Parents, earlier today we sent you an email regarding our COVID-19 vaccination requirements for the 2021-22 school year. St. Andrew’s will require the COVID-19 vaccine for all students for the 2021-22 school year. You can read the email here—the text is also included below—and review a list of vaccine mandate frequently asked question here.
Head of School Elect Joy McGrath ’92 and the school's leadership team are planning for the upcoming school year with the following principles in mind:
- Returning, insofar as possible, to what we think of as the St. Andrew’s experience: an education premised on proximity, connection, and congregation.
- In adjusting to this “new normal,” taking all necessary steps to protect the health of everyone in our community.
- Protecting the most vulnerable in our community, such as individuals who may be immunocompromised or especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and other illnesses, or young children who are not yet able to be vaccinated.
With these principles in mind, St. Andrew’s will require the COVID-19 vaccine for all students for the 2021-22 school year. When the members of our residential community are vaccinated, we protect the health of individuals and allow our school community to achieve these principles. This is the objective not only of our COVID-19 vaccine requirement, but of all our student vaccine requirements (which you can review here).
As you are likely aware, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 12 and older. Research indicates that not only are vaccinated individuals at a dramatically lower risk for contracting COVID-19, they are also much less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others if infected.
Of course, there is still much to be planned and resolved for the upcoming school year. More information about COVID-related policies and an overview of how the school will operate next year will be communicated to you in late July. Your child’s vaccination for COVID-19 is the essential first step in this planning process.
The decision to require vaccines was made in consultation with Dr. Stephen Eppes, Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Christiana Care Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. We are also asking all St. Andrew’s employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Here is what you need to know as you plan for your child’s vaccination:
- Please note that your child must be fully vaccinated (not partially vaccinated) by the time they arrive on campus in August. (Click here to view fall Opening of School dates.) Your child’s arrival at school must be at least fourteen days after a one-dose vaccine, or fourteen days after the second of a two-dose vaccine.
- Once your child is fully vaccinated, please scan or photograph your child’s vaccination card and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If your child was fully vaccinated this spring at our on-campus vaccination clinics, we have a record of their vaccination card on file in the Health Center, and no further action is needed on your part.
- If your child was fully vaccinated this spring, but not at one of our on-campus clinics, please contact the Health Center (email@example.com, 302-285-4240) to confirm that we have a copy of your child’s vaccination card on file.
- If your child received a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at our May 19 on-campus clinic, they will be due for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on or after June 9. The CDC recommends the second dose of Pfizer be given no later than 42 days after the first dose was administered, which means your child should receive their second dose no later than June 30.
- If your child has not yet received any dose of any COVID-19 vaccine, we will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved for use either in the United States or in your home country.
- If you are living outside of the United States this summer and do not have access to a vaccine, St. Andrew’s will coordinate your child’s vaccination after they arrive on campus this fall. Your child will be required to quarantine upon arrival in the United States and follow masking protocols on campus until they are fully vaccinated.
As you plan your summer and your child’s return to school, review the following timelines for each vaccine currently approved for use in the United States:
- Pfizer—two doses, three weeks between each dose, plus two weeks following the second dose before you are considered fully vaccinated—five weeks total.
- Moderna (not yet authorized for use in children under 18)—two doses, four weeks between each dose, plus two weeks following the second dose before you are considered fully vaccinated—six weeks total.
- Johnson & Johnson (not yet authorized for use in children under 18)—one dose, with two weeks following the dose before you are considered fully vaccinated—two weeks total.
Although the Moderna vaccine has not been approved for use in children under 18, we anticipate that authorization will occur this summer.
We are excited about all the possibilities and opportunities that will be afforded to our community when we are fully vaccinated. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Health Services Director Annette Rickolt (firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-285-4200). You can also review a list of vaccine FAQs here.