Health and Counseling

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

To support of the goal of our students having engaging, interactive, in-person educational and social experiences and to prioritize the health of our campus and the wider community, for the 2021-2022 academic year, Nazareth College will require all students (residential and commuter), faculty, staff and contracted employees to complete COVID-19 vaccination and provide documentation by July 31, 2021. Limited exemptions, such as religious and medical, will be granted, and reasonable accommodations provided under applicable law.

Nazareth’s decision is aligned with the recommendations of the American College Health Association, which made a statement recognizing that comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way for institutions of higher education to return to a safe, robust on-campus experience for students. New York State also recommends that public and private colleges require vaccination.

FAQs

How can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Anyone in the Nazareth community can request vaccination during the summer at Health and Counseling on campus, call 585-389-2500. (Hours are reduced in the summer; check the Contact Us page.) Health and Counseling is currently administering the J & J vaccine until 6/23.
  • Vaccine is widely available here in Monroe County, N.Y. See the schedules or call the Monroe County COVID-19 Hotline at 585-753-5555.
  • In New York state: COVID-19 Vaccine: Safe, Effective, Free — search by zip code, including pharmacies. (Their websites indicate whether walk-in is available.)
  • Elsewhere in the U.S.: Vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 800-232-0233

How do I know if the vaccines are safe and effective?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rigorous scientific standards. Research continues to support the safety and real-world efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). See the evidence for each COVID-19 vaccine and the reasoning behind the FDA’s emergency use authorizations.

Additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available here:

COVID-19 Vaccines: Myth Versus Fact

Students: If you would like to have a confidential individualized session to learn more, please contact Health and Counseling at 585-389-2500.

Faculty and Staff: Please contact your medical provider or Nazareth Human Resources to learn more.

Depending on the nature of your questions/concern(s), Health and Counseling and/or Human Resources can help to arrange a conversation with a health provider or with a staff member in Nazareth's Center for Spirituality. You are also encouraged to discuss the COVID-19 vaccines with your own medical provider(s).


Why do I have to get vaccinated? Why can't I just wear my mask?

We’ve heard our students say they need and want engaging, interactive, in-person educational and social experiences. Requiring COVID-19 vaccination will allow Nazareth to more quickly achieve those goals.

According to leading governmental and medical authorities, COVID-19 vaccines have been demonstrated to be safe and effective in developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus. 

Getting vaccinated to prevent COVID-19 will help protect you from COVID-19, and it may also protect the people around you. Overwhelming evidence suggests that vaccinated people are far less likely to spread the virus to others. This is particularly important to protect people at increased risk, including individuals who are immunocompromised.

Given the medical and community benefit of COVID-19 vaccinations, we determined that requiring all members of the Nazareth community to be vaccinated is the most effective way, rather than requiring everyone to social distance and wear masks, to ensure individual and community health and safety, as well as quality learning. 

We were heartened to learn from a recent survey of faculty, staff and students that approximately 90% of those surveyed are either fully vaccinated or planning to become vaccinated. As we showed this past year, ours is a community that cares about each other and takes responsibility for individual and community health and vibrancy.


Which vaccines will be accepted?

Acceptable vaccines include those approved for use in the U.S.and will review on an individual basis additional vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). 


How do I submit proof of vaccination? What is the deadline to submit proof of vaccination to Nazareth? 

Proof of vaccination is due no later than July 31, 2021 for all students, faculty, and staff.

Students: Manually enter the date(s) of your COVID-19 vaccination and upload the official documentation (can be a photo of your card) into your Naz student health portal under immunizations — just as you do with other immunizations. As with other required vaccines, failure to submit proof of vaccination, or approved exemption, will result in a non-refundable $100 fee on your student account, and a block placed for registering for the following semester. If you've already submitted your documentation and vaccination date(s), you're all set. You only have to do so once. If you have questions or problems, contact health@naz.edu.

Faculty and Staff: Complete the Human Resources Proof of Vaccination form and upload the official documentation (can be a photo of your card). If you have questions or problems, contact covidhr@naz.edu.


How and where will vaccination data be stored?

Vaccination data will be securely stored in college systems that comply with regulations and best practices regarding sensitive data. 


How do I apply for an exemption? 

Nazareth will grant limited exemptions, such as religious and medical, and reasonable accommodations consistent with applicable law. Exemption requests are due no later than Friday, July 9.

Students: Please email health@naz.edu to request an exemption form.

Faculty and Staff: Please email vaccineexemptionhr@naz.edu to request an exemption form.


Who will be reviewing exemption requests? 

Students: Exemption requests will be reviewed and, if appropriate, approved by Health and Counseling and the Student Experience office, in consultation with appropriate campus partners.

Faculty and Staff: Exemption requests will be reviewed and, if appropriate, approved by Human Resources.


What health and safety protocols will individuals with approved exemptions be required to adhere to?

In fall, the Nazareth learning experience will be in person, including in-person courses, and a full campus and residential life experience. We understand that there are members of our Nazareth community who will seek exemption from our vaccine requirement. For those students, faculty and staff, COVID protocols such as daily screening, masking, social distancing, weekly testing, etc. will continue pursuant to New York State and other applicable guidelines. 

Additionally, we understand that some members of our community will feel more comfortable masking and social distancing while being vaccinated. The community will demonstrate respect and care for all individuals.


What if I refuse to comply with the vaccination requirement?

Students: Students who are not fully vaccinated, who do not apply and qualify for an exemption, and/or do not present vaccination documentation will be disenrolled after 30 days as the College considers the vaccination requirement a health and safety rule for all members of the community. 

Faculty/Staff: Employees who are not vaccinated and do not qualify for an exemption will have their status reviewed and acted on by Human Resources.


I am well aware of the history of racism impacting health and well-being, including medical harm. I’m also really worried about the heightened risk of the COVID-19 for people of color.  Where can I learn more about the safety of the vaccines specifically for people of color?

Yes, it is understandable that our students, faculty and staff of color may feel significant caution and concern. On the one hand, there is a history of troubling and unethical racist medical interventions, on top of the long-term impacts of racial bias in health and medical care.  And at the same time, the COVID-19 virus has disproportionately impacted people of color in terms of severity, mortality, economic and social impact, showing the urgency of vaccination for people of color.

We care about your concerns and will work with you to get reliable information. 

In addition, we have been heartened by the attention to racial disparities and concerns in our Greater Rochester Area vaccination effort. 

Some additional resources:


How will we know if someone has been vaccinated or not?

You will not know who is and who is not vaccinated. Given the vaccine requirement, you will know that students, faculty and staff have either been vaccinated or have been approved for medical or religious exemption. We expect and support that some people will continue wearing face masks and/or social distancing for various reasons.

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