuals will not be required to receive a second university-approved vaccine.


**All religious exception requests should be submitted to the Office of Equity, as should medical exception requests from faculty and staff. Students should submit medical exception requests to Disability Resources.