COVID-19 Vaccine Protocols
Cadets were required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved medical or religious waiver to return in fall 2021. VMI’s policy is in accordance with the Commonwealth of Virginia Attorney General’s 26 April 2021 opinion regarding public institutions of higher education requiring the COVID-19 vaccination for in-person attendance.
During fall 2021, fully vaccinated was defined as cadets having received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna more than two weeks prior to their return. Since that time, the CDC has updated their guidance on vaccine boosters (the guidance is dependent on vaccine received, age, and completion date of initial vaccine series) and their definition of staying up to date and fully vaccinated.
At this time, VMI is not requiring cadets or employees to receive a booster.
Completed COVID vaccination cards, including booster shot documentation, need to be added to the cadet Medicat portal. Instructions on how to do so are below.
Religious and medical exemption are also available below. The infirmary and chaplain’s offices are working together to review the completed forms.
The vaccination provides the best opportunity for VMI to be at full operation, and is the best way to protect the Corps of Cadets as they live, learn, train, and eat together.
Cadets who are not fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption will continue to be required to wear masks and practice safe distancing where practicable in all indoor areas of post except for their barracks room and during all physical training. Weekly surveillance testing will be required for cadets who are not fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption.
International cadets with questions or concerns regarding vaccine availability should contact VMI’s Office of International Programs.
VMI will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and provide additional updates as needed.
For questions that are not addressed here, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the post infirmary at email@example.com or 540-464-7218.
Vaccines are free, and clinics remain active in the Lexington community and across the country. The VMI community will continue to receive updates on vaccination clinics and mobile vaccine opportunities. Cadets and members of the VMI community can also receive alerts about available vaccine clinics by signing up for the Alert Rockbridge Program.
UPDATED: New COVID-19 Booster and Vaccine Clinics
COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are readily available for individuals 18 years of age and older. In addition to booster doses, first and second doses also remain available, all free of charge.
NEW CLINICS: VMI will be hosting booster and vaccine clinics on Wednesday, Jan. 12, Thursday, Jan. 13, and Friday, Jan. 14. The clinic on Jan. 12 is for VMI cadets, faculty, and staff and will operate from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. The clinics on Jan. 13 & Jan. 14 are open to VMI faculty, staff, and cadets, as well as the community and will operate from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Marshall Hall.
The Marshall Hall parking lot will be closed to VMI employees on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 as in addition to the booster and vaccine clinic, a COVID-19 testing event for cadets will take place as they arrive throughout the day.
Appointments are highly recommended, and can be made through the following links. Please be sure to click the link under the appropriate vaccine manufacturer.
The CDC has updated their guidance on vaccine boosters. Please note, the guidance is dependent on vaccine received, age, and completion date of initial vaccine series.
Additional updates will be provided as they become available. For any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Message from Major General Wins '85:
VMI is committed to returning to a “normal” academic year with the full range of activities for cadets including 100% in-person classes. With that in mind it is important that we ensure a healthy and safe living environment for our students, particularly in light of the close living conditions (barracks rooms, restrooms, the dining facility, etc.) which are an important part of the VMI experience. Our decision to require vaccinations for our cadets has not been taken lightly. We have reviewed all applicable guidelines and directives from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), VDH (Virginia Department of Health), and the ACHA (American College Health Association). We have received guidance from the Virginia Attorney General’s office, which states that Virginia Institutes of Higher Education “may condition in-person attendance on receipt of an approved COVID-19 vaccine” during the time of pandemic to keep their students, faculty, staff, and surrounding communities safe and healthy.
Over the last year and a half, we have received countless requests to find a way to ensure that our cadets receive the full VMI experience. Vaccinations provide us with that ability while ensuring our cadets have a healthy and safe living environment. Had we not required vaccines and a large number of our students remain unvaccinated, we would have been forced to continue our COVID mitigation procedures requiring social distancing, wearing of facial coverings, return to post testing events, weekly surveillance testing and possible restricting movement off Post for the semester. We would be reduced to holding 50-60% in-person classes, be unable to schedule social activities, and other major training activities would be severely impacted. Many of our large event venue locations would have to be reverted to classroom space as we have been required to do since the start of this pandemic, and many of our non-academic scheduled activities would have to be canceled.
With regards to the suggestion that the standard age group of our cadets is not part of the at-risk population, we are considering the impact on the entire VMI and local community who may be in one of those at-risk categories. Also, recent variants are impacting younger age groups more frequently. All the vaccines available give protection against these variants. Even those who have recovered from a COVID infection benefit from the vaccine. Studies are showing the long-term and short-term risks of vaccines are significantly less likely and less dangerous than the risks of COVID itself - risks like myocarditis, chronic fatigue, and shortness of breath. While we understand that the age group in question may be the least at risk, we ask everyone to consider who may be affected by the virus if it transferred to others.
We ask you all for your support in this decision as we make every effort to ensure that all of our cadets have the full VMI experience. We will continue to monitor CDC, VDH, and ACHA guidance on COVID protocols and the vaccine and will adjust our policies as needed based on that guidance.
Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins '85
Superintendent, Virginia Military Institute
VMI Infirmary Medicat Instructions