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Student Vaccination Requirements

Student Vaccination Requirements

For the health and well-being of students and employees, the Río Hondo College Board of Trustees has mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for all students and employees seeking face-to-face student services or who attend classes on campus. This mandate complies with all applicable laws and is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities, as applicable. All employees and students are required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination verification unless an exemption is approved. Anyone seeking an exemption from this mandate will be required to file an exemption form.

Vaccination Exemptions

Río Hondo College’s COVID-19 vaccination policy includes medical and religious exemptions or a pregnancy deferral.


All students accessing the campus or facilities who do not claim an exemption must upload proof of vaccination by October 16, 2021.  Students wishing to file an exemption to this policy, must also do so by the October 8, 2021 deadline.

Student Vaccination Requirements & Exemptions FAQs

In an effort to prioritize the health and safety of all faculty, staff and students, the District’s mandate requires that everyone accessing the campus or facilities who do not claim an exemption, must receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

All students must submit proof of their COVID-19 vaccination on or before October 16, 2021 to enroll in in-person courses. Students who do not submit proof of vaccination shall enroll in online course.

Yes, students may request a medical or religious exemption to this mandate. Exemptions must be submitted to the District before October 8, 2021 on an official Río Hondo exemption request form. All exemptions will be reviewed for approval. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. Be sure all forms and documentation are submitted at one time.

Students who seek an exemption based on medical, disability, or religious grounds or who are seeking a pregnancy deferral must complete the request form and submit using the following link: AccessRio


  1. Download or open the PDF form
  2. Prefill the form with your information and print the form
  3. Acquire proper signatures (e.g. clergy/pastor, physician)
  4. Scan document to computer (save as a PDF)
  5. Log in to AccessRio and upload your document

Exemption forms will be reviewed as quickly as possible. If an exemption is denied, students will receive a denial letter along with an appeal application. All appeal applications will be reviewed by a COVID-19 Appeal Committee. The COVID-19 Appeal Committee’s decision is final. Students who are not approved for an exemption will not be allowed to register for face-to-face class(es) after the fall 2021 semester.

Pregnant women are eligible for a Deferral throughout their pregnancy [link]. Pregnant women may also be eligible for a disability accommodation.

Yes, students who are enrolled in a face-to-face class(es) on campus may continue to participate in the class(es) for the entire fall semester. Students who are not fully vaccinated will only be allowed to register for online courses thereafter.

No, students who are only enrolled in online classes do not need to submit proof of vaccination if they are only registered for online courses. Students who do not submit their vaccination record by October 16, 2021 will not be allowed to register for any face-to-face campus courses.

Only students who have provided proof of their COVID-19 vaccination or has been granted an exemption will be allowed to enroll in face-to-face class(es) for Winter or Spring 2022.

Under the district’s mandate, all students must be vaccinated, regardless of whether or not they previously have tested positive for COVID-19. Those who do not wish to receive a vaccine may claim a medical or religious vaccine exemption.

We encourage students to read the following information on facts and myths about COVID‐19 vaccines. Learn more about the COVID‐19 vaccine on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, including common myths and facts, to inform your decisions. Río Hondo College recommends that all students get vaccinated. The vaccine may prevent serious illness if you get infected and help protect your family and friends.

The CDC indicates all COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in clinical trials involving thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. More information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines can be found at: learn more about the COVID‐19 vaccine on the CDC website, including common myths and facts. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine The FDA-approved the vaccine based on a standard process for reviewing the quality, safety and effectiveness of medical products.