Dear NEOMED Community:
I want to commend all of you for your incredible efforts to maintain a safe campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic over these past 18 months. Throughout the pandemic’s various stages, we have optimized our campus safety measures based on our evolving knowledge about the virus. And you have led the charge to keep us safe, setting a standard for others to follow.
The NEOMED campus has experienced a relatively low number of COVID-19 infections among our students, faculty and staff since March 2020. We achieved this through your dedicated efforts and compliance with the safety guidelines managed by our COVID reporting team ― Dr. Joseph Zarconi, Dr. Erica Stovsky, Mr. Jesse Zampedro and Ms. Teresa Bencivengo. I want to thank all of you for your incredible leadership, commitment and a job well done.
As we have transitioned to the next phase of managing the pandemic, please know that Drs. Zarconi and Stovsky are no longer on the University’s COVID-19 response team and no longer have COVID-response roles. We ask that you refrain from contacting them directly.
The COVIDreporting@neomed.edu reporting structure is still being managed by Mr. Zampedro and Ms. Bencivengo but only for reporting positive COVID-19 test results. See the Symptoms, Positive Tests and Exposures FAQ for more information.
We were all fortunate to remain safe as an historic development of vaccines unfolded. The application of new scientific principles allowed for the advancement and availability of multiple safe and effective vaccines in less than a year. This was an incredible feat. While some have not embraced these lifesaving vaccines, you have supported the science for which this University stands, setting a benchmark for others to follow. As of today, approximately 98% of our students and 93% of our faculty and staff are fully vaccinated. As a result, our campus has a combined vaccination rate of about 96% ― that means we are less than 75 people (out of nearly 1,500) away from being a fully vaccinated campus.
I understand the hesitancy that some have regarding rapidly developed COVID-19 vaccines that have not received full FDA approval. In response, we have incentivized and highly recommended vaccination, but not required it as a condition for campus attendance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now given full approval of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer for individuals 16 and older. The Pfizer vaccine was rigorously studied by the FDA and was found to meet the high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality.
To continue our efforts to keep the campus community as healthy and safe as possible, NEOMED will now require COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of attendance and employment. This policy will allow for exemption of the vaccination requirement for those individuals with valid medical reasons, sincerely held religious beliefs and matters of conscience.
Proof of full vaccination status or an approved vaccination exemption must be provided no later than Dec. 17, 2021. Students who are not vaccinated or do not have an exemption granted by the University by that date will not be permitted to enroll for Spring Semester 2022. Faculty and staff who are not vaccinated or do not have an exemption granted by the University will be subject to progressive discipline up to and including termination of employment.
For the vast majority of the NEOMED team that has already provided proof of vaccination, thank you for your generous efforts to keep our community safe. For those who have not, please complete your vaccination series or exemption request and submit to human resources or student services per the details below. Additional contact information has been provided for those with questions or those who experience challenges with the validation or exemption process.
Upload proof of vaccination into your myCB account. Any students without an myCB can email vaccine documentation to email@example.com. To request an exemption of the vaccine requirement for medical reasons or for sincerely held religious beliefs or reasons of conscience, complete the NEOMED Exemption Form available on the NEOMED Forms webpage.
If you have previously provided proof of vaccination status and Human Resources has confirmed receipt, no further action is needed. Employees who would like to share their vaccination status should bring their vaccine card to Human Resources in person for visual verification. Please do not upload any vaccine information through Banner Self Service.
Employees requesting an exemption of the vaccine requirement for medical reasons may find that form here.
Employees requesting an exemption of the vaccine requirement for religious or reasons of conscience may find that form here.
Thank you for keeping our campus safe.
John T. Langell