Temple outlines plans for COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Students will be required to receive their first shot of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 10 and their second by Oct. 1.

Temple University announced on August 13 that it will require all students to get their first shot of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 10 and their second dose by Oct. 1. | ALLIE IPPOLITO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University students must receive their first shot of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 10 and their second by Oct. 1, according to an announcement from Student Health Services Senior Director Mark Denys and Associate Vice President Stephanie Ivies.

Student Health Services will host a series of pop-up vaccine clinics on Main Campus starting Aug. 20 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Students can also schedule an appointment to be vaccinated through Student Health Services or at a clinic not affiliated with the university.

Temple only considers students fully vaccinated if they have uploaded their vaccine card to the student health portal, The Temple News reported. If a student has not uploaded their vaccine card to the portal, they will be subjected to “enhanced” weekly testing and restricted from group gatherings, activities and university-sponsored travel, The Temple News reported

Students can apply for waivers to be exempted from the vaccine mandate for religious or medical reasons, but will still be required to comply with the university’s testing program if their application is approved, according to the announcement.

Temple will open three appointment-only testing sites on Main Campus at Mitten Hall, Paley Hall and Morgan Hall, where students will self-administer COVID-19 nasal swab tests and receive results within 12 to 36 hours. Students who have not uploaded their vaccine cards to the student health portal will receive emails with instructions about scheduling testing appointments, according to the announcement.

Vaccinated students who were in close contact with a student who tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to take COVID-19 tests, while unvaccinated students will be required to quarantine, including being kept from attending in-person classes. Isolation housing will be available at Johnson Hall, according to the announcement.

Students who do not comply with Temple’s COVID-19 policies risk losing access to the university’s buildings, suspension or expulsion, according to the announcement.

“We believe the strongest defense against the virus is the COVID-19 vaccine,” Denys and Ives wrote in the announcement. “These vaccines are safe, effective and free.”

Temple released its vaccine mandate plans Friday after the City of Philadelphia announced all health care workers, faculty and students of local colleges and universities must be vaccinated by Oct. 15, The Temple News reported.

Individuals exempt from Philadelphia’s vaccination mandate will be required to receive rapid antigen COVID-19 tests twice a week or a PCR test once a week, double mask while indoors and social-distance, The Temple News reported. If an institution reaches a 90 percent vaccination rate, unvaccinated individuals are allowed to forego the routine testing, WHYY reported.

As of Aug. 13, more than 859,000 Philadelphians have been fully vaccinated, according to the city’s vaccine dashboard

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. 

On Thursday, Philadelphia businesses began requiring all staff and customers to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Philadelphians are also required to wear masks when attending outdoor events with more than 1,000 attendees, The Temple News reported.

On Tuesday, Temple required all students, faculty and staff to wear masks indoors and in enclosed spaces during the fall semester, The Temple News reported.

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