Vaccine Policy

Dear Students,   

There are many reasons you chose to pursue a life dedicated to healthcare—making a real difference in the lives of others and your community likely tops that list.   

As an organization dedicated to graduating exceptional veterinarians and healthcare professionals, the health and well-being of all our students, colleagues and our community are the top priority for us. To ensure we’re doing our part to prevent the spread of  COVID-19 as variants emerge and cases start to rise once again, we’re adopting a new policy requiring students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 30, 2021. By fully vaccinated we mean you have had your single (J&J) dose or two doses. Please see policy for details on exceptions and fully remote students. Before that date, you’ll need to submit your proof of COVID-19 vaccination to us via RUSVM Safe App. Stay tuned for a communication on how and when you can begin uploading your proof of vaccination.   

Why We’re Implementing This New Policy   

RUSVM’s new vaccination policy was created based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other local administrative or governmental agencies and ministries—and with the health and well-being of our students and colleagues top of mind.  

As we plan our full return to more traditional in-person learning environments, clinicals and other in-person activities for the fall semester, it's crucial we do our part to protect ourselves, our family members and others from transmitting COVID-19. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can help us do so—and it can help you keep the communities you serve healthier and safer.    

We understand accessibility of vaccines may be challenging for those not residing in the US, and we recommend you get your vaccination as soon as possible. Also, keep in mind that many students who have upcoming trips to the US are using that time to get vaccinated—you may want to consider doing the same.   

Already Vaccinated?   

Based on the feedback we received from the Vaccination Survey we sent last month, we realize—and greatly appreciate—that many of our students are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part to keep our communities healthy! When the time comes, you’ll be all set to submit your proof of vaccination via RUSVM Safe App.  
 
Benefits of Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine  

There are many reasons to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some key points to consider:  

  • According to the CDC, vaccines are safe and effective and were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC (Viewed July 2021)   
  • COVID-19 has caused a lot of severe illness, hospitalization, and death. It’s our social responsibility as healthcare students, providers, and educators to prevent the spread—and getting the vaccine is the most effective way to block transmission of COVID-19 between you and the community.  
  • The governments of St. Kitts and Nevis are aiming to get 70% of the total island population vaccinated against COVID-19—and we’re almost there. Government of St. Kitts and Nevis – COVID-19 Updates (Viewed July 2021)     
  • Once you’re vaccinated, you may be able to start doing more of the activities you couldn’t do since the pandemic began (depending on local guidelines and restrictions).    

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with this new policy. You can reach out to Student Services at  StudentExperience@rossvet.edu.kn with any questions. Remember, the health and safety of all our students, colleagues , and the community are our top priority. Please help us do our part by getting vaccinated today.  

Thank you, again, for helping to make a real difference in the lives of our communities!    
  
Sincerely,    

Dr. Sean J. Callanan 
MVB CertVR MRCVS PhD FRCPath DiplECVP 
Dean, RUSVM 

VACCINE POLICY
VACCINE INFORMATION: US

In addition to the resources below, you can visit the CDC’s Vaccine Resource webpage, which links to each state’s vaccine resources.  

Nationwide:   

VACCINE INFORMATION: INTERNATIONAL

GENERAL FAQS

Why is Adtalem Global Education and its institutions adopting a COVID-19 vaccination policy for students and colleagues?

The decision to require vaccinations is not one we made lightly; however, overwhelming scientific evidence has shown that vaccines are safe and effective at reducing transmission of the virus. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA).  

More than 160 million people in the United States alone have received COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for emergency use by the FDA. These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in US history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. 

What is the COVID-19 vaccination policy?

Consistent with the CDC and WHO’s guidance, to prevent the infection and spread of COVID-19, and as an integral part of its public health and safety measures, Adtalem and its institutions require that all students, faculty and staff be fully vaccinated, meaning you have had your single (J&J) dose or two doses, against COVID-19. Proof of the COVID-19 vaccination will be required to be submitted to Adtalem and/or its institutions, where permitted by local law, unless an exemption accommodation from this policy has been granted. 

To request an exemption or accommodation, please contact the following: 

What is the deadline for submitting my proof of vaccination? 

RUSVM students must submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination via the Safe App by September 30, 2021.

What guidance is this policy based on?

This policy is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other local administrative or governmental agencies and ministries, and is designed to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws.

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated” in the policy?

In the case of this COVID-19 vaccination policy, it means you have had a single-dose vaccine (such as J&J) or two-dose vaccine (such as Pfizer, Moderna or Oxford-AstraZeneca) and it has been 14 days since your final vaccine. If you have received the first dose and are scheduled to receive the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or it has been less than 14 days since your last vaccine by the deadline to submit proof, you should contact the following: 

  • For Colleagues: Please contact the Coaching Resource Center immediately at crc@adtalem.com. By providing proof of your first dose and proof of scheduling the second dose, they will advise you about approving an extension to the deadline. 
  • For Students: Please contact the Office of Equity and Access immediately at equity@adtalem.com. By providing proof of your first dose and proof of scheduling the second dose, they will advise you about approving an extension to the deadline. 
Isn’t requiring vaccines illegal?

Mandating vaccines as a condition to employment or attendance at an education institution is legal. Adtalem’s mandatory vaccination policy is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other local administrative or governmental agencies and ministries, and is designed to comply with all applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws in all countries in which we operate. If your country, province, state or local area does not permit required vaccines, or proof of vaccination, you may find that information in the policy. 

If the president of the U.S. and some other world leaders say they don’t believe in making vaccinations mandatory, why are we?

The decision to require vaccinations is not one we made lightly; however, scientific evidence has shown that vaccines are safe and effective at reducing transmission of the virus. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) and/or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA).

More than 160 million people in the United States alone have received COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for emergency use by the FDA. These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in US history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

 Is asking for proof of vaccination a HIPAA violation? 

No. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has protections for patients’ confidential health information, but it covers what your healthcare provider can share with others, rather than what employers and education institutions can ask for from you. Similarly, we have ensured that our process complies with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and all other relevant privacy laws in all countries in which we operate.

For states/locales where mandated disclosure of vaccination is not permitted, am I required to submit proof of vaccination?

In locations where mandated disclosure is not permitted, such as Florida, you may volunteer to provide proof of vaccination. If you choose not to volunteer such proof, you will be required to wear a mask while on Adtalem’s premises and to otherwise adhere to all other COVID-19 safety measures, as communicated by Adtalem and/or your institution.

Which vaccines are allowable to satisfy this requirement?  

Per the policy, any FDA or WHO Emergency Use Authorization-approved, or fully approved, COVID-19 vaccine.

Why is Adtalem doing this before the FDA, or other government agencies in other countries, has fully approved the vaccines? 

Mandating vaccinations is not a decision we made lightly; however, overwhelming scientific evidence has shown that these vaccines are safe and effective at reducing transmission of the virus. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). As a leader in healthcare education, it’s important we do our part to stop the spread and risk of COVID-19.

If I am fully vaccinated, will I still have to follow certain COVID-19 prevention measures, such as face mask or social distancing requirements?

Fully vaccinated (in this case defined as two weeks after the second dose in a two-dose series, such as Pfizer, Oxford-AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine) individuals may be exempt from complying with certain COVID-19 prevention measures, such as face mask or social distancing requirements, unless otherwise required by applicable federal, state/provincial, and local law. Specific requirements and exemptions will be communicated to you by your institution.

If I already had COVID-19 or can show proof of antibodies, do I still need to be vaccinated?

 Students and employees are required to be fully vaccinated, regardless of having contracted COVID-19 in the past. 

Will boosters be required? 

As recommendations from the CDC, WHO and other governing bodies and agencies evolve, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine reserves the right to modify this policy at any time in its sole discretion to adapt to changing circumstances and business needs, consistent with its commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.

Do I still need to complete the Safe App every day I come onsite after I am vaccinated? 

Once you have been fully vaccinated, there is no need to complete the daily self-assessment in the Safe App. You will be asked daily upon entry to the campus or work location to display the green QR code indicating that you are fully vaccinated.

VACCINE REQUIREMENTS

What happens if I am not fully vaccinated by the deadline Adtalem and its institutions have provided? 

Students who choose not to meet this COVID-19 vaccine requirement and do not receive an exemption may be barred from entering the campus, utilizing student housing, attending or participating in University-sponsored activities, and/or beginning their clinical rotation or clinical practicum (subject to reasonable accommodation and other requirements of applicable federal, state, and local law). Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine also reserves the right to facilitate a withdrawal or dismissal for noncompliance with this policy. 

VACCINE ADMINISTRATION

How and where do I schedule a COVID-19 vaccine?

You are responsible for scheduling and obtaining all recommended doses of an FDA or WHO Emergency Use Authorization-approved, or fully approved, COVID-19 vaccine. In the event you are unable to obtain the vaccine due to your physical location or health reasons, you will need to follow the Accommodation and Exemption Request Process. I can help walk you through the process of submitting an accommodation or exemption request. 

I am getting the vaccine, but I won’t have both doses by the deadline. What do I do? 

Please contact the Office of Equity and Access at equity@adtalem.com with proof of your first dose and proof of scheduling the second dose. They will advise you about approving an extension to be fully vaccinated. 

ACCOMMODATION AND EXEMPTION REQUESTS

What does the disability accommodation policy entail and how do I apply?

The disability accommodation policy provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities that enable them to perform their job or student duties. Reasonable accommodation may include appropriate adjustment or modifications of policies, including this Mandatory Vaccination Policy. 

If you believe you need an accommodation regarding this policy because of a disability, you are responsible for requesting a reasonable accommodation from the institution or program’s disability services provider. The Office of Student Disability Services can be reached at 855.229.0848 or the appropriate email address below to begin the request process. Please note documentation will be required as part of the process. 

rossvetosds@adtalem.com 

What does the religious accommodation entail and how do I apply?

Adtalem Global Education and its institutions provide reasonable accommodations, to students with sincerely held religious beliefs, or practices that conflict with getting vaccinated or receiving the type of vaccine currently available. 

If you believe you need an accommodation regarding this policy because of your sincerely held religious belief, you are responsible for requesting a reasonable accommodation from the Office of Equity and Access at equity@adtalem.com. Please note documentation will be required as part of the process

What does exemption for access reasons include?

 Exemptions for students who are unable to access the vaccine may be available on a case-by-case basis. Students requesting an exemption are required to provide supporting documentation outlining why their circumstances prevent them from obtaining a vaccine to equity@adtalem.com at least two weeks prior to the vaccination deadline for your institution. For exemption requests not related to health conditions, students are required to upload a personal statement, along with the exemption form. Students receiving a vaccination exemption may be required to participate in increased levels of COVID-19 testing, masking and quarantine/isolation procedures.

I have philosophical objections to getting vaccinated. 

In the United Kingdom, and some other countries, this may be an area you should discuss with the Office of Equity and Access at equity@adtalem.com. In the United States, this is not a valid basis of declining to get the vaccine.

How are determinations on exceptions made?

Adtalem and its institutions make determinations about requested accommodations and exemptions on a case-by-case basis considering various factors and based on an individualized assessment in each situation. Adtalem and its Institutions strive to make these determinations expeditiously and in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner and will inform you after we make a determination.

PROOF OF VACCINATION

Where do I provide proof of vaccination?

Where permitted by local law (except as stated in the exception chart included in the policy), you must provide proof of vaccination from the vaccine administrator or a CDC-issued vaccination card including the vaccination place, date(s), and name via Safe App. Please do not include any medical or genetic information with your proof of vaccination. Rest assured that we will keep your vaccination information confidential. Stay tuned for a communication on how and when you can begin uploading your proof of vaccination.

I lost my vaccine card. What do I do? 

Contact the Office of Equity and Access at equity@adtalem.com and make arrangements with the government agency, company or store at which you were vaccinated to obtain another copy of your proof of vaccination.   

Student helps a sea turtle in the ocean
EARN YOUR DVM DEGREE FROM ROSS VET

Your opportunity of a lifetime awaits by applying today.