Employee Vaccination Update
Letters to the Community
May 19, 2021
Dear staff and faculty,
Since March of last year, you have worked diligently to ensure that Smith College could continue to operate in a way that supports the teaching and learning that is at the core of our mission. Your commitment to our Culture of Care has helped to ensure a safe and healthy campus environment—thank you.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, comprehensive protection measures like those at the heart of our Culture of Care plan have helped lessen the impact of COVID-19. The next step is maximizing vaccination rates. In the CDC’s view, “vaccination is an additional critical prevention measure to help end the COVID-19 pandemic.” Since the vaccines' authorization, 259 million doses have been administered in the United States. These vaccines have been shown to be safe and highly effective at preventing the spread of the coronavirus and the severity of COVID-19 infections.
Accordingly, in April, we announced that Smith would require all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester. Today, we write to announce that we will also require all employees to be fully vaccinated by August 1, 2021. Requests for medical or religious exemptions will be reviewed and accommodated on a case-by-case basis. It is our hope that these vaccination requirements for all students and employees will provide additional protection for everyone in our community and be reassuring to you personally as we begin to return to campus in August.
There is no need at this time to upload proof of your vaccination status. The college is working on a confidential reporting system to support this requirement. CIRT will share further information about the reporting system in early June and at that time will also address questions about obtaining vaccinations and the process for considering medical and religious exemption requests. If you have general questions in the meantime, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The challenges of this past year have been like no other in our history. We can and should be proud of our ongoing commitment to the success of our college and its mission, even in the most trying of times. As we look to a future that enables us to gather in person, I am grateful for your continued work on behalf of Smith.