Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

The University has adopted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy to safeguard the health of our employees, students, and campus community from COVID-19.

This policy complies with all applicable laws and is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and all applicable state and local health orders.

As employees return to campus in preparation for an in-person fall semester, Brandeis University, will require all faculty, staff, and affiliates coming to campus to meet the requirements of this mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, subject to the exceptions described below.


This policy applies to all employees (not including contractors or vendors) and affiliates. Effective August 26, 2021, all Brandeis faculty, staff, and affiliates are required to have received the full dosage of an FDA- or WHO-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file in order to come to campus. New employees will be informed of the vaccination requirement in their offer letter and will be required to be fully vaccinated and show documentation of their vaccination or receive an approved medical or religious exemption prior to their first day of work.

Documentation of Vaccination

Proof of vaccination must include the name and date of birth of the employee, and the type, lot number, and date(s) of vaccine administration. Vaccination documentation must be translated into English and both the original document and translated document must be uploaded into the Campus Passport for review. Only vaccines that are FDA- or WHO-authorized or approved at the time of vaccination will be accepted. Proof of vaccination must be submitted as soon as possible and no later than 5 p.m. on August 26, 2021.  

Exemption Requests

Employees and affiliates requesting a medical or religious exemption must make their request through the Brandeis Campus Passport Portal no later than August 6, 2021 to allow time for review prior to August 26, 2021. Such requests will be carefully reviewed by members of the Human Resources staff and may involve an interactive process if questions arise during the review process. If a new employee intends to submit a request for a medical or religious exemption to meet the requirements of this policy, they may not come to campus until the exemption request has been approved.

For assistance with requesting an exemption through the Campus Passport Portal, please use the exemption request job aid.

Exemption for Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs

The University may provide an exemption to employees with sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, or practices that conflict with receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Religious exemption requests may be made by completing the Religious Exemption Request Form in the Campus Passport, which will be reviewed by Human Resources.

Personal or philosophical reasons for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will not be granted.

Exemption for Medical Reasons

The University may provide an exemption to employees who have a documented medical reason that prevents them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. To apply for a medical exemption, documentation from the employee’s medical provider must be uploaded to the Campus Passport and will be reviewed by the Occupational Health Specialist.

The University reserves the right to request additional documentation supporting the need for an exemption. The University will keep confidential any medical information obtained in connection with your request for exemption.

Requesting Additional Time

Employees who have attempted to comply with the policy but are unable to meet the deadlines for receiving a full dosage of vaccine or submitting medical documentation to support a medical exemption, through no fault of their own, may contact Human Resources in advance of August 26 to request a temporary extension to the compliance deadline.

Requirements Upon Receiving Exemption

Employees who receive an approved medical or religious exemption will be required to follow University protocols for unvaccinated individuals, which will be detailed on the COVID-19 Response website. An approved medical or religious exemption does not allow an employee to work entirely remote.  


The University will review each request for a medical or religious exemption and will make a determination expeditiously and in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner on a case-by-case basis. Employees will be informed of the exemption determination, and may be contacted if questions arise during the review process. Exemptions are not guaranteed.


Employees not in compliance with this policy will not be allowed on campus after August 26, 2021 and will be placed on unpaid leave until their employment status is determined by the University. Failure to comply with the provisions of this policy, including violations of requirements for those who have not been vaccinated (i.e. those who receive a medical or religious exemption) may lead to corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

Managers will receive a report of staff who have been granted an exemption (no confidential information will be shared) to monitor and ensure compliance with all health and safety requirements.


The University prohibits any form of discipline, reprisal, intimidation, or retaliation for reporting a violation of this policy or any other health and safety concern. Employees also have the right to report work-related injuries and illnesses, and the University will not discharge or discriminate or otherwise retaliate against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses or good faith health and safety concerns.

Policy Modification

Governmental 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. The University reserves the right to modify this policy at any time in its sole discretion to adapt to changing circumstances and business needs, consistent with its commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.

Policy Owner

Office of Human Resources/Occupational Health

Effective Date:

July 28, 2021