By Phoebe Doscher, Editor-in-Chief
This afternoon, Interim Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students Jeff Foster sent an email to the campus community outlining the fall 2021 vaccine requirement for Gettysburg students.
Nearly a quarter of the student body has received vaccinations for COVID-19, according to Health Services’ immunization records. The remainder of students must be fully vaccinated at least fourteen days before arriving on campus in August. Students are expected to upload their vaccine cards to the Medicat online portal no later than Aug. 1.
Those living outside of the United States will be considered fully vaccinated if they received the final dose of one of the following vaccines two weeks prior to arriving on campus: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, or Sinopharm.
Students who do not have access to vaccines may contact Director of International Student Services Brad Lancaster or Health Services to create a vaccine plan following arrival.
The email also outlined vaccine exemptions for medical or religious reasons; students can find an exemption form in the Medicat patient portal and submit a request no later than June 15.
Medical exemptions must include information from a nurse practitioner, providing physician, or physician assistant and will be reviewed by Health Services. Religious exemptions must include a statement addressing the belief or tenet of one’s religion that conflicts with receiving the vaccine and will be reviewed by a committee from Religious and Spiritual Life, Health Services, and the Dean of Students Office.
Students that choose to not be vaccinated and do not have an exemption may request a leave of absence for the 2021-22 academic year through Academic Advising and Support Services prior to Aug. 16, or two weeks before the start of classes.
Dean Foster ended by addressing the potential to return to a normal learning environment in the fall. “Having our student body vaccinated to the greatest extent possible will help to protect the health and safety of our community while returning to a more traditional fall semester in terms of a fully residential, in-person Gettysburg experience—both inside and outside of the classroom,” he said.