As we enter the summer season and a new normal as the city starts to open back up, it is important for us to pause and check in with ourselves. The last year and a half have been intense in so many different ways for all of us. The university as a whole rose to the challenge of handling everything that attends operating a university during a pandemic, and I am extremely proud of the hard work, innovation and dedication of our division. I hope staff members are able to take time, whatever that may look like, this summer to rest and recharge.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how our individual health impacts the health of our community. Consistent with its student vaccine requirement, Vanderbilt announced on May 25 that all Vanderbilt-employed faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for the 2021-22 academic school year. Additional guidance was released on June 9. The deadline for faculty, staff and postdocs to submit their full vaccination record is July 31. Accommodations for medical or religious exemptions can be requested through the Equal Opportunity and Access office.
The university has also announced it will host free walk-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics for faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows. If you are unable to go to one of the on-campus clinics, we encourage you to find other options through vaccinefinder.org.
I understand that many people have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. VUMC has a wide variety of resources on the vaccine and answers to common questions. The Division of Administration also partnered with a Vanderbilt student-led initiative to drive greater awareness within the university community on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccinations. Read more about and watch the video with Dr. William Schaffner below.
Once you receive your vaccination:
- Please immediately take a picture of your vaccination card in case you lose the original.
- Submit your vaccine record. You can read more about the submittal process below and who to contact if you should need assistance with the submittal.
In addition, as an opportunity to thank those who submit their vaccination record early, the university will conduct a drawing for 25 staff and postdocs from across the university who submit their vaccination records by 8 a.m. on July 19 to receive $1,000 each. Be sure to enter your vaccination records prior to July 19 for a chance at the drawing. Vanderbilt continues to monitor public health guidance and rely on experts, including the CDC, Metro Public Health, and our leaders at VUMC and the school of nursing, to shape our plans. The university, for instance, recently announced modified COVID-19 protocols surrounding masking, gathering size, off-campus activities and campus visits. I encourage you to regularly check Vanderbilt’s health and safety protocols website for the latest information, in addition to important updates that will be sent directly to you.
Again, I commend you for the way you stepped up and anchored down, making it possible for the university to continue its mission of teaching, research and discovery in the midst of a global pandemic.
Vice Chancellor for Administration
BENEFITS OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE WITH DR. SCHAFFNER
Noah Lustbader, a first-year student and vice president of the Vanderbilt Initiative for Public Health Equality, reached out earlier this spring to the Division of Administration about student interest in making a difference by helping to provide education about the vaccines to staff and others on campus. Of particular concern might be staff who are not able to be in front of a computer frequently to access information.
Lustbader and the other students then reached out to Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of health policy and professor of preventive medicine, who is an internationally renowned infectious disease specialist. He was happy to sit down with the students to offer his expert insight and commentary on COVID-19 and common misconceptions about vaccines.
In the informative video, Schaffner discusses the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations and dispels inaccuracies that could be causing vaccine hesitation within the Vanderbilt and broader community. Schaffner also explains the reasons for maintaining health and safety protocols at this time. I encourage you to watch the video.
CAMPUS VACCINATION CLINICS
The university is hosting no-cost walk-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics starting in early June for university-employed faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows. The first/second dose Pfizer vaccine is available to anyone over age 18, and no appointment is necessary. Vaccines will be offered in two-hour blocks, with morning and afternoon options to accommodate most schedules.
Those receiving their vaccine will need to bring their Vanderbilt University ID. A vaccination card reflecting a completed first dose is required for all individuals seeking a second dose only.
Upcoming clinic schedules are below.
July 7 or 14
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (461 21st Ave S) living room and atrium
July 8 or 15
David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center (2700 Children’s Way) demo kitchen
SUBMIT YOUR VACCINATION RECORD
After receiving your vaccine, be sure to submit your vaccination record to the Public Health Central Command Center. Staff, including those who received their vaccine from Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic, must submit their vaccination records using the vaccine tracker. The vaccine tracker is password-protected and confidential so that your information is safe.
To submit your vaccination record, please visit the following link. A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses will be needed.
Email your record to the Command Center at firstname.lastname@example.org if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system, and they will upload it for you. The university is currently accepting all World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccines which include Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.
As an opportunity to thank those who submit their vaccination record early, the Division of Administration will conduct a drawing for 25 staff and postdocs from across the university who submit their vaccination records by 8 a.m. on July 19 to receive $1,000 each. Staff who have not yet received their vaccination may visit the free walk-up vaccination clinics taking place on campus in June and July or may find a vaccination site elsewhere in the community. Staff, including those who received their vaccine from Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic, must submit their vaccination record using the university’s vaccine tracker submission form by July 19 to be eligible for the drawing. Winners will be contacted by July 23.