Dear Stanford community,

As we look ahead to fall quarter, I am writing to share an update on the crucial role that COVID-19 vaccines will play. As a reminder, we are planning to welcome all undergraduate class years to campus, including many who will be in residence for the first time in college. Our student housing involves congregate living. And we are looking forward to resuming the social activities and cultural and sporting events where we gathered before the pandemic.

Stanford’s COVID-19 Vaccine Governance Committee has been reviewing conditions and developments around vaccination against the virus, including an increase in supplies of vaccine and greater availability of appointments. Public health officials at the county, state and national level encourage all of us to be vaccinated. As CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has stated, “We continue to encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as it’s their turn, so we can begin to safely take steps back to our everyday lives. Vaccines can help us return to the things we love about life, so we encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity.”

Based on these recommendations from the CDC and from our Vaccine Governance Committee, Stanford plans to require all undergraduate, graduate and professional students coming to campus this fall to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. All students will be asked about their vaccine status prior to their arrival on campus for the fall quarter. We will work to help arriving students obtain a vaccination if they have been unable to obtain one at their home location.

We will accommodate those who cannot take the vaccine for medical or religious reasons. Students in these situations will be able to request an exception and, once it is approved, will be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing. Other requirements may also apply.

We know you will have questions about this policy and the details of how it will be implemented, and we will provide more details in the coming weeks.

Stanford is also continuing to evaluate the vaccination situation for faculty and staff, and we expect to provide an update soon. But we want to share this information now with students and prospective students as they make their plans for the fall.

We believe this approach to student vaccination is necessary to support health and safety this fall. Vaccinations are a critical component in our efforts to mitigate risk and protect one another’s health within our student environment. We expect that other public health safeguards will also continue to be in place in the fall. These will be determined by public health rules and conditions at the time, but as one example, we expect that mask-wearing, particularly indoors where others are present, will still be a part of campus life in the fall.

We encourage students to get a vaccine as soon as they are able. For students who are seeking vaccination now, please view this recent message about making an appointment and consult for additional information.

Thank you for doing your part to help us renew – safely – the activity and vibrancy on the Farm that we have missed for the past year. And, as a reminder, the virus is still very much with us today, and highly transmissible variants pose an additional danger. We strongly encourage you to continue following the health protocols, including physical distancing and wearing of face coverings, that have enabled us to proceed with optimism and excitement for the fall quarter.


Persis Drell