We hope that you are having a restful summer as you prepare for your first year at the University of Vermont, or for your return to continue your progress. Students and families have inquired about the University’s position on requiring a COVID-19 vaccination. In this message we share our plan for the vaccine requirement, the reasons for the requirement, and our excitement about your beginning or continuing your educational journey with us.
Once permanent FDA approval is granted for any one of the COVID-19 vaccines, the University of Vermont will require all students entering or returning in the fall of 2021 to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This includes undergraduate, graduate, medical students, and continuing and distance education students and applies whether you are full time or part time. Any of the approved vaccines will be acceptable (even if it is one of those awaiting permanent approval), but students will be required to submit a copy of their vaccine card to Student Health Services. Outlined below are the four simple steps to share your COVID vaccine information. We encourage students to upload their information now even before the requirement is finalized.
- Log in using your NetID to https://mywellbeing.uvm.edu
- Click the “Enter My COVID-19 Vaccination Information” button on the main screen.
- Click “Upload” to add a picture/image/pdf of your COVID-19 vaccination documentation (required).
- Enter dates for each dose and choose the vaccine name from the drop-down list, then click “Done.”
In considering the requirement for a COVID-19 vaccine for our students, we consulted with our public health and infectious disease experts. We found the following points compelling:
- A fully vaccinated student population on our campus is the best way to protect health for ourselves, our campus family, and our broader Burlington community against COVID-19 infection.
- Guidance from the CDC emphasizes that vaccinations against COVID-19 are safe and effective (90-95% effective in "real world" studies) and protective against current variants. Vaccines are now widely available.
- People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are less likely to transmit infection to others. This is particularly important for a college community.
- This public health approach is consistent with longstanding efforts across the United States (and especially in the state of Vermont) to protect students of all ages from a wide range of serious and contagious diseases.
- Later in the fall semester, as winter approaches, this step, along with making the flu vaccine widely available on our campus and ongoing campus education about ways to stay healthy, will help prevent illness and support our collective health.
In rare instances, we understand there may be some unique health or religious reasons that may impact your ability to pursue the required vaccination. Students requesting an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination must complete this form by August 1. Students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to test frequently and to wear a mask indoors.
We thank all of our students for following our strict COVID protocols this past year, enabling the university to remain open for an in-person education. Now that safe and effective vaccines are available, we look forward not only to providing an in-person education, but to once again allowing the kind of engagement we know many of you desire.
Looking forward to having you all back on campus in a short couple of months,
Suresh V. Garimella, President
Patricia A. Prelock, Provost & Senior Vice President