Brown encourages students, faculty and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when they become eligible and to stay informed about the vaccines by learning about their safety, effectiveness and availability.

Brown is committed to providing up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccination and resources to help the community understand this important next step in addressing the global pandemic. The wider and faster the vaccine is distributed and utilized in the Providence and Rhode Island communities, the sooner more normal operations will return to the Brown University campus.

Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines — one made by Pfizer-BioNTech, one by Moderna, and one by Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson — have been authorized for emergency use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, and have been shown to be 95% effective in preventing symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and in preventing severe disease. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is a single-dose vaccine that has been shown to be 85% effective in preventing severe or critical COVID-19 disease 28 days after vaccination. In clinical trials, it was 100% effective at preventing death. 

The vaccines are authorized for individuals age 16 and older (Pfizer) and age 18 and older (Moderna and Johnson and Johnson). None of the vaccines carry live coronavirus. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

Vaccine Distribution Status at Brown and Requirements

Distribution of the vaccine in the U.S. is currently controlled and managed by federal and state agencies. While Brown has offered to support the state of Rhode Island’s distribution efforts, the University does not have a direct role in providing or distributing the vaccine at this time. That may change as the vaccine becomes more readily available, but we currently are focusing our efforts on education and advocacy to promote vaccine adoption.

Effective Monday, April 19, all individuals 16 years of age and older who live, work or study in Rhode Island are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost and with no requirement for insurance. Please see the Vaccine Availability and Eligibility page for more details.

Consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Rhode Island Department of Health, once you have received any COVID-19 vaccine, you do not need to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 or traveling to Rhode Island from out-of-state if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • you received, at least 14 days before your last exposure or out-of-state travel, a final vaccine dose that is either FDA-approved or received an Emergency Use Authorization;
  • it has been less than 90 days since your final vaccine dose; and
  • you haven’t had symptoms of COVID-19 since your last exposure or out-of-state travel.

Fall Vaccination Requirement for Students

Starting in the Fall 2021 semester, Brown will require COVID-19 vaccines for all undergraduate, graduate and medical students who will be on campus or engage in any level of in-person instruction. Medical and religious exemptions from vaccination will be granted to students, and reasonable accommodations will be provided (as determined by applicable law). Undergraduate and graduate students who are not vaccinated and do not qualify for a medical or religious exemption will not be permitted to access campus and will need to either petition to study remotely from their permanent residence or take a leave of absence. Medical students who are not vaccinated will receive information specific to the circumstances of medical education from the Warren Alpert Medical School administration.

Further information regarding the implementation of these vaccination requirements, including the process for providing vaccination documentation and requesting exemptions, will be provided to students during Summer 2021 by University Health Services. Students and their families should consult their local resources for availability and procedures for getting vaccinated.

Brown’s COVID-19 Vaccine Working Group continues to assess whether vaccination against COVID-19 should be mandatory for employees. The group will provide a recommendation to the University's senior administration by June 1, and policies and protocols will be based on the best scientific evidence. Similar to the policy for students, if Brown decides to make the vaccine mandatory for employees, medical and religious exemptions will be granted and reasonable accommodations will be provided under applicable law.

Vaccinate When You Are Eligible

Given the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, members of the Brown University community are strongly encouraged to take advantage of receiving it when they become eligible to do so. For the latest information about vaccine availability, including a link to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s vaccination schedule, visit the Availability and Eligibility page within this site.

Doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals and clinics are offeing the COVID-19 vaccine to a growing number of individuals. Your state or local health department may be a resource to you to help find out when and where vaccines will be available in your community.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free of cost for all individuals. The U.S. government is providing the vaccine free of charge to people living in the United States. In some cases, your health insurance will be billed for the cost of administering the vaccine, but not for the vaccine itself.

Verify Your Vaccination

Brown is requesting for all students and employees who have had the opportunity to receive an FDA-approved vaccination against COVID-19 to provide verification of receipt of vaccination by uploading the completed vaccination card received from your vaccination provider.

Employees: If you receive two injections as part of a 2-dose vaccination series (such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine), please upload the final vaccination card directly to Workday or email a pdf or jpeg to [email protected] once both injections have been received. Similarly, if your vaccination requires only one injection (such as the J&J vaccine), please upload your card after that vaccination.

All vaccination records will be stored confidentially in Workday and can be loaded via the Vaccine Management link in the Benefits app on your Workday landing page. For more information regarding uploading your vaccination card to Workday, please visit this online guide. Employees may also email a pdf or jpeg to [email protected]. If submitting via email, please use Virtru to email it securely. All vaccination records will be stored confidentially in Workday and can be loaded via the Vaccine Management link in the Benefits app on your Workday landing page.

Eligible employees who have submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination in Workday can earn $50 toward 2021 Wellness Rewards. Wellness Rewards is the voluntary wellness incentive program designed to help faculty and staff maintain and improve their overall well-being. Additionally, for those needing sick time to support their vaccine recovery, Brown will credit up to two sick days (up to one per each vaccination day), as needed. Credit for time off will be updated once per month upon updating your vaccine status in Workday.

Students: If you receive two injections as part of a 2-dose vaccination series (such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine) in Rhode Island or elsewhere, please upload the final vaccination card directly to the Health Services Patient Portal once both injections have been received. Similarly, if your vaccination requires only one injection (such as the J&J vaccine), please upload your card after that vaccination.

To update your vaccination information:

  1. Log in to the Health and Wellness Patient Portal using your Brown username and password;
  2. Click “Immunizations” at the top of the page and select “Enter Dates”;
  3. Scroll down to the “Other” section toward the bottom of this page, choose the appropriate COVID-19 vaccine;
  4. Click on the calendar icon to select the date(s) on which you were vaccinated, click “Submit” at the bottom of the page;
  5. At the top of the screen, select “Upload” from the pulldown menu, choose “Immunization Records Other”; then
  6. Choose “Select File,” upload a photo or scan of your immunization card, select “Upload.”

Continue Following Brown Health Protocols

Brown’s current public health policies and guidelines will remain in place even as more and more members of our community receive the vaccine. While receiving the vaccine is an important public health measure, it does not replace the essentials of mask wearing, hand washing, social distancing, staying home when sick and frequent COVID-19 testing.

It is not yet known whether a vaccine prevents asymptomatic infections and if there’s still the possibility that a vaccinated person could transmit the virus without knowing it. Continue following these public health protocols, even after you have received your vaccination:

  • Continue to wear a face covering over your nose, mouth and chin whenever you are around others.
  • Continue to maintain social distancing, giving others at least 6 feet of space, when around campus and in Providence.
  • Continue to wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often, and to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hand-washing is not immediately possible.
  • Continue to wipe down shared surfaces, such as desks and tables, computer keyboards and mice, light switches and other items.
  • Continue to follow your assigned asymptomatic COVID-19 test schedule and to document symptoms daily.

See the full list of Brown’s public health protocols in the COVID-19 Campus Safety Policy.

Check Back for Updates

The University continues to closely monitor developments regarding vaccine availability and distribution, and we are coordinating with state officials on a daily basis. As more information becomes available, we will update the community.

This section of the website will become an ongoing resource about protocols and guidance about Brown’s vaccine distribution plans.

Last updated April 20, 2021. Information on this page may be updated as the University’s planning evolves and/or public health guidance prompts a shift in Brown’s operations and protocols.