University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Vaccine Requirement

Note: For a list of upcoming vaccine clinics, click here

Effective December 6, 2021, the University of Pittsburgh will require all Pitt affiliates on all campuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. This includes: 

  • Faculty (including full-time, part-time, and adjunct)
  • Staff (including full-time, part-time, and temporary)
  • Students  

To be fully vaccinated an individual must have completed a primary COVID-19 series of vaccine doses as authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). If added vaccine doses are later designated a part of any vaccine sequence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FDA or WHO, each student, staff and faculty member must be compliant with that change.

The most successful and sustainable approach to keeping our community healthy and safe is one that utilizes vaccination as a condition of studying or working on our campuses. By enforcing this requirement now, we will be able to maintain a high immunization rate on our campuses, while continuing to support our students and research, as well as protect our workforce, with minimal disruption to our programs, activities, or operations.    

Failure to meet the December 6 deadline will result in the following:

  • Currently enrolled students will not be eligible to enroll in Spring 2022 term classes or live in the residence halls as of January 1, 2022. Students who enroll for Spring class prior to December 1 but fail to provide proof or obtain an exemption by this deadline will be disenrolled.
  • Current faculty and staff will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the University’s disciplinary guidelines, including loss of access to electronic resources and other disciplinary actions up to and including termination of employment.

This is an interim policy. A formal charter and committee are being formed to create a permanent policy.

Guests, vendors, and volunteers on campus are not required to be vaccinated to visit our campuses. Students hosting overnight guests in their residence halls must complete the guest/visitor request available in the Johnstown Campus Housing & Dining Services task center on the Pitt portal.

Exemptions

Faculty, staff, and students can request an exemption from this vaccine requirement now.  Exemption requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) and can only be requested for medical reasons, or reasons based on sincerely held religious belief or because of a strong moral or ethical conviction. Faculty, staff, and students who are granted an exemption will be subject to additional mitigation measures, such as routine COVID-19 testing.  (Please note the exemption request must be submitted to the OED at the Pittsburgh campus no individuals on the Johnstown campus are involved in the exemption request process.  Once your exemption request materials are in order, click on the "SUBMIT AN EXEMPTION REQUEST" link below)

Medical exemptions require a doctor’s signature. Religious and moral exemptions require a notarized attestation. Download and print one of the following forms:

A photo or scan of the signed or notarized form must be uploaded to the Exemption Request Form online.

Before requesting an exemption, please review the following recommended eLearning resources:

Submit an Exemption Request


Frequently Asked Questions

Is everyone covered by this policy?
The University requires every faculty member, staff member, and student to comply with the policy.  Guests, vendors, and volunteers do not need to submit proof of vaccination or submit an exemption request. Students hosting overnight guests in their residence halls must complete the guest/visitor request available in the Johnstown Campus Housing & Dining Services task center on the Pitt portal (my.pitt.edu).

When can I submit a request for an exemption?
Exemptions will be accepted beginning Monday, November 8, 2021.

What documentation is required for exemption?
Individuals who wish to request an exemption from the vaccine must complete three steps:

  1. Download, print and complete one of the following forms:
  2. Obtain a signature from a doctor for medical forms or a notary for moral or religious forms.
  3. Before requesting an exemption, please review the recommended eLearning resources from the CDC referenced above. 
  4. Upload a photo or scan of your signed or notarized document to the Exemption Request Form online.

If I am vaccinated, how do I inform the University?
Students can upload a copy of their completed vaccination card on Campus Services.  Once uploaded, the card will be reviewed and if your vaccination status is verified you will be considered fully vaccinated by the University. 

Can I complete my vaccine requirement exemption request through any office on campus?
No.   Individuals should seek exemption approval from their primary care physician and must submit it through the vaccine requirement exemption process in the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

How will I know if my exemption is approved?
OEDI will email individuals regarding the approval or denial of their request.

I am working remotely 100%. Do I still need to upload proof or obtain an exemption request?
Yes, employees who have a flexible work arrangement that permits them to work remotely 100% of the time still need to upload their vaccination card or submit a request obtain an exemption.

I am currently unvaccinated, but am not required to test on a weekly basis based on my remote employment status. Will I now be required to test on a weekly basis?
If you decide not to get vaccinated, you will need to obtain an exemption from the vaccine requirement in order to remain a member of the community.  For the immediate future, we have no plans to require weekly testing of those employees who are 100% remote who obtain an exemption from the vaccine.

I currently attend class remotely. Do I still need to upload proof or obtain an exemption request?
Yes, with one exception: Students who are enrolled solely in an online program are excluded from the policy.

I previously submitted a request for an exemption based on my religious beliefs and it was denied. Should I still submit a request for an exemption under this new policy?
Yes, previous requests have no bearing on this exemption process and individuals should submit a new request for consideration.

Does this affect my fall 2021 term classes or finals?
No, this policy does not affect fall 2021 term classes or finals.  To be enrolled in classes started the Spring 2022 term, students must have either uploaded proof of vaccination or obtained an approved exemption by December 6.   If you become compliant with the policy after this deadline but before the start of spring classes, you may be permitted to re-enroll.  

Do I have to wait the full two weeks to upload my proof of vaccination?
No, you are in compliance with this policy immediately following the single dose of a one-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) or the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna).

What are the vaccination requirements for new employees?
Effective December 6, 2021, new employees will be required to submit proof of vaccination or have received an exemption from the requirement prior beginning work at the University 

What are the vaccination requirements for new students?
Effective December 6, 2021, new students will be required to submit proof vaccination or have received an exemption to enroll in courses.

Do I still need to wear a mask or face covering if I have complied with the vaccination requirement?
Currently, the University requires all members, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors, unless you are in your enclosed private office or dwelling with the door closed. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated, as well as those who are or live with someone who is immunocompromised, should wear face coverings when outdoors and unable to maintain physical distancing. Anyone is welcome to wear a face covering outdoors based on their own comfort level.

How long do I have to wait after having COVID-19 before I get vaccinated?
The CDC provides that people with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and no longer need to isolate. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

What if my exemption request was denied and I don’t have enough time to get two shots before the December 6 deadline?
Exemptions will be reviewed as quickly as possible, but you should submit your exemption as soon as it is ready. Our goal is to complete the review of submissions within 7 days, however, volume will affect that response time. If an exemption is denied late in the process, additional time may be granted to come into compliance for those who wish to become vaccinated after their exemption is denied.  

Do I have to request an exemption if I am graduating in December 2021?
No, the interim policy does not affect students the fall term, rather non-compliance will impact enrollment and housing in the spring 2022 term.

As a student, what will happen if I do not receive an exemption and do not plan to get vaccinated?
If you do not receive an exemption on or before December 6 and do no plan to get vaccinated, you will be disenrolled from your spring classes by the University.  If you are a resident, you should cancel your housing prior to leaving for Winter Recess (your housing deposit will be forfeited).  There are three steps to complete the housing cancellation process:

  1. Complete the online housing cancellation form in the Johnstown Campus Housing & Dining Services task center on the Pitt Portal
  2. Remove your belongings.
  3. Return your key to one of the RAs in your building.

Additional Information