COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Updated March 6, 2023 

Effective May 11, 2023, The Washington Center will no longer require participants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to reside in TWC’s residential facilities or attend in-person programming.

Per the CDC’s recommendation, TWC strongly encourages all program participants to remain up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots, as well as other routine immunizations, like the influenza vaccine. If you believe that you may need medical care or prescriptions during your time in Washington, D.C., we also encourage you to establish care plans prior to your arrival.

In addition to the change in our vaccination policy, TWC will end its practices of providing isolation spaces to symptomatic individuals, contact tracing for exposure, or requiring mandatory reporting from students who experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

As we make this transition, your health and wellbeing remains our top priority. If you have questions about how this change will affect your experience, please contact us directly at


Vaccine Policy in effect until May 10, 2023 

Every student who will be residing at TWC's residential facilities, or living independently in Washington, D.C. and participating in-person in any of our programs, is required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their arrival to Washington, D.C.

Additionally, per the CDC’s recommendation, TWC is requiring all participants to receive a booster shot. Individuals who completed an initial Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series five months or more before check in for their TWC program are required to receive a booster shot before their arrival. Those who received the J&J vaccine two months or more before check in are required to receive a booster shot before their arrival.

Participants who will not be eligible by check in for their TWC program must receive their booster no more than 14 days after they become eligible; TWC will provide support to students who become eligible while they are enrolled. 

All TWC staff members who interact in-person with students or partners are also required to receive booster shots, per this policy. Individuals participating in any of our funded Federal Diversity programs are considered employees of TWC; thus, they are also required to be fully vaccinated and receive a booster shot, regardless of whether they are working on-site or from home.

Participants must bring proof of COVID-19 vaccination with them to D.C. and may be asked to show it at any point throughout their stay. Students who are not able to show proof of vaccination upon request will be removed from their program and TWC's housing facility.

In some cases, medical or disability-related exemptions may be approved based on appropriate documentation submitted in writing. Students should request this approval as part of their Community Profile (as a medical/disability disclosure). Please note: approved exemptions may have an impact on a student’s housing options, as well as their internship placement options.

TWC believes vaccinations are necessary to ensure our community remains safe and healthy, and so that each student continues to be well and thrive throughout their Washington, D.C. experience.

COVID Vaccine FAQs

Will TWC be providing opportunities for students to receive the vaccination?

Each student must independently obtain the COVID-19 vaccine and be fully vaccinated (and boosted, if eligible) prior to checking in for their TWC program. Students who become eligible for a booster while enrolled in a TWC program will receive support obtaining their booster shot.

I am an international student — how does TWC’s vaccine policy differ based on vaccine availability in my home country?

TWC will follow the guidelines as issued by the United States government for international J-1 Visa holders in respect to requirements for quarantine, vaccinations and testing upon entry into the United States. As eligibility for vaccine boosters varies by country, TWC will also work one-on-one with each international student regarding their ability to receive a booster shot and their compliance with our policy.

Will TWC test students now that students are required to be vaccinated?

Students may be subject to periodic COVID-19 testing during their stay in TWC’s housing. Any student who receives a positive test result will receive support from TWC while they self-isolate, in accordance with CDC guidelines and TWC staff instruction.

Do vaccinated students still have to wear masks in common areas, practice social distancing, and follow other D.C. mandates regarding COVID-19?

It depends! Mask requirements, social distancing expectations and other community safety standards will evolve based on public health conditions and the prevailing requirements put in place by local public health authorities. TWC will share updated guidance as your check-in date approaches.

What if I have a medical condition that prevents me from being able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine safely?

You must submit documentation to from a licensed medical provider that details the medical condition that you have, as well as the specific reason(s) that the vaccine could be harmful to you.

What if I just do not want to receive the vaccine?

The Washington Center requires that all students receive the COVID-19 vaccine (unless they receive a medical exemption) for the safety and health of our community.

Do my guests need to provide proof of vaccination?

Yes, any visitor to TWC housing facilities must be able to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and booster (if eligible) in order to enter.

Are TWC staff members required to be vaccinated?

All TWC staff members who interact in-person with students or partners are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they receive an exemption.