Brown requires that students, faculty and staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine and 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 & Johnson — have been authorized for emergency use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 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 & 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 12 and older (Pfizer) and age 18 and older (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson). None of the vaccines carries live coronavirus. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

How to Get a Vaccine Verify Your Vaccination

Vaccine Requirements at Brown

Starting July 1, 2021, and for the entirety of Fiscal Year 2022 (July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022), Brown is requiring the COVID-19 vaccines for all employees. This requirement applies to faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, visiting researchers, lecturers, and seasonal and intermittent staff, full- and part-time working at any Brown owned, leased or managed premises and/or engaging in any in-person work with other Brown employees, students or visitors. Medical and religious exemptions will be granted and reasonable accommodations provided under applicable law. Employees should review the Vaccination FAQs for more information about exemptions and accommodations.

Starting no later than the Fall 2021 semester, Brown is requiring COVID-19 vaccines for all students who will be on campus or engage in any level of in-person instruction, whether in the U.S. or abroad. In addition, we are also requiring all Brown students who are engaged in on-campus activities this summer (education, jobs, research, or engaging in any in-person education or work with other Brown employees, students, or visitors) to receive the final dose of their COVID-19 vaccine by July 1, 2021.

For students, given the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines in Rhode Island, this is an acceleration of the timeline communicated in April that called for all students to be vaccinated by the fall semester. The earlier July 1 deadline is now achievable for students who are engaged in on-campus activities this summer. 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.

As noted above, three COVID-19 vaccinations have been granted Emergency Use Authorization to date by the FDA: Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Documentation of any of the three will be acceptable for employees to fully satisfy the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. In addition, for those who may be receiving vaccinations outside of the U.S., the University will accept documentation of COVID-19 vaccines for which the World Health Organization has issued an Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL).

Pursuant to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals who have received a WHO EUL vaccine do not need to receive additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals who are partially vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine series of doses authorized for emergency use by WHO may be offered an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series of one or two doses (after at least 28 days have passed since their last vaccine dose). Individuals who completed or partially completed a COVID-19 vaccine series with a vaccine that is not authorized by FDA or not authorized for emergency use by WHO may be offered an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine (at least 28 days after their last dose).

Visit the Verify Your Vaccination page for step-by-step instructions for submitting documentation of vaccination. The process is fast and can be done in minutes.

Vaccine Distribution Status in Rhode Island

Effective Monday, May 10, all individuals 12 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 CDC and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), 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.

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.

Developing immunity through vaccination means there is a reduced risk of developing the illness and its consequences. This immunity helps you fight the virus if exposed. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, because if you are protected from getting infected and from disease, you are less likely to infect someone else. This is particularly important to protect people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including individuals who are immunocompromised and for whom the vaccine does not offer full protection.

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 serves as an ongoing resource for protocols and guidance about COVID-19 vaccinations and Brown’s policies and practices related to the vaccines.

Last updated May 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.