|Dear Members of the Fordham Community:
This has been a difficult year for the campus community, and for our families. Many of us have lost loved ones, and at best, it has been a year of strain and dislocation for everyone: what the U.S. National Intelligence Council has called “the most significant, singular global disruption since World War II.” As I write this, however, we see a path to the end of the pandemic. That path is vaccination.
While the end is in sight, the pandemic is not completely behind us: the B.1.1.7 strain of COVID-19 is now the dominant variant in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control, and is more contagious than other strains. Vaccination is the best protection against all COVID-19 variants. Therefore the University will require all students—undergraduates and students in graduate and professional schools—to be vaccinated by the opening of the Fall semester (medical and religious accommodations will be considered), and it is the University’s strong expectation that all faculty, staff, and administrators likewise be fully vaccinated on or before the beginning of the Fall semester. The University will offer on-campus vaccinations upon arrival to international students who could not be vaccinated in their home countries.
Our goal is simple and twofold: to provide a COVID-safe environment in which our students, faculty, and staff can pursue our mission; and to help protect the health and safety of our off-campus neighbors. These are not merely Fordham priorities, but a duty as citizens and members of the University community. Pope Francis has said that there is a moral imperative to be vaccinated for the good of the human family at a time of remarkable challenge. We agree.
The University is offering COVID-19 vaccinations at the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses (register at: https://www.Fordham.edu/homepage/7591/Covid-19testingresources). Members of the University community may also be vaccinated at Doctor Urgent Medical Care, at 538 E. Fordham Road, across from the Rose Hill campus near Bathgate Avenue, on a walk-in basis from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Other local vaccine providers are listed below.
I know we all long to return to a normal life, one in which we can connect in person with loved ones, friends, and colleagues. That moment is coming, my friends, and I implore you to hasten its arrival by being vaccinated as soon as you can, and by observing masking and social distancing precautions as long as public health authorities deem them necessary.
I very much look forward to seeing you all in person in September. Until then, know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers daily.
Joseph M. McShane, S.J.