Return to on-site work

COVID-19 vaccination now a condition of employment

On August 18, 2021, Governor Inslee issued proclamation 21-14.1, requiring all employees of Washington higher education institutions to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021 as a condition of employment unless a documented medical or religious exemption is approved.

The proclamation applies to all UW employees whether on-site or remote, however the information on this page applies to staff, academic student employees and student employees only. The Office of Academic Personnel will communicate about how the proclamation applies to faculty and academic personnel.

Staff, academic student employees and student employees who don’t comply with the vaccination requirement or receive an approved exemption will be terminated from employment at the University of Washington on Oct. 18, 2021 consistent with the rules of their collective bargaining agreement and/or their employment program. To avoid termination, follow these steps:

If you are fully vaccinated

If you are fully vaccinated, but have not yet completed the vaccination attestation, please do so as soon as possible and no later than Sept. 10, 2021. Failure to verify vaccination status is a violation of University policy and may impact the terms of your employment after the state-imposed deadline of October 18, 2021.

Campus staff employees: Complete your attestation in Workday.
Med Centers employees: Follow UW Medicine procedures for verifying your vaccination status.
Student and academic student employees: Complete the attestation in Workday and the Student COVID-19 Vaccination Form.

If you have already completed your attestation and confirmed that you are fully vaccinated, there is no additional action needed at this time. However, if you completed the attestation by claiming a medical, religious, or philosophical exemption, additional verification is now needed to meet state requirements, please see next section.

If you are not yet vaccinated

The University strongly encourages all employees to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. Employees may use release time as needed to get their vaccine.

If you have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, please read the following information carefully.

Employees may choose any of the three COVID-19 vaccines (manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson). If you are participating in an approved clinical trial or have been fully vaccinated with a WHO emergency use listed (EUL) or prequalified vaccine, please contact EH&S at emphlth@uw.edu or 206-616-3344 regarding the requirement or Employee Health at the medical centers.

Deadline: Employees must be considered fully vaccinated to meet the requirement. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. To meet the deadline, employees will need to receive the second shot of a two-shot vaccine regimen or the single shot of the one-dose regimen no later than October 4, 2021.

Employees should pay attention to dose timelines to ensure they are able to receive the last dose of the selected vaccine regimen at least two weeks prior to the deadline.

Vaccine Series dose requirement First dose no later than Second dose Completed series Fully vaccinated = two weeks past final dose (must be by 18 October)
Pfizer 2 doses, 21 days apart 09/13/21 10/04/21 10/04/21 10/18/21
Moderna 2 doses, 28 days apart 09/06/21 10/04/21 10/04/21 10/18/21
Johnson & Johnson Single dose 10/04/21 N/A 10/04/21 10/18/21
Exemptions

The Governor’s proclamation allows for reasonable accommodation for medical or religious reasons as outlined below. A philosophical reason is no longer an acceptable exemption reason. Employees who previously attested to a philosophical exemption will be required to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine or may request a medical or religious accommodation if appropriate.

Medical accommodation: A request for an exemption from the vaccination requirement as an accommodation due to an underlying medical condition and/or disability that prevents the employee from receiving an authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Employees requesting a medical exemption from the vaccination requirement are required to have their healthcare provider complete a statement that includes the anticipated duration of the need for accommodation.

Religious accommodation: A request for an exemption from the vaccination requirement as an accommodation for an employee who has a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that prevents them from being vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees requesting a religious accommodation are required to provide the UW with a statement explaining how their religious observance, practice or belief necessitates the request for accommodation and prevents the employee from receiving an authorized COVID-19 vaccination.

The proclamation expressly prohibits providing accommodations that are known to be based on false, misleading, or dishonest grounds or information; and/or are based on the personal preference of the individual and not on an inability to get vaccinated because of a disability or a conflict with a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.

Verification of vaccination status

The verification process for campus employees (including non-clinical employees in the School of Medicine) is still in development. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

Verification process for UW Medicine employees within the hospitals and clinics, as well as clinical support services such as shared services:

  • If you were vaccinated with UW Medicine through the employee process, you do not have to do anything because your records are already in our system. We also have records for most employees who were vaccinated at the SCCA.
  • Employees who were vaccinated through the UW patient process via Epic, or through another healthcare provider, must submit proof of vaccination through our scheduling portal at https://c19-vaccine.uwmedicine.org/.
Terminations due to vaccination status

Employees who are unable to provide proof of being fully vaccinated and are not approved for a medical or religious accommodation will be terminated from University of Washington employment on Oct. 18, 2021. Employees will receive notice in advance of their scheduled termination consistent with the rules of their collective bargaining agreement and/or their employment program.