Effective June 1, 2023, Brown no longer requires the COVID-19 vaccination for faculty, staff, students or visitors. However, we strongly recommend that individuals obtain the primary vaccine series and stay updated with bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Staying up to date with boosters is particularly important for individuals over the age of 65 and those who may be moderately or severely immunocompromised, though all ages can benefit from the protections boosters provide. Brown will continue to support students in accessing vaccinations, including through our free vaccine clinics on campus.
In making the decision to end the vaccination requirement, Brown joined its peer colleges and universities in relying on expert guidance. Public health experts have determined that locally and nationally, populations have achieved high rates of immunity and low levels of transmission due to both vaccine-based immunity and previous exposure to COVID-19. The protection offered by the original COVID-19 vaccine series has diminished over time along with the emergence of new variants. Schedules for the bivalent booster now are tailored to each individual's healthcare needs. Because everyone's health situation is different — based on a combination of past exposure and their booster schedule — a policy of universal vaccination no longer offers the same benefits it did early in the pandemic.
This change in vaccination requirements aligns with guidance from the CDC and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), and follows President Biden’s signing of legislation on April 10, 2023, to end the national emergency for COVID-19. The World Health Organization likewise at its May 4, 2023, meeting issued a statement determining that COVID-19 “no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern."
Warren Alpert Medical School Requirements
Please note that the initial vaccine series and booster will continue to be required for Warren Alpert Medical School, Gateways, and Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) students prior to their matriculation at the medical school, as these groups spend a significant amount of time in clinical settings where full vaccination continues to be required.