NJIT is latest to require proof of COVID vaccine to return to campus this fall

School, saying it’s matter of safety, is requiring vaccine of all students and school employees

In a decision that is becoming more and more common among higher education institutions in the state, New Jersey Institute of Technology announced Wednesday afternoon that NJIT students, faculty and staff will need to be fully vaccinated to return to campus for the fall semester.

With the decision to mandate COVID vaccinations, NJIT joins a rapidly expanding list of universities across the nation that will be doing the same for the Fall 2021 semester. But, while some universities have thus far limited their COVID vaccination mandates to students, NJIT is requiring all students and employees to provide documentation of their completed vaccination.

Students will be required to upload their completed vaccination card.

For students electing to receive a single-dose vaccination (Johnson & Johnson), the vaccination must be administered at least two weeks prior to the onset of the fall semester or moving into campus housing. If receiving a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) the second dose of vaccination must be completed at least two weeks prior to the onset of the fall semester or moving into campus housing, the school said.

NJIT officials said the school will not provide vaccines.

NJIT joins Rutgers University, Princeton University and others in requiring the vaccine. NJIT President Joel Bloom said the decision was made after much discussion and consideration.

“This decision was made with extensive community feedback and is based upon the recent and continuing expansion of vaccine availability and the scientifically demonstrated efficacy and safety of the vaccines that are available,” he said in a letter to the NJIT community. “As a leading polytechnic university built upon a foundation of scientific and technological innovation, we embrace the opportunity afforded to us as a community through demonstrably safe and effective vaccines.”

Bloom recognized that others may feel differently.

“We recognize that some in our community may still have questions or desire information about COVID vaccines, and we encourage everyone to seek answers from reliable sources,” he said — listing five stories and two videos that discussed the vaccine.

“To learn more about the vaccine approval process, click here or here,” he said. “For information about COVID vaccine safety, watch this video from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. To learn more about the protective benefits and safety of mRNA COVID vaccines, click here. For an explanation of emergency use authorization for vaccines, watch this video produced by the FDA. For a discussion of vaccine myths and facts, click here. For information about COVID vaccines and pregnancy, you can read more here.”

Bloom said those with valid medical reasons precluding vaccination, as well as those with established and sincerely held religious beliefs that preclude receipt of a vaccination, may request an exemption. Such requests must be completed by June 28, 2021, for employees and by two weeks prior to their return to campus for students.