Novel coronavirus information

September 2, 2021

IMPORTANT: Vaccination now a condition of employment (Message to UW staff and student employees)

This message was sent to campus staff, academic student employees and campus student workers. The guidance below doesn’t apply to faculty, academic personnel or medical center staff. Faculty, librarians and academic personnel received their own message, as did medical center staff.

Good afternoon,

Protecting our community requires all of us to do our part. With that in mind, we are writing to inform you that consistent with Governor Inslee’s vaccination proclamation 21-14.1, all employees of Washington higher education institution employers will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, or receive an approved medical or religious exemption, no later than Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, as a condition of employment.

If you have not yet confirmed that you are fully vaccinated by completing the Workday attestation, please read the following information carefully.

A “condition of employment” means your employment will end on Oct. 18 if you are not vaccinated and do not have an approved exemption. If you have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, please read the following information carefully.

While details about how to show proof of vaccination and request medical or religious exemption are still being finalized to align with the Governor’s proclamation, we want you to be aware of this requirement and encourage you to schedule your first-dose vaccine appointment if you are not already vaccinated.

Scheduling a first-dose appointment

Please note that to be fully vaccinated — and thus in compliance with the requirement by the Oct. 18 deadline — you must start your vaccinations no later than the following dates:

  • First dose of two-dose Moderna vaccine: By Monday, Sept. 6,
  • First dose of two-dose Pfizer vaccine: By Monday, Sept. 13,
  • Single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine: By Monday, Oct. 4

You are only considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after your last dose, whether that is the second dose for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, so make sure to start and complete your vaccinations in time.

There are many places around the area where you can be vaccinated, including UW Medicine, doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Employees may use release time as needed to get their vaccine.

Claiming an exemption

Under the new mandate, philosophical exemptions are no longer accepted. Employees requesting religious exemptions for sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances will be required to provide an explanation and medical exemptions will require a signed form from a physician, physician assistant or a nurse practitioner. If you previously submitted an exemption attestation, you will be contacted by email to resubmit your request as new documentation is required by the proclamation. Forms will be made available as soon as they are ready.

We appreciate your cooperation and support in this effort as we work together to ensure that the University community remains a safe place for everyone. UWHR’s COVID-19 vaccination now a condition of employment web page provides an overview of this new mandate and will be updated with the exemption process and the vaccine verification process once they are finalized.

If you have any questions, please contact your HR consultant.


Mindy Kornberg, J.D.
Vice President for UW Human Resources