Dear Members of the Seminary Community,
The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread with various permutations of symptoms and emerging variants of the virus. New vaccines offer signs of a hopeful end to the pandemic. Today, I write to inform you that the Dean’s COVID-19 task force is developing a mandatory vaccination policy in an effort to preserve the health and wellbeing of our seminary community and to mitigate community spread of the coronavirus.
Once vaccines are widely available and accessible to all members of our community, Southwest intends to adopt and implement a policy requiring all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated. The policy will provide an exemption, upon written application, for persons whose medical condition or sincerely held religious beliefs preclude them from being vaccinated.
Southwest’s vaccination policy will not go into effect until COVID-19 vaccines are readily available in the Austin area. The effective date of this policy will be separately announced at a later time and it will include a copy of the adopted policy for your information.
Currently, the state of Texas allows persons in groups 1-A and 1-B to be vaccinated. The eligibility criteria can be found for these two groups in the preceding links. If you fall into either of these categories, you can find a statewide vaccine hub provider here.
In Austin, there are two vaccine hub providers and their online preregistration forms are here:
I urge you to preregister on both of these sites or wherever else it may be most convenient for you. If you are unsure about the vaccine, please contact your medical provider for appropriate guidance.
The seminary is exploring options for a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus. If a campus clinic should eventuate, I will inform you. Meanwhile, visit the City of Austin’s COVID-19 website for additional information about COVID-19 vaccine and testing.
The state has yet to issue guidelines informing which populations will be in the next priority groups. This information will be communicated to you once it is released by a local public health authority.
As we approach the one-year mark of this unusual global pandemic, each of us responds with mixed emotions. Southwest is a resilient community. Your participation in caring for your friends and colleagues on this campus is immeasurable.
Please reach out to me should you have any questions about today’s announcement.
FREDERICK L. CLEMENT
Executive Vice President & CFO