Important Next Steps on Booster Shot Requirement (2/1/22)

Dear Pomona College faculty and staff,

We are writing to update you on the status of our community effort to ensure that our students, faculty and staff are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccine and booster.

Friday, January 28 was our deadline for all eligible members of our community to receive a booster. We are pleased to report that, as of January 31, 78% of eligible faculty and staff have received a booster vaccine and uploaded the information.

While the numbers are rising each day, a significant number of eligible faculty and staff have yet to receive a booster and/or upload proof they have received a booster. We have made great progress with students, with nearly 90% having already received their booster as required. (Separate messages are going to students since they need to upload their information to the Student Health Services site.)

With the restart of in-person classes, and the continued high prevalence of COVID-19, it is very important for all of us to remain up to date on our vaccines. Please note that students, faculty and staff who are not up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines are considered out of compliance with the College’s vaccination requirement.

Consistent with our vaccine policy issued last year, staying up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines is a condition of employment for faculty and staff and a condition of enrollment for students.

Our community effort to maintain the very high vaccination levels we saw last fall, and the seriousness which we take the COVID-19 booster vaccine requirement, are rooted in science and guidance provided the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC: “All currently approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and reduce your risk of severe illness. Vaccination can reduce the spread of disease, which helps protect those who get vaccinated and the people around them.”

Given that many members of our community are eligible but still need to get boosted, the College has set the following next steps:

  • All eligible members of our community must get a COVID-19 vaccine booster and upload the information as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, February 11.
  • Failure of faculty and staff to comply with this mandate by February 11 will result in discipline up to and including termination from the College.
  • Faculty and staff who are found to be out of compliance with the booster mandate will be subject to any applicable disciplinary procedures as outlined in the Faculty Handbook or the Employee Handbook.
  • If you believe that you are eligible for a medical or religious exemption from the booster, please submit your form no later than Friday, February 4.
  • Effective Monday, February 14, any member of our community who has an approved medical or religious exemption must test for COVID-19 twice per week as a condition of employment.
  • Effective Monday, February 14, any member of our community who is not in compliance, meaning they are eligible but do not have an approved exemption from the booster and may be going through a disciplinary process, must also test twice per week.
  • If you recently had COVID-19, you are exempt from testing for 90 days, but you still must receive a booster within the recommended time frame.
     

We understand that many of you who have had COVID-19 are waiting to get your booster. Keep in mind that L.A. County Department of Public Health advises that it is safe to get the booster vaccine after getting COVID-19 once your isolation period is over. (This wait is so that you don’t infect healthcare workers and others when you go to get the booster.) Please get your booster as soon as your isolation period is over; if you are planning to wait longer, you will need to provide a note from your physician explaining the reason.

Our goal is to keep our community safe. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines will be an ongoing requirement as we anticipate that public health authorities will recommend additional boosters in the coming months.

If you have any questions, please contact Brenda Rushforth at brenda.rushforth@pomona.edu or (909) 607-1686.

 

Sincerely,

The COVID-19 Planning and Response Group
G. Gabrielle Starr, President
Robert Gaines, VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty
Fernando Lozano, Professor of Economics and Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee
Jade Star Lackey, Associate Professor of Geology
Hans Rindisbacher, Professor of German
Kenneth Baxter Wolf, John Sutton Miner Professor of History and Professor of Classics
Avis Hinkson, VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Robert Goldberg, VP, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer
Christina Ciambriello, Chief of Staff to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Robert Robinson, AVP for Facilities and Campus Services
Pritina Irvin, Coordinator, Office of Alumni and Family Engagement
Alexis Reyes, Assistant Director of Sustainability and Chair of the Staff Council
Selena Gomez, class of 2022
Nathan Tran, class of 2023