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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Introduction

For the Fall 2021 semester, TCNJ plans to resume in-person activities. To minimize outbreaks of COVID-19 within the TCNJ community, prevent or reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, and to promote the public health of the community, TCNJ is requiring that all students be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). Compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement allows the campus community to achieve some semblance of normalcy, to get back to College activities and safely resume in-person interactions. Individuals are considered “fully vaccinated” per CDC two weeks or more after they received their single-dose vaccine or second of two-doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use are NOT experimental or investigational. These vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for emergency use by FDA. These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

Accessibility to COVID-19 Vaccination

  • As of this date, COVID-19 vaccines are provided free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.
  • Locate a vaccination site near you

Deadline: August 9, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Upload documentation of completed or partial COVID-19 vaccination no later than MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. You must receive at least ONE COVID-19 vaccination by AUGUST 9 and upload the record into OWL at https://tcnj.medicatconnect.com/. Students who miss this deadline will be ineligible to participate in academic or extracurricular activities in the 2021 Fall Term and will be deregistered.

Acceptable Documentation Of COVID-19 Vaccination

  • The following documents will be accepted as evidence of COVID-19 vaccination provided that the type of acceptable COVID-19 vaccine and the date each dose of vaccine was administered is listed:
    • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card
    • Docket™ immunization record screenshot – must include your name on the record
    • An official record of COVID-19 vaccination from the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) or other State immunization registry.
    • A record of COVID-19 vaccination on office letterhead signed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, registered nurse or pharmacist.
    • A military immunization or health record from the United States Armed Forces documenting COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Students who were vaccinated in New Jersey and have lost their COVID-19 vaccination card can obtain a copy by visiting the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS). Students who were vaccinated outside of New Jersey can refer to that State’s COVID-19 website for instructions.
  • Once you have completed the COVID-19 vaccination, we urge you to upload your documentation to the Online Wellness Link (OWL) as soon as possible. Your documentation is verified manually and may take up to a week to register in the system due to the volume of submissions.

Exemptions

The deadline for requesting medical or religious exemptions from the COVID- 19 vaccination requirement has passed and the College is no longer accepting exemption requests for the 2021 Fall Term. Students who have not provided proof of vaccination or received an exemption from the vaccination requirement are ineligible to participate in academic or extracurricular activities during the Fall Term.TCNJ will consider applications from students for exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement as described below. Students who receive an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement will be subject to additional restrictions and requirements to ensure the health and safety of the campus community.

Students who have not been vaccinated or received an exemption may be eligible for an exemption beginning with the 2022 Winter Term. TCNJ will consider applications from students for exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement effective at the start of the 2022 Winter Term as described below. Students who receive an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement will be subject to additional restrictions and requirements to ensure the health and safety of the campus community.

  1. Students whose entire course of study is entirely web-based or who are enrolled in a fully online program may be exempted from the requirement of a COVID-19 vaccine. To qualify, the student must have no physical presence on campus. The student must submit a written signed statement explaining how their course of study will not require the student’s physical presence on campus.
  2. A student may be considered for exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement if they have a medical contraindication for COVID-19 vaccination and if failure to receive this immunization does not prevent the fulfillment of the essential functions and/or curricular requirements of the academic program. Conditions comprising valid medical contraindications to vaccine administration are those set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To apply for a medical exemption, a physician licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy, or an advanced practice nurse, in any jurisdiction of the U.S., or in any foreign country, must complete the COVID-19 VACCINE MEDICAL EXEMPTION FORM.
  3. A student may be considered for exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement if the student provides a written signed statement explaining how immunization conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs or practices (source: N.J.A.C. 8:57-6:15). A general philosophical or moral exemption to the vaccination will not be sufficient for an exemption on religious grounds.
  4. Written statements required by 1-3 must be submitted by the student to the College by uploading the appropriate information into TCNJ’s Online Wellness Link (OWL) . Choose “COVID-19 Vaccination Record” as the document to be uploaded and email health@tcnj.edu that you have submitted an exemption request.
  5. The DEADLINE for submitting an exemption request required by 2 & 3 (religious & medical) is October 15, 2021. Exemption requests for the 2022 Winter or Spring Terms submitted after that date will not be considered.
  6. All exemption-related documents shall become part of the student’s immunization/vaccination record and shall be reviewed periodically by a health professional to determine whether the exemption shall remain in effect and whether additional restrictions shall apply. When an exemption no longer exists, the student must then comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
  7. Please note that in order to maintain a safe and healthy campus, students who are granted a religious or medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement will have certain requirements and be limited in their on-campus activities as compared to vaccinated students. Such requirements and limitations will include, among other things, regular testing for COVID-19, additional face-covering requirements, and restriction from living in campus housing.

Past History of COVID-19 Infection and Antibody Test Results

A past history of COVID-19 infection or a positive antibody test does not meet the vaccination requirement.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), people can be vaccinated regardless of their history of symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection; this includes people with prolonged post-COVID-19 symptoms. Further, CDC states that there is no recommended minimum interval between infection and vaccination unless the person was treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, or has a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS), in which case, vaccination should be deferred for at least 90 days. Vaccination of people with known current COVID-19 infection should be deferred until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and they have been discharged from isolation. This is because data has indicated that the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines can be given safely to people with evidence of a prior COVID-19 infection. An article, “Do I need a vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?”, published by UChicago Medicine, provides very helpful information for those concerned about being vaccinated after having COVID-19 infection.

Antibody testing is not recommended for the purposes of vaccine decision-making. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reminding the public and health care providers that results from currently authorized COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody tests should not be used to evaluate a person’s level of immunity or protection from COVID-19 at any time.

Informative Resources

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