COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Students

Revised July 2022

 

Purpose:   

This policy details the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all Centenary University students to minimize outbreaks of COVID-19 within the Centenary University community; to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among all persons at Centenary University; and to promote the public health of the community consistent with federal, State, and local efforts to mitigate the pandemic.

Definitions:

COVID-19:    COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a new coronavirus discovered in 2019.

COVID-19 immunization: Centenary University requires that all students be “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccines. This includes administration of a complete series of any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the United States by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as any eligible COVID-19 boosters. As of the date of this policy, there are currently three COVID-19 vaccines available, two of which are approved by the FDA: two mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) and one viral vector vaccine (Janssen [Johnson & Johnson]).

Exemption: The process of freeing or state of being free from an obligation imposed on others.

Policy:           

All students must be “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccinations and present evidence of COVID-19 immunization by August 1, 2022.  Any (student’s) evidence of immunization, if not already done so, must be uploaded to the Student Health Portal @ https://centenary.studenthealthportal.com

This policy is subject to change based on factors such as the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from governmental authorities.

Rationale:     
  • Continued risk of transmission including new variants, that could lead to serious illness and death
  • Decrease in percentage of vaccinated individuals in the college age range
  • Interest of students to return to normal college life and operations
  • Recommendation by Center on Disease Control (CDC), Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and local Warren County Department of Health
  • Best practice in the New Jersey state 4-year institutions
Exemptions:  

Medical:

A student seeking exemption from required immunizations for a medical reason must submit a written (and signed) statement from their healthcare provider on their healthcare provider’s letterhead which indicates that the immunization is medically contraindicated based on the student’s medical history and as enumerated by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The statement must specify the period of time the student is exempt. When the student’s medical condition permits immunization, the medical exemption shall thereupon terminate. Medical exemptions must be updated annually by the student and their health care provider, and must be re-submitted to the https://centenary.studenthealthportal.com

Religious:
A student seeking exemption from required immunizations for a religious reason must submit a written statement explaining how the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine would violate, contradict, or otherwise be inconsistent with the bona fide religious tenets or practices of the student. Philosophical, sociological or moral views are not accepted as religious exemptions. Students who have received all previously required vaccinations, will not be granted an exemption for COVID-19 vaccination. This written statement will be kept as part of the student’s health records.  Religious exemptions must be updated annually by the student and must be re-submitted to the https://centenary.studenthealthportal.com

Conscientious Objection:
A student seeking exemption from required immunizations requests due to a firm, fixed, and sincere objection to COVID-19 vaccination, by reason of training and/or belief, including essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views must submit a written explanation that will be kept as part of the student health records. Requests for conscientious objection exemption must be submitted to the https://centenary.studenthealthportal.com

Fully online students’ exemption:
Any student who is not “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccines and who participates solely in online classes, and has not been and will not be physically present on campus, can be granted an online exemption. Requests for online exemptions must be updated every semester by the student and must be re-submitted to the https://centenary.studenthealthportal.com

*The University reserves the right to request further documentation if needed to assess the request. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Process for Exemption Requests:

Students must submit written requests via the student health portal. Requests for exemptions will be reviewed by a committee comprised of Health Services and the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students or designee. An exemption, if granted, will be applicable for specific terms identified above.  A new exemption request must be submitted for each subsequent academic year (or upon expiration date).

Students Who Are Not “Up-to-Date” with COVID-19 Vaccines:

Those individuals who are granted an exemption will be subject to mandatory quarantine if exposed to a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in accordance with recommendations by the CDC and NJ DOH.

  • Non “up-to-date” individuals must continue to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19 as dictated by the CDC and University guidelines. Residential students will be required to quarantine at home or in a designated facility on campus.
  • Non “up-to-date “individuals must continue to quarantine when traveling internationally and to areas designated by the CDC.
  • In the event of an outbreak among our campus community, non “up-to-date” students may be sent home and remain off campus until the outbreak is over.

All Students Regardless of Vaccination Status are Required to:

  • Comply with masking policy as determined by disease prevalence and threat analysis
  • Complete daily symptom monitoring on Cyclone Clear App:

https://centenaryuniversity.sharepoint.com/sites/StudentHub/SitePages/CycloneClear.aspx

  • Complete mandatory 5-day isolation if testing positive for COVID-19 and will continue to wear well-fitting mask on days 6-10 after testing positive

 

*Consequence for Noncompliance: Students who do not comply with the additional protocols outlined will face disciplinary action through the University code of conduct process.

Communication:

Information regarding vaccination status is not protected by HIPAA and therefore may be shared by those campus constituents who need the information to conduct operations. In all cases, discretion will be applied.

This document was prepared after reviewing and benchmarking best practices developed by the following, which also provides information on how to secure the COVID-19 vaccine:

COVID-19 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Vaccine Recommendations | CDC

COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub

400 Jefferson Street
Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840
(908) 852 1400

 

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