There are myriad reasons to get an mRNA booster ASAP, from preventing COVID-19 altogether to lessening symptoms and transmission with breakthrough infections, Bloomberg School expert Chris Beyrer says
Ensuring that the overwhelming percentage of our community’s population is vaccinated will greatly reduce the risk of the virus’s spread on our campuses and will also protect our neighbors in Baltimore.
COVID-19 vaccination is required for all faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who work or study at a Johns Hopkins campus or worksite in the U.S.; those individuals are also required to get either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID booster shot as soon as they become eligible.
This policy includes:
- Individuals working at off-campus worksites such as Keswick, Mount Washington, and Johns Hopkins at Eastern
- Members of collective bargaining units
- Contractors who provide services to the university community and whose primary work location is on university properties located in Maryland or Washington, D.C., regardless of employer
- Anyone who is doing business on behalf of the university, including individuals engaged in work-related travel
- Visitors who fall under the JHU Visitor Policy (e.g., visiting faculty, students, and scholars)
Campus guests: All campus guests age 5 and older who are inside campus-operated buildings in the U.S. and who are not compliant with the university’s vaccination policy must wear a mask. Divisions that host on-campus guests are responsible for communicating the vaccination requirement and ensuring compliance.
School of Medicine employees continue to follow Johns Hopkins Medicine policies.
More on the booster requirement
Evidence has shown that immunity to COVID wanes over time, particularly against the omicron variant, but that booster shots of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine provide significant additional protection.
- Document your booster: Upload proof of your booster shot to the Vaccine Management System (VMS) as soon as you’ve had your shot.
- Eligibility: You are eligible for a booster if you got your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine five months ago or more, or the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago. If you have received two doses of J&J, you should get a Pfizer or Moderna booster six months after your second J&J shot.
- New international students: If you have received a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization but not one authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you are immediately eligible for a booster (you may wait 28 days following your last dose). Only one booster dose (either Pfizer or Moderna) is required for those individuals. This is a change from previous university policy (which required those with international vaccines to be revaccinated), based on emerging science related to the efficacy of boosters.
- Rolling deadline: You are required to receive a booster when you become eligible and no more than six months after a second shot of Pfizer or Moderna, six months after a J&J booster, or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those individuals will have two weeks after the booster deadline recognized by the university to get a booster and upload their documentation to the Vaccine Management System.
- Exceptions: If you have an approved medical or religious exemption to the COVID vaccine, it carries over to the booster requirement. You do not need to apply again.
Johns Hopkins booster clinics
Johns Hopkins is scheduling clinics at which university faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral fellows can receive COVID-19 booster shots. All booster shots are Pfizer-BioNTech.
Appointments should be made through MyChart using the Johns Hopkins University Booster Clinic option; sign up for a date and time and confirm location information via this website.
This clinic is open to members of the community ages 12 and older as well as Johns Hopkins affiliates; walk-in appointments are available, but affiliates are encouraged to schedule in advance via MyChart.
Thursday, March 31: 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Bunting Meyerhoff Interfaith and Community Service Center
Fully remote individuals, including staff and online students who are working or studying 100% remotely, are exempt from the vaccination and booster requirements, but they should change their status in Prodensity to indicate that they will not be coming on campus. If plans change and an individual has to come on campus, work on-site, or participate in a JHU-sponsored residency or field study, they must be vaccinated or have an approved exception.
If a new employee, postdoctoral fellow, or transfer student, or visiting scholar has not been vaccinated before the first day of employment or activities noted above, there is a two-week grace period to complete the next step in the vaccination process (e.g., base dose or booster). Proof of vaccination should be uploaded to the Vaccine Management System within that two-week period.
Any employee, fellow, or student who is not yet fully vaccinated must be tested twice weekly until they are considered fully vaccinated (two weeks after their final dose).
Faculty and staff can take up to two days off to be vaccinated and/or to recover from any side effects. Visit the Human Resources website for additional details.
Exceptions to the vaccination and booster requirements
Exceptions may be granted in limited circumstances for:
- Medical or religious reasons (note that the only true contraindications to the COVID-19 vaccine are 1) a severe anaphylactic reaction to a prior dose of one of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (requiring the use of epinephrine or EpiPen) or 2) an allergy to a component of the vaccine)
Additionally, the following individuals are exempt:
- Employees who are, with permission of their supervisor, working in a fully remote capacity and do not visit any Johns Hopkins worksite
- Contractors or vendors whose presence at any JHU property is solely limited to the delivery of goods
- Students who are enrolled in entirely online programs and do not utilize Johns Hopkins facilities, and non-degree and non-credit students. (Students who participate in Peabody Preparatory classes and who are 12 years of age and older are required to be vaccinated or seek an exception; more details are available directly from Peabody Preparatory.)
New employees and new/transfer/visiting students may apply for an exception as soon as they have a JHED ID using the JHU Vaccine Management System (VMS). Additional details on how to request an exception, including required documentation can be found on this website.
Having had COVID-19 in the past is NOT a permissible criterion for an exception.
Any person covered by the vaccine mandate who fails to provide acceptable vaccination documentation, does not receive an approved exception, and/or has an approved exception but does not comply with testing requirements may be denied access to Johns Hopkins property and electronic resources. Those individuals may also be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Conduct Code or the appropriate procedures applicable to faculty and staff.
If you have a concern or complaint regarding noncompliance of JHU COVID-19 safety measures by a member of the Hopkins community, please make a confidential report immediately via the online form or by calling 844-SPEAK2US (844-773-2528).
How to share vaccination status
You can share your vaccination or lab result information quickly, easily and securely, right from MyChart by:
- Using the MyChart app or website to create a barcode that can be scanned by a participating organization.
- Downloading a PDF document that includes your barcodes.
- Exporting your information to another application, such as a health wallet app.
Getting vaccinated at Hopkins
Johns Hopkins Medicine has established several convenient walk-in clinics in communities across Baltimore and Maryland.
In addition to any scheduled clinics, all Johns Hopkins affiliates in Maryland and Washington, D.C., can schedule a vaccination appointment through Johns Hopkins Medicine in MyChart. MyChart is a secure website and mobile app used by Johns Hopkins Medicine that can be used to schedule COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. More information is available at hopkinsmedicine.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Johns Hopkins provide vaccinations for JHU affiliates?
All Johns Hopkins affiliates in Maryland and Washington, D.C., can schedule a vaccination appointment through Johns Hopkins Medicine in MyChart. Johns Hopkins University is also hosting a series of clinics where faculty, staff, students, and contractors can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations are free and staff can use COVID-19 vaccine leave for time off while they receive or recover from the vaccination. Visit the COVID Vaccine Information site for updates.
Last updated: June 22, 2021 11:30am
Is there anything I need to do before I can schedule a vaccination at a Johns Hopkins physician office or JHM clinic?
If you don’t already have a MyChart account, you may receive an email asking you to activate your account. MyChart is a secure website and mobile app used by Johns Hopkins Medicine that can be used to schedule COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, if you need them in the future. If you have any questions about MyChart, please send an email to Testinginfo@jhu.edu.
Last updated: June 29, 2021 3:07pm
Vaccination mandate – general information
Why is Johns Hopkins University requiring the COVID vaccine?
Multiple vaccines have been demonstrated to provide high levels of protection against the COVID virus with reports of only minimal and brief side effects following administration. Ensuring that the overwhelming percentage of our community’s population is vaccinated will greatly reduce the risk of the virus’s spread on our campuses and will also protect our neighbors in Baltimore.
Johns Hopkins affiliates who are required to be vaccinated—and who were not vaccinated at a Johns Hopkins Medicine facility—can upload a photo of their COVID-19 vaccination record to the JHU Vaccine Management System. Affiliates may also submit an exception request in the VMS.
More information about submitting proof of vaccination to the VMS is available on the COVID Info website.
We encourage anyone interested in learning more about the science of the vaccine to visit Johns Hopkins Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety website.
Last updated: July 12, 2021 2:52pm
Who is included in the vaccination mandate?
COVID-19 vaccination and booster are required for all JHU faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who work or study at a U.S.-based university campus or worksite. That includes:
- Members of collective bargaining units.
- Contractors who provide services to the university community and whose primary work location is on university properties located in Maryland or Washington, D.C., regardless of employer, except contractors or vendors whose presence at any JHU property is solely limited to the delivery of goods.
- Those who are doing business on behalf of the university, including individuals engaged in work-related travel.
Medical and religious exceptions will be made where appropriate.
School of Medicine affiliates will be governed by Johns Hopkins Health System vaccination policies.
“Worksite” includes locations that are not within the Homewood, East Baltimore, or Washington, DC campuses, such as but not limited to Keswick, Mt. Washington, etc.
Visitors who fall under the JHU Visitor Policy (i.e., visiting faculty, students, and scholars) are subject to the vaccination mandate.
Last updated: April 18, 2022 10:05am
How will I know when I’m due to get my booster?
You are eligible for a booster if you got your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine five months ago or more, or the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago.
Note: The JHU requirement is that a Pfizer or Moderna booster must be completed six months after the date of your last Pfizer/Moderna vaccination or two months after your J&J vaccination (even if you became eligible sooner, based on the type of vaccine that you got). You will have two weeks after the deadline to upload your documentation to the Vaccine Management System.
Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 1:39pm
Where can I get a COVID booster?
Booster appointments can be made now through MyChart or at state and local vaccination sites and pharmacies.
Last updated: March 9, 2022 5:00pm
Which boosters are being accepted?
Only mRNA boosters (Pfizer/Moderna) will be accepted. If you already received a J&J booster, you may wait 6 months to get the mRNA booster. If you were vaccinated with a non-FDA-approved vaccine (e.g., Sinopharm, Sinovac, etc.), you are immediately eligible for a booster (you may wait 28 days following your last dose). Only one booster dose (either Pfizer or Moderna) is required for those individuals.
Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 3:31pm
What if I already had the J&J booster?
If you have already had two shots of the J&J vaccine (a base dose and a J&J booster), you should get a Pfizer or Moderna booster when you become eligible, six months after your second J&J shot. Make sure your J&J booster date is uploaded in the Vaccine Management System.
Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 1:40pm
How do I upload the booster documentation?
Log in to Vaccine Management System and select “Submit new vaccination.” Then select “COVID-19 Booster” from the drop-down menu (make sure you don’t select “COVID-19”).
Last updated: Dec 27, 2021 8:51am
What if I have recently had COVID? Is it safe to get the booster?
Having had COVID-19 in the past is NOT a permissible criterion for an exception. If you didn’t get monoclonal antibodies during your infection, then you can get the booster as soon as you have left isolation and are symptom-free. At that point you may get boosted at any local pharmacy or doctor’s office. Note: if you prefer to book a booster at a Johns Hopkins clinic or physician’s office, MyChart will only allow you to do so beginning on Day 21 after a positive test.
If you did receive monoclonal antibodies as a part of your treatment, you should wait 90 days before you get the booster.
If you are symptomatic with a COVID-19 infection, you are permitted to delay receiving your booster until symptoms resolve. In these cases, you should request a medical postponement in the Vaccine Management System so that you get the additional time. To do so, log in to VMS and select “Request exception” and the system will lead you through the process.
Last updated: Jan 24, 2022 12:44pm
What if my COVID shot was not one of the three main vaccines? Do I need to be revaccinated before I get the booster?
If you have gotten a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization but not one authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you are immediately eligible for a booster (you may wait 28 days following your last dose). Only one booster dose (either Pfizer or Moderna) is required for those individuals. This is a change from previous university policy (which required those with international vaccines to be revaccinated), based on emerging science related to the efficacy of boosters.
Last updated: Dec 27, 2021 8:54am
Vaccination mandate – faculty and staff
Can I take time off to get vaccinated?
Yes. Faculty and staff can take up to two days off to be vaccinated and/or to recover from any side effects of the vaccine. See JHU HR Information Regarding Novel Coronavirus for details.
Last updated: June 30, 2021 12:41pm
Can I take time off to be tested (if I am required to test because I have an exception, or if I choose to be tested voluntarily)?
Yes. You are permitted 30 minutes of time off for testing. (This does not need to be accounted for specifically in your E210 time sheet.)
Last updated: Aug 3, 2021 2:08pm
How do the vaccination policies apply to faculty, students, or staff who may be returning to Johns Hopkins’ U.S.-based worksites from abroad?
If the affiliate was able to be vaccinated abroad with a non-FDA vaccine, those doses will be accepted by JHU. Email a copy of the vaccination documentation to VMS@jhu.edu and it will be uploaded to VMS for you. These affiliates should then get an mRNA booster (either Pfizer or Moderna) to be in compliance with JHU requirements. If the affiliate was not vaccinated abroad, they should start their COVID vaccine in the U.S.
Last updated: March 9, 2022 5:01pm
Does the mandate apply to university contractors?
The mandate includes non-employees who provide services to the university community and whose primary work location is on university properties located in Maryland or Washington, D.C., regardless of employer, with the exception of contractors or vendors whose presence at any JHU property is solely limited to the delivery of goods.
Last updated: June 9, 2021 12:53pm
Can I ask my colleagues/can they ask me about my status?
Managers and business partners have a business need-to-know in many situations, and are allowed to ask about vaccine status. However, it is not the same for colleagues/peers. Asking why an individual did not receive a vaccination may elicit private information about a disability and forcing a co-worker to disclose a disability could be noncompliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In other words, asking about status is only allowed if it is “job-related and consistent with business necessity,” which means that JHU and managers can ask their direct reports, as can HR business partners. However, peers/colleagues do not have a business necessity to know this. Therefore, while you may be allowed to ask your coworker, they have the right to refuse to tell you (and vice versa).
Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:05pm
Who will know my status if I upload my vaccine information to the Vaccine Management System?
Your manager and divisional HR business partner will have access to see your status but will not know why you were granted an exception, if you have one. Managers and HR have permission to access this information for business-related reasons (such as when it is a requirement for working in person), to ensure that everyone is being compliant with the vaccination mandate or the masking and COVID testing requirements associated with an approved exception to the mandate.
Last updated: July 1, 2021 3:32pm
What are the COVID vaccination requirements for new JHU employees?
All JHU employees (faculty, staff, bargaining unit members, contractors, and postdoctoral fellows), including School of Medicine employees, are required to be vaccinated unless they have obtained an approved exception. JHU accepts both FDA-approved vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J/Janssen) and vaccines administered outside the U.S.; Johns Hopkins Medicine (including the JHU School of Medicine) only accepts FDA-authorized COVID vaccines. In addition, all JHU employees must receive an mRNA COVID booster (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) as soon as they are eligible. All vaccination documentation must be uploaded to the Vaccine Management System (VMS).
New employees may submit a request for a religious or medical exception to the vaccine requirement through the Vaccine Management System (VMS). The request must be submitted and approved within two weeks of the first day of employment.
If the new employee does not show progress toward compliance with the vaccination requirement, they will be out of compliance and should not be on-campus until they complete the required steps.
Last updated: March 9, 2022 5:02pm
Vaccination exceptions – faculty and staff
Are there exceptions to the vaccination mandate?
Yes. Medical and religious exceptions will be made using the standard vaccine exemption process in the Vaccine Management System.
Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 2:53pm
What additional requirements are in place for faculty/staff with vaccination exceptions?
Testing requirements for affiliates who have not been vaccinated and/or have not received the booster, and who do not work at the School of Medicine, are:
- Vaccinated faculty and staff with the booster – no mandated testing
- ALL students, staff, and faculty who have not received the COVID vaccine and booster – 2x/week
Face-coverings continue to be required in indoor settings for faculty, staff, and students who are not fully vaccinated and boosted.
Last updated: March 18, 2022 7:02am
If I have an exception, can I work from home to avoid masking/testing?
Having an exception does not automatically grant employees permission to work from home. Employees should work with their manager and divisional HR director if they need additional accommodations such as fully remote work. In addition, they may be required to submit an accommodation request.
Last updated: June 30, 2021 12:38pm
Vaccination mandate – students
Are vaccinations required for students?
Yes. All JHU undergraduate and graduate students who will be on-campus in the United States attending classes, performing duties, and/or participating in on-campus activities, including commencement events, will be required to upload documentation of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine or receive an exception.
Last updated: Oct 13, 2021 4:03pm
Vaccination mandate – international students
Which vaccines are accepted?
JHU accepts both FDA-approved vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J/Janssen) and vaccines administered outside the U.S.; Johns Hopkins Medicine (including the JHU School of Medicine) only accepts FDA-authorized COVID vaccines. In addition, all JHU affiliates must receive an mRNA Covid booster (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) as soon as they are eligible (the booster is not required for School of Medicine affiliates). All vaccination documentation must be uploaded to the Vaccine Management System (VMS).
Only mRNA boosters (Pfizer/Moderna) will be accepted. If you already received a J&J booster, you may wait six months to get the mRNA booster. If you were vaccinated with a non-FDA-approved vaccine (e.g., Sinopharm, Sinovac, etc.), you are immediately eligible for a booster (you may wait 28 days following your last dose). Only one booster dose (either Pfizer or Moderna) is required for those individuals.
Last updated: March 9, 2022 5:04pm
Can I receive only one dose of an FDA vaccine as a booster if I have already been vaccinated with a non-FDA vaccine?
Yes, individuals who work or study outside of the School of Medicine may receive one booster dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna).
If you work or study in the School of Medicine, you must follow Johns Hopkins Health System guidance and are required to be revaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J).
Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 3:50pm
Vaccination exceptions – students
Will exceptions for vaccination be granted? What is the process?
Requests for exceptions should be made through the Vaccine Management System (VMS). Medical and religious exceptions will be granted with appropriate documentation.
Note that the only true medical contraindications to the COVID-19 vaccine are 1) a severe anaphylactic reaction to a prior dose of one of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (requiring the use of epinephrine or EpiPen) or 2) an allergy to a component of the vaccine.
If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Affiliates may request a medical exception to wait to get the vaccine until the 90-days has elapsed.
Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 3:50pm
What additional requirements will be in place for students with approved vaccination exceptions?
All students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to test twice a week. This applies to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 3:51pm
Should students with medical exceptions to vaccination apply for accommodations via SDS to get single rooms?
Students are not eligible for special accommodations solely because of the COVID-19 vaccine exception per se. Students may be eligible for accommodations if the medical exception is based on a condition that itself would qualify them for a single room.
Last updated: June 8, 2021 9:01am
How to submit proof of vaccination or request an exception
How do I report my vaccination status?
All JHU affiliates must log in to the Vaccine Management System (VMS) to upload their flu, COVID, and COVID booster vaccination documentation.
Last updated: Jan 12, 2022 3:53pm
How will the university verify COVID vaccine records from other countries in other languages?
The university asks that vaccination documentation in other languages be translated (and certified) before they are uploaded to the forthcoming Vaccine Management System. All affiliates will electronically sign their submission to affirm that the information that they provided is accurate.
Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:15pm
Is the university contemplating an antibody test (or some other proof of immunity) after vaccination?
Last updated: June 22, 2021 12:16pm
How can JHU ask about my vaccine status? Isn’t this a HIPAA violation?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has confirmed that Federal EEO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers provide reasonable accommodations and other EEO considerations. The EEOC does not consider questions about vaccination status to be medical inquiries. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, provides protections for patients’ confidential health information, and it covers what your health care provider can share with others—not employers and what they can ask for.
Last updated: June 23, 2021 5:01pm
What file types are acceptable for uploading proof of vaccination?
You can upload a JPEG, HEIC (iPhone), or PNG photo of your vaccination card or a PDF copy of a vaccination record.
Last updated: July 22, 2021 10:45am
What do I do if I lost my vaccination card?
If you were vaccinated in Maryland; West Virginia; or Washington, D.C., you can register and obtain your COVID-19 vaccination record from Maryland MyIR, a free website service that allows consumers to view and print copies of their official vaccination records directly from ImmuNet, Maryland’s immunization information system. Just register, download or print a copy of your certification of vaccination, and upload it into VMS.
If you were not vaccinated in Maryland, your doctor’s office or the location where you were vaccinated (e.g., CVS, Walgreens, etc.) should also have a record and you should reach out to them to get a copy. You may also be able to locate this on your patient portal or on the pharmacy website under prescription records or immunization record.
Last updated: March 9, 2022 5:07pm