Is Penn State making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for employees or students?

In compliance with President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 executive order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all federal employees, contractors and others, as of Oct. 12, all University Park employees, including full-time and part-time faculty, staff and technical service employees even if they are working remotely. The order also applies to graduate and undergraduate students supported on wage payroll, as well as students supported on graduate assistantships. Employees must submit proof that they are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.

Individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, which require four weeks or three weeks between doses, respectively. Nov. 24 is the last day individuals can get their final dose to meet the Dec. 8 deadline.

Under the umbrella of the executive order, all Penn State employees will need to be vaccinated unless they are entitled to a medical exemption or an accommodation for religious beliefs. Information on the exemption request process for faculty and staff is forthcoming.

Importantly, while the University is not currently requiring vaccinations for students and certain campuses, Penn State is not impartial when it comes to getting vaccinated. The University’s stance is that everyone who can get a vaccine should do so as soon as possible to attain high vaccination rates on all Penn State campuses.