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Vaccination Requirement and Waiver of Liability for AAAS Events

AAAS seeks to provide a safe and healthy environment for its staff, volunteers, and program participants. With this goal in mind throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AAAS has complied with emergency orders from local, state, and federal entities and developed its own policies and procedures. In the past 9 months, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved one and provided Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for two additional vaccines for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The World Health Organization (WHO) has also listed several vaccines for emergency use.  These vaccines have shown in millions of people to be highly effective at preventing the spread of and most severe effects of COVID-19 disease. The science supporting these vaccines is sound and inoculation for COVID-19 is the most effective path to a return to normalcy.

Therefore, effective September 1, 2021, AAAS will require that all participants in its in-person meetings, events, and convenings – including, but not limited to, presenters, attendees, exhibitors, staff, and guests – be fully vaccinated

Participants must certify that they are fully vaccinated1, or will be fully vaccinated by the date of the event, in order to register for and/or attend any in-person event.  Accommodations may be offered on a case-by-case basis for any in-person participant who is unable to be vaccinated due to disability or sincerely-held religious beliefs.  AAAS may require any individual approved for an accommodation to comply with alternative requirements or restrictions.

AAAS will follow all local, state, and federal guidelines, but reserves the right to impose more stringent requirements (e.g., mandatory mask-wearing for all attendees) at its events.  Because guidelines and recommendations are regularly being updated, AAAS may make changes to its policies and practices on limited notice as circumstances develop.

By registering for and participating in any AAAS-sponsored event, I acknowledge and understand the following:

  1. Participation in the event includes possible exposure to and illness from infectious diseases including but not limited to COVID-19. While particular rules and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious illness and death does exist and may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of AAAS employees, event participants, vendors, and those coming into contact with those individuals;
  2. I understand that, although AAAS can put mechanisms in place to minimize the risk of infectious diseases, AAAS cannot eliminate the risks associated with its events. I knowingly and freely assume all such risks related to illness and infectious diseases, such as COVID-19;
  3. I hereby knowingly assume the risk of injury, harm, and loss associated with the event, including any injury, harm, and loss caused by the negligence, fault, or conduct of any kind on the part of AAAS;
  4. I acknowledge and agree that, in the event of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 being reported to AAAS as a result of any event, AAAS may be required to share personal participant information internally or with public health authorities, including for the purposes of potential contact tracing; and
  5. I agree to comply with all infectious disease protocols, including any COVID-19 protocols, established by AAAS in connection with the event, including any distancing or mask requirements as and if applicable.


  1. Fully Vaccinated
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have provided a definition of fully vaccinated.
    People are considered fully vaccinated‡:
    • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or
    • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

‡ This guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen.  This guidance can also be applied to COVID-19 vaccines that have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford).