University of San Diego to require students to be vaccinated
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A sign of things to come?
The University of San Diego has announced that they will require all students enrolled USD for Fall 2021 semester to submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19. The students will need to provide proof in order to live in the residential halls or attend in-person classes.
The school will make the vaccine available at no cost to students.
The complete letter to students from USD is below:
As you know, the County of San Diego has granted authorization for COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals working in the education sector, and this has enabled us to move forward with our plans to vaccinate faculty, staff and administrators. In California, all individuals 16 years and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as well.
MANDATORY COVID-19 VACCINATIONS FOR STUDENTS
We will require all Fall 2021 students enrolled at USD to submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to live in the residential halls or attend in-person classes. This decision is in part based on projections of medical professionals that COVID-19 vaccines will be available in quantities sufficient for all young adults in our Torero family. We will make the vaccine available at no cost to students.
USD currently requires enrolled students to be screened and tested for tuberculosis and immunized for meningitis, measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. These immunizations, along with the COVID-19 vaccine, allow for exemptions. Students who pursue a COVID-19 vaccine exemption will still be required to participate in COVID-19 testing.
The Student Health Center is working to obtain COVID-19 vaccines for our entire community and will send out vaccination reservation emails to students as vaccine supplies are received. These supplies are expected to be more readily available throughout the county and at various sites in coming weeks and months. If you have already been vaccinated elsewhere, please submit proof of your vaccination to the Student Health Center via your MyWellnessPortal so that we can update your records.
If COVID-19 vaccine is not available to students prior to coming to campus in the fall – particularly for our international students coming from other countries – the vaccine will be available at the Student Health Center, pending available supplies.
Students enrolled in fully remote online degree programs and individuals participating in online-only continuing education programs will not be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
As a contemporary Catholic university and an anchor institution, we aspire to not only care for our Torero family, but also to care for our common home, which includes all the communities in which our faculty, staff and students work to make the world a better place. Broad distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is an important step toward decreasing infection rates. This perspective is embraced not only by the medical professionals, but also by Pope Francis and Bishop Robert McElroy from the Diocese of San Diego.
OBTAINING THE COVID-19 VACCINE ELSEWHERE
Students are eligible to obtain the vaccine off campus as well, and may do so through their healthcare provider, the County of San Diego, local pharmacies or other vaccination providers. Appointment information for County vaccination sites is available here. Please speak with your medical provider if you have questions about getting the vaccine and/or about how pre-existing conditions may play a factor.
HOW TO GET MORE INFORMATION
As we have indicated in previous communications, we understand some people have questions about the vaccines given the accelerated development time. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the vaccine development and review process so that you have a clear and accurate understanding of how the vaccines were developed and reviewed for safety. Here are links to the federal, state and county websites as well as a video from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention explaining the review process:
- CDC Website on COVID-19 Vaccination
- State of California Website on Vaccination
- San Diego County Vaccine Website
- CDC Video about Vaccine Review Process
- Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
The university has updated the Onward USD website and the Student Health Center website with the latest information on COVID-19 vaccinations, so please review these websites prior to contacting Student Affairs or the Student Health Center with questions.
Building defenses against COVID-19 in our Torero family is a team effort, and each one of us is a key part of that defense. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine adds one more layer of protection for you, your family and our local community. Vaccinations are one important step in this process, along with wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing and washing our hands often. USD is making every effort to make vaccination as easy as possible for all. Planning for a vaccine now will ensure all can be vaccinated as soon as possible. We believe adding COVID-19 vaccination to our immunization requirements will help to accelerate the number of available in-person course offerings, on-campus activities and collaboration in instructional and research projects.
Together, we will keep our Torero family safe by following the health and safety guidelines of medical professionals, State of California recommendations and San Diego County orders. This remains a difficult and uncertain time for all families, and we appreciate your cooperation as we continue to navigate through this pandemic.
James T. Harris III, D.Ed. The COVID Action Team