August 30, 2021
To: Faculty and staff
From: President Krista Newkirk and President’s Cabinet
Subject: Update to vaccination exemption policy
In light of the recent full approval granted to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, we are updating the University’s policy. Going forward, exemptions for vaccination requirements will be granted for health, disability, or religious reasons only.
As you know from previous communications (see May 3, June 16, and June 30 memos), the University requires all employees working on-site on a U of R campus to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This vaccination requirement is critical to reducing the spread of the virus and protecting the health of our faculty, staff, and students.
Previously, the University provided an option for faculty and staff to request a temporary exemption for personal/philosophical reasons, with the note that “the President’s Cabinet will reevaluate this exemption when the Emergency Use Authorization is lifted from one or more of the vaccinations.”
Now, with the full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the University is requiring employees who were granted this type of temporary exemption to provide documentation that they have completed a full course of vaccination by Friday, October 29. (Please see the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, pages 4-5, for details on uploading vaccination documentation.) Until fully vaccinated, individuals granted a temporary exemption still need to comply with the weekly surveillance testing requirement. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees with the temporary exemption will be receiving an email from Human Resources indicating that their exemption period is ending. If you fall into this category and wish to speak with someone about your options, please contact your supervisor, Cabinet member, or call Human Resources for assistance.
Thank you to everyone for your efforts to keep our community safe. We appreciate your cooperation and flexibility during this challenging time.