April 7: Vaccine Updates

TO: SJU Community
FROM: Zenobia Hargust, M.S., SPHR, Chief Human Resources Officer; Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost
RE: Vaccine Updates
DATE: April 7, 2021 at 10:37 A.M. 

What You Need To Know:

  • Pennsylvania and Philadelphia County have vaccine guidelines, priority categories and timelines for rollout. One set of information applies to residents of Philadelphia County and the other for the remainder of the Commonwealth’s counties.
  • Both Pennsylvania and Philadelphia published additional information regarding vaccine eligibility schedules, prior to Easter.
  • The University continues to explore options to provide vaccines on campus to our community, but options are limited at this time.
  • The University strongly encourages all community members to be proactive in obtaining any of the three COVID-19 vaccinations if you are eligible to do so.

Prior to the Easter holiday, Pennsylvania published additional information regarding the rollout and eligibility of vaccines for all counties in the Commonwealth with the exception of Philadelphia:

  • On April 5, residents in Phase 1B could begin scheduling appointments.
    • Phase 1B includes education workers and applies to postsecondary faculty and staff who work directly with students.
  • On April 19, all residents will be eligible to start scheduling vaccination appointments.
    • This means that other postsecondary faculty and staff not included under Phase 1B can begin setting up appointments.
    • This also applies to Saint Joseph’s students.

Philadelphia announced that certain groups within its Phase 1C were able to schedule appointments beginning on April 5. Higher education staff residing in Philadelphia are eligible beginning on April 12, with the remainder of Phase 1C. All other city residents over the age of 16 are eligible beginning on April 19.
On-Campus Vaccination Clinic
Our sincere hope is to offer an on-campus vaccination clinic to our community, and possibly our neighbors, prior to the end of the semester with enough time for a full schedule of doses, depending on which vaccine is administered. Setting up a campus vaccination clinic has proven to be a challenge due to the various categories (e.g., 1A, 1B, 1C) our community members fall into and, until recently, the availability of vaccines.  
University Guidance
All community members should be proactive in:  

  • Reviewing eligibility in Philadelphia, surrounding PA counties, and your residential location.
  • Monitoring availability of appointments closely.
  • Getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • Consider voluntary disclosure of your vaccination status to the University. Those who are fully vaccinated follow a different set of quarantine procedures and are not required to participate in surveillance testing.

The University will not require COVID-19 vaccination while the current options are conditionally approved by the FDA. When the vaccines have full approval, the University will reevaluate whether the vaccine will be required for students. As with other vaccinations, employees will not be required to show proof of immunity.
In closing, please do your part in keeping yourself and our community as safe as possible.