Student COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

Purpose

In accordance with Colby-Sawyer College's duty to provide and maintain a campus that is free of known hazards, we are adopting this policy to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our students and visitors, and the community at large from the risk of COVID-19, which has been demonstrated to be reduced by vaccination. This policy complies with all applicable laws and is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health authorities, as applicable.

Scope

All students are required to receive a full course of COVID-19 vaccination by Aug. 1, 2021, unless a request for an exemption based on medical condition or religious belief is approved. Students who choose not to be immunized and who do not receive an approved medical exemption or religious belief exemption will not be permitted to attend in-person classes or events and will not be able to access campus grounds or facilities, including housing. The option to attend in-person classes remotely will not be available.

Procedures

Colby-Sawyer has provided on-site and off-site access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Students who would like to sign up for a vaccine appointment may do so by using the New Hampshire state website at www.vaccines.nh.gov.

Students are expected to use the Student COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation & Exemption Form to upload either a copy of their vaccination card or a Medical/Religious Request for Exemption.

Proof of Vaccination

Students who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 must upload a copy of their vaccination card using the Student COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation & Exemption Form. Only official CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Cards that have been issued by approved vaccination sites will be accepted as proof of vaccination. Please note that submitting falsified documentation is a violation of college policy and that the unauthorized use of the seal of an official government agency such as HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a federal crime.

Reasonable Accommodation

Students in need of an exemption from this policy for a medical reason or because of a sincerely held religious belief must submit a completed request for exemption form available by accessing the Student COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation & Exemption Form. Exceptions will be granted, at the discretion of the college, only where they do not cause Colby-Sawyer undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

Medical Request for Exemption: Students in need of an exemption from this policy for a medical reason must submit a completed Medical Request for Exemption form, available by accessing the Student COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation & Exemption Form, as well as any supporting documentation from a medical doctor, no later than Aug. 1, 2021.  The request will be reviewed by a member of the Baird Health and Counseling Center, who will reply to the requestor when a determination has been made.

Students who have received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine but will not be fully vaccinated before Aug. 1, 2021, should submit a completed Temporary Exemption form available by accessing the Student COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation & Exemption Form, explaining their circumstances and projected date to be fully vaccinated. Students who intend to receive the vaccine but are currently unable to because they have been treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma and must wait 90 days before receiving the vaccine should also submit a completed Medical Request for Exemption form explaining their circumstances and projected date to be fully vaccinated.

Religious Request for Exemption: Students who are requesting a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine should submit a completed Religious Exemption Request form, available by accessing the  Student COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation & Exemption Form as well as any supporting documentation, no later than Aug. 1, 2021. The request will be reviewed by a member of the Baird Health and Counseling Center, who will reply to the requestor when a determination has been made.

Any student who receives an exemption may be subject to COVID‑19 testing and/or other COVID‑19 public health measures including, but not limited to mask usage, social distancing, alternate housing and other appropriate measures. 

Acceptable COVID-19 Vaccines

Colby-Sawyer will accept proof of any COVID-19 vaccine that was authorized for emergency use in the United States at the time of administration in 2020-2021. For COVID-19 vaccinations requiring two doses, students must have received both doses of the vaccine to meet the requirement. Proof of vaccination will also be required for anyone with a prior diagnosis of COVID‑19. Colby-Sawyer will work with any international students who may have received a vaccine that is not approved for use in the United States.

Expectations for Students with Medical, Religious or Temporary Exemptions

Because unvaccinated students are at much greater risk than those vaccinated against the virus, the college is acting on guidance from state public health officials and taking precautions that will help identify and isolate cases early. For that reason, individuals who are granted medical, religious or temporary vaccination exemptions will be required to adhere to the following guidelines while on campus until fully vaccinated:

  • Complete Daily Wellness Checks.
  • Use face masks in college buildings other than one’s assigned residence hall room when alone or with roommate(s).
  • Use face mask out of doors when in close contact with another person (known or unknown).
  • Adhere to local guidance on wearing mask if unvaccinated when on off-campus property.
  • Participate in weekly surveillance testing when directed to do so by the Baird Health and Counseling Center.
  • Report symptoms and/or positive diagnosis for COVID-19 to the Baird Health and Counseling Center immediately.
  • Practice enhanced hygiene measures such as frequent handwashing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use of a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.

In addition, individuals who are granted medical, religious or temporary vaccination exemptions should understand that:

  • One may be required to vacate campus immediately and at one’s own expense if diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • One may be required to vacate the campus or relocate as directed if other individuals become ill with COVID-19 or if COVID-19 positivity rates indicate such action is necessary. 
  •  Housing and board fees will not be returned during a medically necessitated absence from campus due to COVID-19.

Colby-Sawyer College reserves the right to modify this policy at any time in accordance with changing public health guidance or directives, best practices and/or college needs.

If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the CDC website

For Colby-Sawyer related questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination policy, please contact covidvaccine@colby-sawyer.edu.