In a May 25 email update, William Jewell College’s Operational Planning Team announced that the college will be implementing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the upcoming fall 2021 semester.
According to the email, all students, staff and faculty must submit proof of vaccination by August 1. Daniel Holt, author of the email and chairperson of the Operational Planning Team, further elaborated in the update that the early decision will allow unvaccinated students and employees just over two months to make necessary arrangements.
After receiving two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Janssen vaccine, students will be directed to file a copy of the newly-updated Health History and Immunizations Form to the Student Health Center by the aforementioned date. In accordance with Jewell’s COVID-19 vaccine policy webpage, employees will follow an alternative procedure and must present their vaccination card to Human Resources via email.
However, as with all vaccination requirements, individuals will have the opportunity to exempt themselves due to medical, religious or personal reasons. Students can request an exemption directly on the Health History Form, but employees must file a statement of exemption to the Office of Human Resources.
The email concludes that as policies and guidelines surrounding Jewell’s COVID-19 response are finalized this summer, the Operation Resurgent Campus webpage will be updated as needed – which will include details about an August vaccination clinic to assist students and employees who were unable to access the vaccine over the summer, frequently asked questions and updates to forms or schedules. Above all, the 2021-22 Operational Resurgent Campus guide will be posted, eventually replacing the 2020-21 Operation Safe Campus guide.
Jewell is one of the latest colleges to join a growing consensus of institutions across the nation that will require students and employees to be fully inoculated before the fall 2021 semester. Like other institutions, Jewell’s 2021-22 pandemic response is adapting to emphasize vaccination plans – with Operation Resurgent Campus’ threat levels notably being dependent on local and campus-wide vaccination rates.
Currently, only 31.6% of adults aged from 18 to 24 are fully vaccinated, the lowest of all adult age groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccination data trends. The increase in COVID-19 vaccine requirements among institutions of higher education, however, proposes an incentive for college-aged students to seek out vaccination.
Overall, as local governments work to increase vaccine availability on schedule with President Joe Biden’s vaccination timeline, experts stated that they expect the United States will reach the herd immunity threshold (75 to 80% vaccinated) by the end of summer.
Information regarding Jewell’s policies and procedures for the upcoming academic year can be found at www.jewell.edu/coronavirus with ongoing updates and notifications expected to be released over the summer.