Message to the Campus Community: Vaccine Mandate and Booster Update

July 20, 2022 BK LI

I am writing today with an update to our COVID-19 protocols, specifically the vaccine and booster mandate at St. Joseph’s University, New York. As we continue to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, we have also taken careful consideration to review our existing protocols for students, faculty and staff as it relates to COVID-19.

First, the University will continue to require the COVID vaccination as a condition of enrollment for all students and employment for all employees who have not received an approved medical or religious exemption. The CDC notes that vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 and provides strong evidence that the COVID vaccine is effective at preventing severe illness and can save lives.

However, while we are still strongly recommending that every individual receive the booster shot if they are eligible to do so, the University will be eliminating its mandate for the COVID booster effective immediately. Therefore, COVID booster shots will no longer be required as a condition for enrollment or employment at St. Joseph’s University. While this is no longer a requirement for the University, the CDC does still recommend that booster-eligible individuals stay up to date on their vaccines. These boosters can further enhance or restore the protection that might have decreased over time after the primary series vaccination and offer more security from severe COVID-19 illness.

It is important to note that students and faculty participating at clinical and/or internship sites and in field placements must continue to comply with vaccination and other COVID-19 policies in place at the facilities they are serving.

As a reminder, the wearing of facemasks is currently optional at the University. However, we do recognize that some members of our community will want to continue to wear masks, and we remain most supportive of that.

Please understand that our protocols may periodically change along with any new developments that arise from the pandemic, and we appreciate your patience and understanding. As we continue to work toward an even more normal return to campus in the fall, please rest assured that the health and well-being of the St. Joseph’s community remains a top priority. I commend all of you for your resilience during these very challenging times. I am so proud to serve as your president, and I am very excited about what the future holds for all of us as a university on the move.

Have a wonderful summer. I look forward to welcoming you all back this fall.