Boosters now required for all eligible JHU affiliates

December 21, 2021

Dear Johns Hopkins Community:

We write to announce that all eligible Johns Hopkins University faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who will be working or studying at a U.S.-based university campus or worksite will be required to get either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID booster shot by Feb. 1.

Affiliates who are 100% remote—that is, those who never come to any Johns Hopkins facility or conduct business publicly on Johns Hopkins’ behalf—remain exempt. Members of clinical departments at the School of Medicine will be governed by Johns Hopkins Health System vaccination policies. More details of who is included in JHU’s vaccine requirements are on the Coronavirus Information website. Questions can be directed by email to

Emerging 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. We believe this step will help prevent disruptions to our plans for an in-person spring semester.

  • Document your booster: Upload proof of your booster shot to the Vaccine Management System (VMS) now, or 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 six 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 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.
  • Rolling deadline: Those who are not yet eligible for a booster as of Feb. 1 will be required to receive a booster as soon as they become eligible (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 they become eligible to get the 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.
  • Don’t delay: If you can get a booster shot prior to the return to campus in January, we urge you to do so. Booster appointments can be made now through MyChart or at state and local vaccination sites and pharmacies. Additional on-campus clinics for boosters are in the process of being scheduled. See the Coronavirus Information website for the most up-to-date information.

In the meantime, we urge you to take precautions to keep yourself and the community safe: Wear a mask, get tested regularly, monitor yourself for symptoms, avoid large gatherings (particularly indoors), and complete the Prodensity health check questions each day you’re on campus.

If you have any symptoms (even if you think it’s just a cold) or if you know you have been exposed to COVID, don’t come to campus and call the JHCCC at 443-287-8500 for guidance.

For APL staff members who work, teach, or attend classes at other JHU or JHM campuses, the mandates for each campus apply and can supersede APL guidelines.

We are pleased to let you know that since last week’s cluster among graduate students, new cases have significantly declined, and we have not seen secondary transmission related to that incident. Still, the omicron variant appears to be highly contagious. Vaccination and boosters are important tools, and we all need to do our parts to keep our community and neighbors healthy.

We hope you will have a safe conclusion to the fall semester and an opportunity to rest over the holidays.

Stephen Gange
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Jon Links
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer

Kevin Shollenberger
Vice Provost for Student Health & Well-Being
Interim Vice Provost for Student Affairs