Update to Message of March 30 (April 5, 2021)
To the Campus Community,
I write to follow up my message of March 30, 2021, specifically to provide a correction, a clarification, and strong encouragement.
Correction. In the March 30 message, I erred in saying that COVID-19 vaccines are “authorized for emergency use only.” What I should have said is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees vaccine, quality, safety, and effectiveness, has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines (specifically those made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.) As elaborated here, an EUA facilitates the availability and use of vaccines during public health emergencies.
Clarification. Also in my March 30 message, I indicated that TCNJ is not mandating COVID-19 vaccines issued with an EUA. Much is likely to change between now and the start of the fall term, however. The FDA could give full approval or license to COVID-19 vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech plans to submit its application for full license in April 2021, although FDA has no set timetable for acting on the application. Or, legal analysis could determine that employers may mandate vaccines issued with an EUA. Let me clarify that we continue to study the issue and have not made a final decision on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for students or employees. Recommendations from our Health and Safety Readiness Task Force and our final determination will reflect circumstances and official guidance from the CDC and other authorities.
TCNJ’s COVID-19 Dashboard includes daily updates of confirmed cases both on and off-campus as well as cumulative case totals.