On Tuesday, April 27, Dean of the Faculty Sanjeev Kulkarni and Vice President for Human Resources Lianne Sullivan-Crowley sent the following memo to faculty and staff about vaccinations and the VacStatus portal.
As we move toward our vision of coming together again in the fall, spring has already brought hopeful signs: expanded vaccine eligibility for everyone 16 and older nationwide, a new survey by Princeton researchers finding high levels of compliance with mask-wearing and other protective measures on campus, and our decision requiring all Princeton undergraduate and graduate students present for academic year 2021-22 to provide proof of having received a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As discussed below, we are also asking students and other members of the University community to let us know when they have been vaccinated.
Public Health Protocols Remain in Effect
We still plan on having all employees working from their University worksites by the start of the 2021-2022 academic year if public health guidance allows. Although we are making progress in reducing the risks associated with COVID-19, and we are fortunate for the overwhelming health and safety successes on campus, health and safety precautions are likely to be necessary for some time. Please note that all public health protocols at Princeton, including wearing face coverings, social distancing, participation in the asymptomatic testing program, and completing the daily symptom check currently apply to all individuals on campus, whether or not they have received the vaccine. Until further notice from the University, everyone is required to adhere to these same public health policies and practices, regardless of vaccination status. Additional information and guidance are forthcoming to help support planning for the fall.
New University Online Tool Available to Upload Vaccination Records
While we work toward a fully in-person residential program of teaching, research, and extra and co-curricular activities in the fall, we must monitor COVID-19 case trends as well as vaccination rates. The University is still considering whether to require all faculty, staff, researchers, and others present on campus during the 2021-22 academic year to provide proof of having received an FDA-authorized vaccine. In the interim, the University has developed an online tool called VacStatus to allow faculty and staff to upload their vaccination records. Participation in this program is voluntary at this time, but we encourage everyone to provide the information, as the data will help the University with operational planning and enable it to make informed decisions about the public health interventions required in the fall, including the structure of our testing program. The University will store this confidential information in accordance with its information security policy and will restrict access to a limited number of authorized personnel. Although vaccination status will not change any public health requirements in the remainder of the spring semester, it is possible that the University may be able to lift some restrictions as the percentage of our vaccinated campus community rises.
As has been stated previously, the University strongly recommends vaccinations, and encourages you to register with New Jersey’s Vaccine Scheduling System if you have yet to do so and to schedule your vaccine as soon as possible. The University just learned that we will be able to host a vaccine clinic on campus, with very limited vaccine doses available beginning this week through the Princeton-Penn Medicine facility. As defined by State guidance, staff in specific roles who must perform their work on campus, will be eligible and contacted directly. While we hope for more vaccine supply in the coming weeks, we strongly encourage faculty and staff to take advantage of the increased availability of vaccines at public clinics and pharmacies. If needed, paid time off to receive the vaccine is provided by the University. For more information on what the University is doing to support you, and how you can protect yourself and others, visit Princeton’s COVID Resources webpage, including its vaccinations section, HR’s Coronavirus Resources for Employees, and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty’s website. For answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the Questions and Answers about Required Vaccinations page.