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COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Title:  COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
Effective Date: July 29, 2021
Revision Date: December 30,2021
Responsible Office: Office of the President


       I.            Scope

This is an administrative policy that applies to William & Mary as a whole university, including the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.  It applies to all students and university employees, including faculty and staff, and also to volunteers with a regular presence on campus.

     II.            Purpose and Policy Statement

Consistent with its duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of recognized hazards, William & Mary has adopted this policy as an appropriate safety measure to protect the health and well-being of employees and their families; William & Mary students and visitors; others who spend time in our facilities; and the community from infectious conditions that may be mitigated through an effective vaccination program.  This policy is intended to comply with all state and local laws, including but not limited to requirements imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  It is based upon guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health authorities and experts.

 III.            Definitions

There are no definitions associated with this policy.

 IV.            Policy

As a condition of employment or attendance during the 2021-22 academic year, William & Mary requires that all individuals subject to this policy receive an authorized COVID-19 vaccine, unless a reasonable accommodation is requested and approved.  An authorized vaccine includes any vaccine authorized for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (including, but not limited to those granted an Emergency Use Authorization) and any vaccine authorized for use by the World Health Organization (including, but not limited to those granted an Emergency Use License.).  Compliance with this policy for the Spring 2022 semester requires meeting CDC standards for full vaccination and, for those who are eligible, a booster shot on or before January 18, 2022.    Eligibility for a booster depends on the type of vaccine received and more information is available at the CDC website.     Anyone who does not meet the CDC guidelines for booster eligibility by January 18, 2022 is required to receive a booster no more one month after they become eligible for a booster.

To confirm that they have received a vaccination, all subject to this policy must present written evidence of immunization by uploading photos of their vaccination card or record from the federal Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) or the state’s Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS) through a secure, university-authorized central portal designed for communication and storage of medical records.

A. Vaccine Administration

William & Mary will not be administering vaccines directly, so individuals are responsible for scheduling and obtaining all required doses.  Employees may get the vaccine during regularly scheduled work hours contingent upon supervisor approval.  Supervisor approval is required to coordinate scheduling and minimize business interruptions.  Employees will have access to up to 8 hours of vaccine-specific leave to receive the vaccine and recover from possible side effects.

 B. Requests for Exemptions or Deferrals

     1. Disability Accommodations

In accordance with William & Mary’s Disability Accommodations Policy, William & Mary provides reasonable accommodations, absent undue hardship, to qualified individuals with disabilities that enable them to perform their job duties or participate in the university’s educational program.  Anyone who believes they need an accommodation regarding this policy because of a disability is responsible for requesting a reasonable accommodation following standard university procedures prior to the deadlines specified above.  Employees may submit a request to Human Resources and students who are registered and meet qualified ADA Accommodation standards should work with Student Accessibility Services.

      2. Religious Accommodations

William & Mary provides reasonable accommodations, absent undue hardship, to those with sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, or practices that conflict with getting vaccinated.  Anyone who believes they need an accommodation regarding this policy because of a sincerely held religious belief must submit a request for accommodation form to Human Resources or the Vice President for Student Affairs as appropriate prior to the deadlines specified above.

      3.  Deferrals

There are limited medical conditions and other reasons that do not qualify as a disability under federal or state law, but which may justify an extension of the timeline for receiving an authorized vaccine.  Such reasons may include contraindications or precautions as identified by a licensed physicians or legal restrictions on vaccine accessibility.  Requests for a deferral detailing the specific basis for the extension and the length of time needed may be submitted to Human Resources or the Student Health Center as appropriate.

 C. Non-Retaliation

William & Mary prohibits any form of discipline, reprisal, intimidation, or retaliation for reporting a violation of this policy or any other health and safety concern. Retaliation against any employee or student who in good faith brings forth a concern, reports an injury or illness, asks a clarifying question or participates in an investigation is prohibited.

V.            Enforcement

A. Employees

All employees—faculty and staff—not in compliance with this policy will be placed on leave without pay at the beginning of the next applicable pay period.  Employees will remain on leave without pay until they are in compliance with this health and safety policy or for thirty (30) days.  Employees who do not comply with this policy prior to the expiration of the 30-day leave without pay window will be notified and terminated for cause effective immediately.  Termination actions for violation of this policy will provide notice and an opportunity to be heard, but are not subject to pre-decision-making processes or procedures set out in any other university policies, including but not limited to the William & Mary Faculty Handbook.  Employees may grieve their termination decision following standard processes.  However, this adjudication does not delay the effective date of the aforementioned termination action and date.

B. Students

All students not in compliance with this policy will be so notified and administratively withdrawn.  Students who are administratively withdrawn will be disenrolled from classes and not allowed to move into or remain in campus housing.  Administrative withdrawal decisions will provide students with notice and the opportunity to respond, but are not subject to the William & Mary Student Code of Conduct or any other university policies.

VI.            Authority and Amendment, Implementation

A. Authority

This policy is approved by the Board of Visitors through its resolutions of May 11, 2021 and July 28, 2021 in accordance with Virginia Attorney General Opinion 21-030.

B. Policy Modifications

Government and public health guidelines and restrictions and industry best practices regarding COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines are changing rapidly as new information becomes available, further research is conducted and additional vaccines are approved and distributed.  Current CDC guidance regarding the vaccines that are authorized for use in the United States is available here:  Guidance regarding myths and facts related to the COVID-19 vaccines is available here:

William & Mary reserves the right to modify this policy at any time in its sole discretion to adapt to changing circumstances and mission needs, consistent with its commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.

C. Duration

This revised policy shall take effect December 31, 2021 and remain in effect until June 30, 2022.

VII.            Related Documents


Virginia Attorney General Opinion 21-030

Board of Visitor’s Resolution May 11, 2021

Board of Visitor’s Resolution July 28, 2021

Employee Reasonable Accommodation Policy and Procedure

Student Disability Accommodation Policy and Procedure