University to require faculty and staff members to be vaccinated

AU to host on-campus vaccine clinic for students, faculty, staff, contract workers and immediate family

University to require faculty and staff members to be vaccinated
"Syringe and Vaccine" by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0

American University will require all faculty and staff members with an on-campus presence to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in the fall 2021 semester, President Sylvia Burwell announced in an email to the AU community Monday.

Burwell also announced that an on-campus vaccine clinic will be available for faculty, staff, students, contract workers and their immediate family members who are 18 years and older. Additional details will be provided by Human Resources, Burwell said in her email. 

“We believe vaccines are critical to the health of our community. I am fully vaccinated, and based on my conversations across our community, many other university leaders, faculty, and staff are as well,” she wrote. 

Faculty and staff must submit a vaccine attestation form or request an exemption by July 30. Exemptions will be provided for medical or religious reasons, or if a person has no on-campus presence. This follows the University’s announcement in April that all students returning to campus must be vaccinated.  

“By achieving widespread vaccination within our AU community, we will support the return to in-person classes, residential experiences, and other campus and community activities in the fall,” Burwell wrote. 

Burwell also wrote that employees who receive exemptions or do not complete their attestation or exemption request must follow additional health and safety guidelines in the workplace, which may include more frequent COVID-19 testing and wearing a mask at all times on campus. 

Nearly 100 colleges and universities are requiring vaccinations for their faculty and staff members this fall, with even more requiring their students to do so. In the email, Burwell said that in a recent survey of AU staff, 73 percent of those who responded have already been vaccinated, and another 19 percent plan to.

“As a community dedicated to health and safety, we know our faculty, staff, and contractors will follow this requirement and be vaccinated for the fall,” Burwell said. “Our individual actions impact the rest of our interconnected community, which is why our commitment to health and safety measures throughout the pandemic helped keep case counts low within the AU community.” 

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