Executive Officers: COVID-19 Booster Requirement

Author: John Slott

Note: Dated communications are archived here for reference, but may not reflect the most up-to-date information available.

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues, 

We hope this finds you and your loved ones well. As we come to the end of the semester, we could not be more grateful for all you have done to make this semester a successful one. 

As you know, a high rate of vaccination has been critical in our fight against COVID-19. We have seen the benefits of a highly-vaccinated campus, with low numbers of COVID-19 cases, particularly among the vaccinated, and low test-positivity rates for those who participate in regular surveillance testing.

Booster shots provide an additional layer of protection against COVID-19. Recent data suggest the COVID-19 vaccines become less effective over time in preventing infection or milder illness, particularly in the presence of new variants. Those over the age of 16 who were fully vaccinated more than six months ago with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or more than two months ago with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, are now eligible—and strongly encouraged by public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—to receive a booster shot.

Last week we announced that, as part of the University’s existing COVID-19 vaccination requirement, a COVID-19 booster will be required of all students; this applies to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, including those studying or conducting research remotely. Students who received an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement are exempt from the booster requirement. Students who are vaccinated but wish to apply for an exemption from the COVID-19 booster may do so.

After consultation with public health officials, as well as campus leaders, and in the interest of protecting the health and safety of every member of this community, we will also require faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 boosterThe deadline to receive your COVID-19 booster is March 1, 2022 (or if you are not yet eligible by March 1, as soon as you are six months past your original vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two months past a Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

For your convenience, Notre Dame will once again host a vaccination clinic on campus for faculty and staff to receive boosters on Thursday, January 20 at the Joyce Center. There will be also be a vaccination clinic for students January 11-14.  We expect to receive enough Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccines for our campus community.  Appointments are required for the vaccination clinic, and you can register here

You may wish to receive your booster before January 20, and we certainly encourage you to do so. For a full list of Indiana COVID-19 vaccination sites, please click here. If you have already received your COVID-19 booster, or will receive the booster at a location other than the Joyce Center clinic, please upload confirmation of your booster here.

As is true for students, those faculty and staff members who already have an exemption for COVID-19 vaccination are exempt from the booster requirement through June 30, 2022, and need not reapply. Those who did not receive an exemption previously but wish to do so for the booster may do so here. Faculty and staff with an existing vaccine exemption must continue to participate in weekly surveillance testing and to mask indoors while on campus for the 2022 Spring Semester. Those who are vaccinated but are granted a booster exemption will be required to follow these same health and safety protocols.

Should you have specific questions about the booster requirement, please feel free to contact the COVID Response Unit team at covidresponseunit@nd.edu or 574.634.4373.

We will, of course, continue to work closely with public health experts to monitor conditions on campus, in our region and the nation, as well as around the world. If additional health and safety measures become necessary, we will keep you fully informed, and the University's COVID response teams are prepared to respond. We hope that as we continue to prioritize vaccination, we can prevent outbreaks on campus and significantly reduce the risk of serious illness. 

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to keep yourselves and each other safe. Know of our abiding gratitude for your dedication, leadership and generosity in these unprecedented times. We wish you and your families the peace and joy of this Christmas season.  

In Notre Dame,

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President
Marie Lynn Miranda, Charles and Jill Fischer Provost
Shannon Cullinan, Executive Vice President
Christine Maziar, Vice President and Senior Associate Provost