COVID-19 Update: Student Vaccine Requirement

May 13, 2021

Dear Tulane Community:

We have now come to the end of the Spring Semester. This is a much greater milestone than in past academic years. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, it marks the culmination of the kind of semester many said was impossible.

What made it possible at Tulane? The answer is simple – our students, faculty and staff. Experts in campus health, housing, dining, facilities, medicine and numerous other areas of the university created one of the nation’s most robust and effective testing, contact tracing and isolation/quarantine programs. The Tulane community adhered to this regime, as well as social distancing, masking and other safety protocols. Meanwhile, faculty thought outside of the box to create an innovative pedagogy for these challenging times. The net result of all these efforts was a successful semester in which we were able to carry on our critical mission of teaching, research and service while keeping our rate of infections much lower than the city or state.

Now, as we close this semester and look toward fall, we must continue to promote safety throughout the Tulane and New Orleans communities. For the sake of our city and campus, we implore each one of you – students, faculty, staff, contract workers and vendors – to receive your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Increasing campus immunizations will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help us all return more quickly to normal lives with less restrictions and reduced safety protocols. To hasten this return, students will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination for Fall Semester 2021. However, students may decline the vaccination for reasons consistent with Louisiana state vaccine laws by submitting a Vaccine Declination Form.

Students must submit vaccine documentation or the declination form by July 15. If students have been vaccinated at a clinic other than the Tulane School of Medicine Vaccine Clinic, located on the first floor of the JBJ Building, they should report proof of vaccination through the Campus Health Patient Portal. Additional information regarding the vaccine requirement for international students will be shared soon. Please click here for the locations of vaccination sites at Tulane and throughout the area.

The requirements we are announcing today are being implemented at schools across the country. The American College Health Association also recently shared its recommendation that vaccinations, which are the fastest way to end this global pandemic, be required for all students. More than 300 universities across the country have already announced a vaccine requirement and the list continues to grow daily.

We also strongly encourage all faculty and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees who have been vaccinated at a clinic other than the Tulane School of Medicine Vaccine Clinic should also report their vaccination status through the Campus Health Patient Portal. Knowing the vaccination status of our campus population – faculty, staff, and students – is crucial to our planning and in determining next steps. More information regarding employee requirements will be shared soon.

We have often written to you about the emerging light on the horizon. Today, that light is shining brighter than ever in the form of some of the most effective vaccines ever created. Numerous diseases are no longer the threats they once were thanks to the widespread use of vaccines. COVID-19 will soon join this list if enough people get vaccinated. Together we can make this happen.

Michael A. Fitts, President
Robin Forman, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Patrick Norton, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer