President-Chancellor Belton announces COVID-19 vaccine protocols
August 24, 2021
Greetings Southern University Family,
This semester, more than ever before, we are particularly excited to welcome you back to Southern University! Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our university community has maintained a steadfast commitment to safety and wellness. As we manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to need your assistance and support.
As you are aware, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, and it is anticipated that the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be approved by the FDA in the near future. Due to these recent changes, the Southern University System will add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of immunizations required for admission to any Southern University System campus.
As such, all students will have to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination prior to the Spring 2022 pre-registration period. Students may be eligible to opt out by completing and submitting the necessary forms. In the coming days, you will receive instructions on how to submit proof of vaccination or to opt out.
Additionally, we are also requiring faculty and staff to show proof of vaccination. Within days, you too will be able to upload correlating documents, along with the opportunity to opt out. Details and instructions will be communicated via campus email accounts.
COVID-19 vaccinations remain the safest and most effective defense against the virus and its variants. Therefore, I strongly encourage each of you to get vaccinated to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and our campus community. It is important to note, that our campuses will be instituting a required testing program for members of our community who are not vaccinated, choose to opt out, or those who simply do not report their vaccination information.
All campuses have made the necessary provisions for all faculty, staff and students to have immediate access to both testing and vaccination sites. Please contact your campus Office of Student Affairs (students) or Human Resources (employees) for campus specific testing and vaccination information.
To encourage vaccinations across our System, all campuses are gearing up for special vaccination drives, along with current incentives for receiving one of the three COVID-19 vaccines. Students are now eligible to receive a $100 gift card through the statewide vaccination campaign for college students, Shot for 100, and faculty and staff will have the opportunity to take advantage of other incentives throughout the semester, provided you are vaccinated.
The Southern University System remains committed to providing the safest possible environment and we encourage all students, faculty, and staff to take the necessary precautions to ensure optimal safety. Please be advised that the System-wide campus mask mandate remains in effect, and all campuses are continuing to institute COVID-19 protocols to maintain a safe environment.
I am grateful for your adherence to our campus preventive measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, and ask for your continued patience and flexibility over the coming weeks as we continue to adjust based upon the most recent guidance. Again, the health and safety of our university community will be at the heart of our decision-making, and I appreciate the positive response to our Southern Family COVID-19 protocols thus far.
Ray L. Belton, Ph.D.