What is the student vaccination requirement for Fall 2021?

Beginning fall semester 2021, JMU requires students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to moving onto campus or attending classes, except as noted in the exemptions section below. This includes undergraduate, graduate and part-time students who attend in-person classes, studies, research or activities. Documentation that you have received the vaccine was due to the University Health Center (UHC) by July 8, 2021. 

 Why is JMU requiring students to be vaccinated?

This decision was made based upon guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College Health Association (ACHA). Having students vaccinated, along with continued preventative measures, will help ensure the health of our community this fall and give us the opportunity to return to many of the activities that make JMU a special place to live, work and learn.  

 Do students who are employees of JMU have to get the vaccine?

Yes. JMU student employees must follow the student vaccine requirements and related guidance.  

 Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccine is available at the University Health Center. Please call 540-568-6178, option 2, for an appointment. You may also check Vaccinate Virginia and VASE for other locations offering the vaccine.

Student documentation and deadlines

 How do students send documentation to the UHC?

Upload a copy of your COVID-19 Vaccination Card (front and back) to MyJMUChart or here is a new link to electronically upload your documentation that is a simpler process. It was added to the Immunization Form so incoming students can include it with that information (with a medical provider’s signature) or upload the card separately. All vaccine records should clearly state the person's name, date of birth, type of vaccine administered, date of administration, and location or name of place administered. 

If you no longer have your vaccine card, you may submit an official proof of vaccination from a health department, pharmacy or physician's office. 

 Do students need to have received full vaccinations before they send the documentation?

Yes, please wait until you have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can send your documentation after the single dose.  

 What if students can’t get fully vaccinated by the July 8 due date?

Confirming records for over 20,000 people is a significant task, so it is critical that this deadline is met. Vaccines are now readily available; VaccineFinder and VASE are helpful resources. If there are extenuating circumstances, please email us at with the anticipated date that you will provide the documentation. 

 What happens if students don’t provide this information?

Vaccinations are critical for us to have a safe, healthy environment, so students who have not provided this information prior to the start of classes (or otherwise filed for an exemption as set forth below) will have their JACard deactivated on Sept. 6 which will remove their access to all university facilities and dining plans. Students should note that turning this access back on will not be immediate upon receipt of record, so it is essential that students submit this information no later than Sept. 3. This applies to all undergraduate and graduate students who will be on campus for any reason.

On-campus students will not be able to move into their residence halls if they have not submitted their vaccine record or Student Assumption of Risk Waiver.

 Verification of vaccine cards.

The University Health Center will verify all documentation submitted by students, including vaccination cards. Anyone caught falsifying information, including vaccination records, will be reported to the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices Office. 

 Why are only unvaccinated students being tested regularly?

While it is clear that when a vaccinated person becomes infected, they can spread the virus as easily as an unvaccinated person, likelihood that a vaccinated person will develop COVID-19 after exposure is very low. Despite the highly publicized outbreak in Massachusetts, there have been other studies which report the rate of breakthrough infections below 1%. The consensus of experts in the appropriate medical fields is that it is the unvaccinated population who clearly present the greatest risk for viral spread to include the delta variant. In the American College Health Association’s Considerations for Reopening Institutions of Higher Education for the Fall Semester 2021, they state that “Those who have been fully vaccinated and those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 90 days may be exempted from entry testing and surveillance testing.”  

Student Assumption of Risk

 Are there any exceptions to students being vaccinated?

All students who are not vaccinated must complete the Assumption of Risk form, which will explain testing requirements and what will be required if they test positive or an outbreak occurs on campus. 

  • Medical reason: Students who have a medical reason for not receiving the vaccine should provide a letter to the UHC from their doctor. This letter should be uploaded into MYJMUChart or submitted to UHC. They must also complete the Assumption of Risk waiver.
  • Religious reason: Students who have a religious reason for not receiving the vaccine should complete a religious waiver. This waiver requires notarization and should be uploaded into MYJMUChart or submitted to UHC. They must also complete the Assumption of Risk waiver. 
  • Assumption of Risk: Students with other reasons for not receiving the vaccine must agree in writing to the conditions set forth in an assumption-of-risk waiver. Students must complete the Assumption of Risk waiver, which will explain testing requirements and what will be required if they test positive or an outbreak occurs on campus. 

If you are unable to upload your Assumption of Risk waiver. into MYJMUChart, use one of these options: 

 In the Assumption of Risk form, what is the PPE that is referred to?

Face masks are the PPE that may be required.

 In the Assumption of Risk form, what is meant by regular screening tests?

See the Student Testing FAQs for details.

Students who are not fully vaccincated

 What will students who are not fully vaccinated need to do before returning to campus?

  1. Complete the Assumption of Risk form and submit it to UHC by July 8 
  2. Receive confirmation from UHC (this could take up to two weeks). 
  3. Provide Entry Testing results (see, "What is Entry Testing?" to determine the date it is due.) 

 If a student is not vaccinated, how often will they be tested?

Students who are not vaccinated will test once per week during the school year, please see regular screening testing information. Testing applies to all students who are not vaccinated and includes those with medical and religious waivers.  

 If a student is not vaccinated and comes in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, do they need to quarantine?

Yes. If a non-vaccinated student has close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for up to 14 days. 

Students who are fully vaccinated

 Will students who are fully vaccinated need to wear a mask on campus?

Everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated, is expected to wear a mask while indoors in public spaces on university owned or leased property and while in the presence of others. This mask requirement does not apply to private work places, such as any office, work area or employment meeting space that is not open to the public in the normal course of business.

 Will students who are fully vaccinated need to complete LiveSafe symptom checking?

Students who are fully vaccinated will not need to complete LiveSafe Daily Symptom Checking.

 Will students who are fully vaccinated need to complete required testing?

Students who are fully vaccinated will not be required to participate in entry or weekly screening testing (which will occur for students not vaccinated)If you are contacted, and have been vaccinated, please respond that you have completed vaccination and uploaded your records into MyJMUChart 

 Will students who are fully vaccinated need to quarantine if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Students who have been vaccinated do not need to quarantine; however, per CDC guidelines, they should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure.

 If a student has been vaccinated but tests positive for COVID-19, do they still need to isolate?

Yes, in the unusual case that a student who has been vaccinated tests positive they must follow the isolation protocol for 10 days from the time symptoms began (and their fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication and symptoms are improving).

Mitigation strategies

 What are the advantages of getting the vaccine?

Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will also help keep you from getting seriously ill, even if you do get COVID-19. According to the CDC, currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. Evidence suggests that the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program has the potential to substantially reduce the burden of disease in the United States by preventing illness in fully vaccinated people and interrupting chains of transmission.  This will help contain the transmission in classrooms and residence halls. 

 What additional measure can I take to stay healthy?

Wearing a mask, staying away from large crowds, and continuing handwashing can prevent the spread of germs.

Finding a vaccine

 I live in another state but am a student, staff or faculty member at JMU. Where can I get vaccinated?

Register in both the state you live in and with the Central Shenandoah Health District. Take the first vaccine appointment offered to you.

 What Virginia Health District includes Harrisonburg?

Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD) includes Harrisonburg and Rockingham County and is one of many health districts in Virginia.

 How do I upload my vaccination information in MyJMUChart?

Follow these instructions for How to upload COVID-19 Vaccine documentation.

 How can we stay informed?

We encourage everyone – employees and students alike – to stay up to date on the latest vaccine information in Virginia by visiting the VDH's vaccine response site, or you can pre-register for the vaccine at to receive weekly updates from VDH.

 Once I get the vaccine, how quickly will I be immune?

The time to maximum immunity is 2 weeks after the final dose of the vaccine. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require 2 doses spaced 3-4 weeks apart respectively. Two weeks after the second dose is when maximum immunity is reached. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose so two weeks after this vaccine is administered maximum immunity should be present.

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