Requiring COVID-19 Vaccinations for All NYU Employees
Date: June 15, 2021
To: All NYU Employees, Faculty and Staff
From: Katherine Fleming, Provost
Martin Dorph, Exec. Vice President
Carlo Ciotoli, MD, Exec. Lead, COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team
Sabrina Ellis, Vice President for Human Resources
Vaccinations — Safe, Effective, Free, and Much Needed
For our return to campus in fall 2021, vaccination is the single most effective tool we have to safeguard the health of the NYU community, enable us to lift restrictions, and restore the pre-COVID practices, rhythms, and unguarded interactions of campus life. With nearly 140 million Americans fully vaccinated — including at least 35,000 people that we know of so far in the University community — the vaccines have proven themselves to be very safe and highly effective.
A Requirement for NYU Faculty and Employees to be Vaccinated, and Accompanying Deadline
In mid-April, the University announced its intent to require students to be vaccinated before the fall semester, and has since been examining the issue of requiring it of faculty and employees as well.
NYU, like a number of major research universities, has decided to require all faculty (tenured, tenure-track, full-time contract, and adjunct) and employees working at its US campuses and locations to be fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved or WHO-listed vaccine, and to have uploaded proof of vaccination by August 1, 2021.
Given the University’s aim to have high rates of vaccination among its community members by the time the fall semester starts, the current ample availability of vaccination appointments, and the schedule most schools and offices have for the gradual ramp-up of employees as we move toward fall, August 1 seems an appropriate, reasonable date.
We will have in place an exemption process for those with valid reasons such as qualifying medical conditions or religious beliefs. We will also be making provisions for an excused absence for those who feel unwell the day after being vaccinated.
Our Responsibilities to One Another
Many in our community have already been vaccinated; back in the first months of 2021, the questions we confronted most often from faculty and employees were how and how quickly we could connect them to vaccinations.
However, we know that others in our community will have lingering unease about being vaccinated for a variety of reasons, notwithstanding the overwhelming weight of evidence demonstrating vaccination’s benefits, safety, and effectiveness.
We want to be sensitive to those concerns. Nonetheless, we think that universal vaccination is essential to the health of the NYU community — and the neighborhoods and city around us — as well as to the success of the 2021-22 academic year. Perhaps even more importantly, we all need to do our part to help keep each other safe, and getting vaccinated is vital to that.
And so, we are calling on your good will, your appreciation for the weight of scientific evidence and the best counsel of public health figures, and your sense of responsibility to one another as members of this community.
For those who have already been vaccinated, it is important that you upload proof of vaccination as soon as you receive the final dose of your vaccine. That upload will mean you will no longer have to test regularly or quarantine if you are a close contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19 (reminder: these changes come when you are fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks after your final dose of vaccine). It will also give us important data for making public health decisions with respect to our campus.
For those of you who have been planning to get vaccinated but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet, now would be the time. The University provides 4 hours off to be vaccinated (and we can be more accommodating if need be, including allowing an excused absence if you feel ill the day after your vaccination). And there are abundant opportunities (through resources such as this site for NYC, this site for NYS, this site for CT, and this site for NJ) to make a vaccination appointment.
And for those of you who have been trying to decide whether or not to get vaccinated: we need you to please now join with tens of thousands of your fellow NYUers in taking the most important step we can at this time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In order to maintain a high level of health safety for the entire community, those who are unvaccinated will be required to test frequently, will have to continue to take their temperature daily and answer all questions on the Daily Screener, and will likely have to continue to wear masks in University settings.
In the coming weeks, we will hold a webinar on the vaccination requirement to surface and address the questions you may have, including questions about the exemptions process. In addition, we will write again soon with additional details.