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Washington State University (WSU) encourages everyone to get vaccinated when they become eligible as the approved vaccines have been shown to be safe and highly effective. WSU will not be requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for faculty, staff, or students at this time, however, the potential for a limited future mandate for some groups is under review. Only through widespread vaccination can the COVID-19 pandemic come to an end. WSU recognizes that there are individual considerations regarding vaccination and encourages anyone with concerns to consult with their health care provider.
Washington state has implemented an online tool, PhaseFinder, to help individuals determine when they are eligible to be vaccinated and allow them to register for available vaccinations through approved providers. PhaseFinder is based both on individual factors (e.g. age, pre-existing health conditions, caregiving responsibilities, etc.) and specific work-related activities. PhaseFinder also takes into account Washington’s Critical Infrastructure Worker list. Many of WSU’s faculty, staff, and students are considered “critical workers.” WSU encourages its faculty, staff, and students to consider their activities, roles, and interactions—rather than position title—when using the tool.
By addressing the wide array of specific roles that WSU faculty, staff, and students conduct in serving Washington communities, WSU can support the equity goals of the state’s vaccination program.
As noted, PhaseFinder is designed to direct eligible individuals to approved vaccine providers according to zip code. Individuals should use the zip code of the location in which they are most commonly engaging in their university-related activities, roles, and interactions. For WSU faculty, staff, and students not currently living or performing their university-related activities in Washington state, WSU recommends following all applicable local guidance regarding determination of vaccine eligibility.
WSU faculty, staff, and students who have completed the vaccination (currently two doses for the two approved vaccines) and attested to 14 days without COVID symptoms following the second dose are exempted from any required testing. Similarly, participation in WSU’s existing voluntary testing program is unnecessary for vaccinated individuals unless directed to do so by a healthcare provider. WSU may require documentation of receipt of both doses of the vaccine.
While there is strong evidence that though those who are 14 days past their second dose are less likely to transmit COVID-19, all faculty, staff, and students, regardless of vaccination status must attest, remain physically distant, and wear face coverings while on WSU property.