COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement & Reporting
for University Students

Effective Aug. 26, 2021
updated Sept. 22, 2021
updated nov. 16, 2021

 

Summary

On Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 16 years and older. COVID-19 vaccines are an effective and critical tool to combat COVID-19 and allow for another successful year of in-person, residential education. According to the CDC, the vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective. Current data also suggests that vaccinated individuals are less likely to become infected—even by the Delta variant—and the vaccines are highly effective against the most severe consequences of COVID-19.

The University is adopting the following policy to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our students, visitors, and the community at large. This policy will comply with all applicable laws and is based on guidance from the University’s Public Health Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and follows the recommendation of the American College Health Association.

Requirement for Students

Unless granted an exemption, all students are required to have received either at least one shot of a two-dose regimen (for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Oct. 8, 2021. (Updated Sept. 22)

Before the stated deadline to be vaccinated expired, students were required to provide either proof of vaccination or an approved medical or religious exemption to be exempted from the requirement. Effective Nov. 16 any students who have not already demonstrated compliance or received an exemption must attest that they are in compliance with the vaccination requirement.

After the stated deadline, students not in compliance with this policy will be required to depart campus as described below. Students who submit fraudulent or illegitimate vaccination records may be subject to disciplinary action.

Process

Getting a Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccinations are free, whether a student has health insurance or not. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is currently available from University Health Service. Students simply need to make an appointment by calling UHS at 931.598.1270 to be vaccinated. In addition, COVID-19 vaccines are readily available through many local health care providers and pharmacies. For information on where to obtain a vaccine, please visit https://www.vaccines.gov

Additionally, the University has been conducting on campus vaccination clinics (COVID-19 and influenza) in cooperation with Walgreens. Future clinics are scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. on Sept. 29, Oct. 4, Oct. 6, and Oct. 8 in Room 203 in the Wellness Commons.

Retaliation Prohibited

The University of the South strictly prohibits retaliation against any student or employee who makes a good faith request for exemption from vaccination, regardless of whether the exemption is granted. Any student found to have engaged in retaliation against someone who makes a valid request for an exemption will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination. Employees who submit fraudulent or illegitimate requests for exemption from the vaccine may also be subject to disciplinary action. To report instances of retaliation or fraudulent documentation, contact the Dean of Students Office.

Vaccine Boosters

All students should monitor email and University communications carefully in order to learn whether vaccine boosters may become an additional University requirement upon authorization of a booster dose by the FDA and recommendation by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.