President David Wilson to Form Vaccination Management Team to Oversee Campus-wide Effort
BALTIMORE — Morgan State University President David K. Wilson today announced the University’s decision to require all faculty, staff and students to have received a full vaccination by August 1, 2021, before the start of the fall semester. The decision comes as University officials continue planning for a full campus reopening in the fall and pursuing all available measures to impede any potential spread of COVID-19 and its variants to create a safer campus community. In this effort, President Wilson will be forming a Vaccination Management Team tasked with putting forth a comprehensive plan for managing the process.
“After careful consideration, extensive internal and external consultation and supportive feedback from a myriad of members from within our Morgan community, the best path forward to a return to normalcy is to require everyone within our community to get vaccinated,” said President Wilson. “The science is credible; vaccinations are the only way that we are going to achieve herd immunity, and everyone must be a part of that solution. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through these challenging times together, with the safety of the greater community at mind.”
Morgan serves nearly 8,000 students with more than 2,200 faculty and staff dedicated to campus operations and academic instruction. Everyone working on the campus, attending in-person classes or living in residence halls will be required to be fully vaccinated before their physical return to campus. There will be an opportunity for exemption based on religious or medical reasons. The vaccination requirement will not eliminate or lessen other required health safety measures such as mandatory mask wearing on campus and social distancing.
To manage and oversee this process, President Wilson is appointing a special Vaccination Management Team. The team will be responsible for formulating the University’s plan for required vaccines for all. Included within this comprehensive plan, there will be definitive guidelines, timelines, implementation strategy, verification process, enforcement and practical recommendations for campus visitors. More details will be shared as they become available and the University will be diligently communicating and sharing messaging around this issue to assuage any concerns surrounding hesitancy, efficacy and/or misinformation.
This week, Morgan announced its selection as a Community Vaccination Site. Beginning April 30, the Maryland Department of Health and clinical partner Privia Medical Group will offer up to 390 doses per day of the Pfizer vaccine during weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) on Morgan’s campus. Students, faculty and staff, who have yet to receive the vaccine, are encouraged to take advantage of this convenience.
Before making this important decision, President Wilson engaged student, faculty and administrative leaders representing all corners of the institution, for feedback or concerns. Included among which were Morgan’s own School of Community Health and Policy faculty and researchers who have been leading the University’s responses to COVID-19 and reopening plans. The University has also relied on science-based guidance from external health officials regarding the vaccine’s efficacy in reducing the spread of COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick, as well as significantly reducing the severity of illness, and people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some of the things that they had stopped doing because of the Pandemic.
“If we are serious about coming back together in the fall as a community and returning to near full operations, we have to remove all doubts about safety,” said Wilson. “And requiring that everyone on campus is fully vaccinated places us in a stronger position to do so.”
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering nearly 120 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.