St. Lawrence University mandates COVID-19 vaccines for all employees

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Photo: St. Lawrence University

CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Employees at St. Lawrence University are now required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

All St. Lawrence University employees will be required to show proof of vaccination by September 29, 2021. This new policy was shared with University employees on August 19 in an email from St. Lawrence’s senior staff members.

The email stated:

“Implementing a vaccine requirement for employees has been a difficult decision, and we recognize that there are many perspectives on the issue. However, vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect our community against COVID-19. With the number of cases increasing rapidly across the country and the much more contagious Delta variant, this requirement prioritizes the health and safety of our community. Earlier this week, The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York has also recommended all college and university campuses to strongly consider a mandatory vaccination program for all in-person students, faculty, and staff.”

As stated in the new policy, accepted vaccines include the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. This policy also applies to remote, part-time and temporary employees. New hires starting after September 1 are required to start their immunization by the first day of employment.

For international employees, St. Lawrence University will accept vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization. This include the AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinopharm and Comirnaty vaccines. This list will be updated as new vaccines are approved.

Some exemptions will be accepted for medical and religious reasons. Employees must provide sufficient documentation from a medical provider and complete exemption forms online. Exemptions are due by August 26.

Those who do not receive the vaccine, or provide proper exemption, will have their employment terminated by the university. SLU confirmed that their separation from employment will be considered a “voluntary resignation.”

The University previously hinted at a vaccine mandate earlier in August. On August 9, SLU senior staff sent a message to employees, making them aware that a vaccination policy was under consideration. Employees were then asked to submit feedback anonymously and attend Q & A sessions.

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