This policy is currently under review and revision.
The health and well‐being of employees and students at the UW is paramount. On occasion, members of the campus community may encounter infectious hazards related to their employment or academic work. The university, as all employers, has a duty to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that could lead to serious injury or death. Just as use of personal protective equipment can mitigate recognized hazards, vaccinations can also offer protective benefits. This policy outlines conditions where vaccinations are mandatory and those where they are recommended. In general, participation in healthcare activities such as vaccinations or medical evaluations is voluntary. However, there are some circumstances where the risks of not participating in a required health activity can result in unreasonable risk to the individual, institution and/or community. Individual units may choose to adopt more stringent policies as described here. However, care should be taken to assure that requirements are well justified and applied equally to all employees.
This policy applies to UW–Madison work units that require or recommend vaccinations related to employment activities.
An approved vaccine is available, or for emerging pathogens, a vaccine is available that has been shown to be effective and has gone through investigational new vaccine testing for regulatory purposes.
When a determination is made that vaccination is mandatory, the requirement to be vaccinated shall be described in the employee’s position description. Vaccination requirements must be applied equally of all affected employees.
Circumstances may arise where the vaccination may be contraindicated due to health status of the employee. When a mandatory vaccination is declined, the employee shall be referred to the respective Office of Human Resources for a determination on whether alternative employment arrangements can be arranged.
Examples of biologic agents and conditions for which mandatory vaccination would be indicated might include work practices that create potential of contact through needlestick, splash or aerosolization with materials known to be inoculated or infected with agents such as rabies, pox viruses or infective agents for diseases such as Yellow Fever.
If an employee declines an offer of vaccination, a declination form should be signed and returned to the Environmental & Occupational Health Unit of University Health Services for inclusion in the employee health record. If either medical limitations or declination of health services could result in a significant risk of substantial harm to the individual or others, UHS shall make a referral to the respective Divisional Disability Representative for review of possible workplace accommodations to reduce the associated risk.