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COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Protocol (students)

Updated June 22, 2021

Medical exemptions: As directed by Commonwealth of Massachusetts, medical exemptions for vaccines must come from the student’s medical care provider and document a contraindication (i.e., the reason why an individual cannot medically receive the vaccine).

Religious exemptions: The exemption request must state in writing that a vaccine conflicts with the student’s sincerely held religious belief. If a student is an adult (i.e., age 18 or older), the student should submit the request. If a student is a minor (i.e., under age 18), a parent or guardian should submit the request.

Step 1-Request an Exemption

Complete the electronic COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request form using your WNE credentials available at this

Complete the request process by July 23, 2021.

Step 2-Notification of Receipt 

Upon completion, the student will automatically receive a return receipt/copy of their submitted request.

Step 3-Approval Process Initiated 

Health Services will acknowledge receipt of the student’s request via email within 7 business days of receipt and initiate the approval process.

Step 4-Approval Process

Religious Exemption Requests

Religious exemption requests will be reviewed by Human Resources and Health Services. The student will be notified as to whether the request is approved via an email from Health Services. Notification will be sent to the student’s WNE email address.

Medical Exemption Requests

Medical exemption requests will be reviewed by Health Services. The student will be notified in writing via their WNE email address regarding next steps:

  • Medical exemption requests will require a written verification from the student’s medical provider.
  • Verification will need to be uploaded to the student’s Health Portal.
    • Health Services will provide direction on the upload process, if needed.
  • The medical exemption must indicate:
    • that the COVID-19 vaccine is medically contraindicated and/or otherwise detrimental to the student’s health. 
  • Upon receipt of the verification documentation, Health Services will notify approval of the student’s medical exemption request.
  • Notification of approval will be in writing and sent to the student’s WNE email account 

Please be aware that students granted an exemption for medical or religious reasons will be subject to heightened surveillance testing in order to mitigate the risk of infection. Any questions about this protocol should be directed to Health Services at 413-782-1211 or healthservices@wne.edu.