COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Fall 2021 Semester
Dr. Peter Eden, president of Landmark College, sent the following email to the LC community on Friday, May 14, 2021. A similar message was also sent to students and their famillies.
Dear LC Community:
We have a duty to undertake everything possible which we feel leads to student success in our unique learning-living educational model. We recognize how challenging this year has been for our students as well as faculty and staff, and we all know how important it is to return to an operational state which facilitates success and maximizes safety for all members of the LC community. To this end, Landmark College will require all students, faculty, and staff who will be enrolled or employed for fall 2021 semester to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by August 11, 2021. This means they must be 14 days past any final coronavirus vaccination by that date. (This applies to all full-time and part-time employees who will be on campus at any time after August 16, 2021, as that point essentially marks the end of our summer programs.)
Exemptions to this requirement will be permitted for medical reasons, and religious beliefs that oppose immunizations in alignment with the state of Vermont’s regulations and definitions of immunizations (18 V.S.A. § 1122 (a)(2)-(3)).
This decision did not come easily. We turned to all members of the community (students, families, faculty, and staff) for their input regarding this vaccination, their thoughts, wishes, and their plans. After careful consideration of the input and feedback, close study of the science involved, and the emerging trends regarding vaccination requirements at other institutions, the College determined that requiring vaccinations for all students and employees this fall is, simply, the responsible thing to do.
Importantly, and further to above, it is expected that institutions requiring vaccinations will see relief from the more restrictive aspects of state safety guidelines such as many of those we adhered to this year. We know that everyone here wants to return to “normal” on campus, and this is a very big step in that direction.
We also know that there will be many questions regarding this policy, the issue of compliance, the various advantages individuals and the entire community will realize, etc.; therefore, the CIRT is crafting responses to anticipated questions from our community members. We expect to provide such additional details early next week, likely prior to our Community Meeting on Tuesday, May 18, at 12:15 p.m., as that can provide a forum for discussion about this decision.
We appreciate the hard work, patience, and understanding of the LC community during this continuing public health crisis.
P. Eden, Ph.D