NOTE: The vaccination policy and deadline for compliance for the School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Duke University Health System has not changed. The deadline remains 10 a.m. on Sept. 21, 2021.

TO:Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:Sally Kornbluth, Provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor
Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President, Administration 
RE:COVID-19 Vaccination a Condition of Employment for University

We are writing to advise you that Duke University will revise its COVID-19 vaccination policy to require all faculty and staff to have a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment.

All faculty and staff members, regardless of work location, must receive and show documentation of their completed COVID-19 vaccination by 10 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2021. This requirement is consistent with the policy already communicated by the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and Duke University Health System. As of today, more than 91% of the 22,136 university employees are vaccinated.

Faculty and staff can visit the Status Check website to ensure their vaccination status has been recorded. Those who are vaccinated outside of a Duke Employee Vaccination Clinic can upload an image of their completed vaccination card through the confidential Duke VaxTrax system so that our records can be updated accordingly. Faculty and staff who need an appointment for vaccination can find various options on the Duke COVID Vaccine website.

University faculty and staff may still apply for a medical or religious exemption, but anyone approved for an exemption will be subject to daily symptom monitoring, weekly surveillance testing, continued masking and other protocols applicable to those who have not been vaccinated.In the coming week, deans and vice presidents will be provided a list of any unvaccinated faculty and staff within their areas to ensure they understand the new policy and implications regarding compliance. Updates will be provided as we approach the deadline for compliance.

Those who are not in compliance by Oct. 1, 2021, will be subject to the following:

  • Individuals will be issued a Final Written Warning and placed on administrative leave. Accrued vacation or discretionary holiday time may be used if available; otherwise, the leave will be unpaid.
  • They will have seven days to receive either the one-dose J&J vaccine, or the first dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, which has now been granted full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • If an individual does not receive either the J&J or the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna within seven days after the Oct. 1 deadline, they will be terminated at the end of that seven-day period.
  • Those completing the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine will have up to six weeks to provide documentation that they received the required second dose. If the second dose is not administered within the six-week period, the individual will be terminated.

Those terminated for non-compliance would not be recommended for rehire with Duke in the future.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious illness related to COVID-19, and it is only way we will bring an end to this pandemic. We are grateful to the thousands in our community who have already taken this step, and we want to take make every effort to support those who have not yet gotten vaccinated. Additional information and resources about the vaccines can found on the Duke COVID Vaccine website. Thank you.