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4/26/2021 - Student Vaccination Policy

To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President
David A. Tirrell, Provost
Kevin M. Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs 

To prepare for the return of undergraduates to on-campus residential life this summer and, ultimately, for the full reopening of campus in the fall, Caltech is updating its vaccination policy for all undergraduate and graduate students to include the COVID-19 vaccine. This updated student vaccination policy is an important component of Caltech's commitment to protect the health and well-being of our campus community. 

The Institute now requires:

  • all undergraduates who choose to live in Caltech's on-campus residences this summer to submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 no later than June 1, 2021. Students who exercise the personal declination option for the COVID-19 vaccine will not be allowed access to our residences.*
  • all undergraduate and graduate students who enroll in Caltech's academic program for the 2021-22 Academic Year to submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or submit a Statement of Declination no later than August 15, 2021. Students will have the option to decline vaccination for personal reasons by submitting the declination as long as the vaccines are distributed only under Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, once the FDA approves at least one COVID-19 vaccine, Caltech will require immunization against COVID-19, with exemptions for medical contraindications only.   

For students traveling to Pasadena from another country or location where they may not have had an opportunity to be vaccinated prior to their arrival at Caltech, Student Wellness Services will assist in providing access to a vaccine.

For individuals who have been vaccinated in another country, Caltech is prepared to accept immunization records for all vaccines recognized by local public health officials, in accordance with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Presently this includes vaccines authorized for use by the World Health Organization. Students may send a secure message to Student Wellness Services through the Student Health Portal for consultation on their specific circumstances.

It is important to note that while the current vaccination requirement extends only to the student community, the Institute strongly urges all Caltech faculty, staff, postdocs, visitors, and affiliates to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at their earliest opportunity. As of April 25, 80 percent of active Caltech employees and students have reported having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A campus committee is considering actively further vaccination requirements for the entire Caltech community.

A fully vaccinated community is essential to our plans to reinvigorate Caltech's collegial and collaborative campus experience.  If you have not already done so, please complete your vaccination as soon as possible and report your vaccination status in the COVID-19 Reporting Application

*Updated April 30, 2021 in accordance with the Institute's Vaccination Policy