COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Mandate, 12/20/21

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Mandate, 12/20/21

Dear Drew community,

Due to the increased transmission of COVID-19 in the region; the continued spread of the Delta and Omicron variants across the globe; and the CDC having approved COVID-19 booster shots for everyone ages 16 and older, Drew University has decided to require all students, faculty, staff, and contract workers to receive a COVID-19 booster as soon as possible, and no later than March 31, 2022. This deadline is six months from when most faculty and staff were required to be fully vaccinated, making most non-exempt individuals eligible for their boosters within this window.

COVID-19 Booster Info, Eligibility, and Availability

As noted in last week’s email from the Health Service, boosters are intended to provide added protection against COVID-19 as the initial vaccines’ effectiveness can wane over time.

Individuals are eligible to receive their boosters six months after completing the initial series of a two-dose vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) and two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Individuals do not need to get the same vaccine for their booster as they received in the initial series.

The vaccine is available at many local pharmacies. Click here to find a convenient location near you.

The University will work directly with students and employees who are not yet eligible for their booster by the March 31 deadline to provide appropriate extensions.

Submitting Proof of Vaccination

Students – If you have already received your booster, you can upload a copy of your vaccination card to your student health portal. As a reminder, images must be submitted in an approved format to upload successfully (e.g., Apple’s .heic documents must be converted to a .jpg or other accepted format, etc.); also be sure your name and date of birth are included on the document.

Employees – All faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, temporary employees, and independent contractors working on campus can upload a copy here.

Exemptions

Individuals who have already been exempted from the original vaccine mandate for legitimate medical or sincerely-held religious beliefs will not need to reapply for an exemption, as the original exemption was granted for a year. Testing requirements will be distributed to exempt members of our community prior to their return for the spring 2022 semester.

Arrival Testing

The University is planning to test all students, vaccinated and exempt, at the beginning of the spring 2022 semester. Additional information will be sent after January 1, 2022.

We thank you for your continued cooperation as we work together to keep the health and safety of the Drew and local communities as a primary focus.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schwarz