Smith College A Culture of Care

Sign up now for April 24-25 Smith COVID-19 Student Vaccination Clinic

Letters to Students
April 21, 2021

Dear students,

We are pleased to share that, beginning this weekend, Smith College will offer an on-campus, complete, two-course administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to all on- and off-campus undergraduate and graduate students participating in the college’s COVID-19 screening program. This clinic will enable you to receive both doses of the vaccine prior to Smith’s move out date and, for those returning in the fall, will allow you to meet Smith’s requirement that all students, both undergraduate and graduate, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester.

Here is the process for eligible students to be vaccinated in the Smith clinic April 24-25. PLEASE SIGN UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, preferably today (Wednesday, April 21) or tomorrow morning (Thursday, April 22).

  1. Complete the signup process. Start with this form (Smith login required), and then you will be directed to click on the link to the appointment scheduler.
  2. After you complete your appointment scheduling, you will receive two important emails:
    • An email that confirms your appointment time and lists several items you need to bring to your appointment. Please read that information carefully and prepare accordingly.
    • An email from CIRT which asks you to complete a consent form through DocuSign. You will receive this email within 24 hrs of confirming your appointment time. This consent form is required for you to receive a vaccine.
  3. Show up 10 minutes early for your appointment time with the required materials, including your OneCard and a photocopy of your insurance card. You should plan to be at the vaccination center for 30-40 minutes, to allow time for check-in, vaccination and the mandatory post-vaccine observation period.
  4. You will receive instructions the week of April 26 on how to schedule your second dose.

In order to accommodate the vaccine clinic, the Campus Center test site will be closed on Sunday, April 25. Those with Sunday appointments are encouraged to reschedule during regular, weekly test hours. The test site will also be open on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Importantly, Smith College will require all undergraduate and graduate students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester. Students should verify that they are fully vaccinated prior to their fall 2021 arrival by uploading vaccine records to the Schacht Center’s confidential patient portal. Instructions can be found on the center’s website. As with other required vaccinations, requests for medical or religious exemptions will be reviewed and accommodated on a case-by-case basis. The college will help international students or others who cannot get a US-approved full vaccination prior to arrival navigate the process to meet this requirement. We will have additional details about the overall return to campus process, including the vaccination requirement, by mid-June.

We strongly encourage all eligible students to participate in the college’s vaccination clinic.

Below, please find important answers to questions you may have regarding this announcement.

Which vaccine is Smith offering in its clinic?
Smith will administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, one of two CDC-authorized and recommended COVID-19 Vaccines in the U.S.

What are some of the common, expected reactions to the Pfizer vaccine?
According to the CDC, common reactions include redness, swelling and pain at the injection site. Immune responses are normal and may take one to two days to resolve. Students should contact the Schacht Center if the redness or tenderness at the injection site gets worse after 24 hours or if side effects become worrying or do not seem to be going away after a few days.

How can I get an academic accommodation if I have a reaction to the vaccine that interferes with my class schedule?
Faculty will be asked to support any necessary accommodations to reactions. Please contact your class dean with any accommodation requests.

If a student already has an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine elsewhere, should they cancel it?
We strongly encourage you to schedule an on-campus appointment. As soon as you have received confirmation of your appointment in the college’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic, please cancel any other existing appointments. This will free up much-needed capacity in community clinics.

Is there any cost associated with the Smith COVID-19 vaccination clinic?
No.

Will a student be able to get both doses of the Pfizer vaccine through the Smith COVID-19 vaccination clinic?
Yes.

If a student has already received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine off-campus, can they get their second through the Smith COVID-19 vaccination clinic?
If a student already has a second vaccine appointment scheduled in the community, they should keep that appointment. If the student does not have a second dose scheduled in the community and can provide documentation confirming their first dose of Pfizer vaccine, they can schedule an appointment with Smith for the second dose.

Why are there only two dates for the Smith COVID-19 vaccination clinic?
In order to ensure that all students participating in the clinic can obtain the full course of the vaccine (two doses, 17-21 days apart) before their departure from campus, the clinics must be held on April 24 and 25.

If a student receives the vaccine (or have already been vaccinated), do they need to continue to wear a mask and be tested twice a week?
Yes. Vaccination status does not change any Culture of Care health and safety guidelines or policies.

If a student has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past, are they still required to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to campus in fall 2021?
Yes. Following CDC guidelines, the college will not accept antigen test results in place of proof of vaccination.

Please contact covid19info@smith.edu with any further questions.

COVID-19 Incident Response Team (CIRT)
covid19info@smith.edu