As previously announced on July 20, the NWIC COVID-19 Vaccination Policy was approved during the authorized emergency use period by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), with full approval pending at that time. This emergency use period meant that the Personal Declination form was an option for employees who chose not to provide proof of vaccination (such as a COVID-19 vaccination record card) or a documented medical or religious exemption, per the policy. Additionally, the vaccination policy also stated that the Personal Declination Form would be nullified when the FDA fully approves at least one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
On Monday, August 23, 2021, the FDA announced full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Although anticipated, the FDA’s full approval came sooner than expected.
Now that the FDA has fully approved one of the vaccines, this means that any personal declination forms previously submitted are now nullified, per the policy. Secondly, employees who previously submitted personal declination forms now have until Friday, Sept. 3 to submit proof of vaccination or a medical or religious exemption documentation per the policy. Please contact the HR Office for more information.
As a reminder, the deadlines related to the Vaccination Policy remain the same: proof of vaccination or medical or religious exemptions were due to HR by Monday, August, 30, 2021, or Wed. Sept. 1 at the latest. Any employee who has not submitted proof of vaccination or a medical or religious exemption documentation will be considered non-compliant, resulting in leave without pay, until compliance is verified, per the policy.
It is also important to note that on August 17, the LIBC approved a vaccination mandate for the Lummi Nation. See attached resolution.
Consistent with the guidance received from the Lummi Public Health Team, LIBC and the CDC, the College is taking this important step because vaccines are a safe and effective tool against severe illness and to help maintain the health and safety and well-being of the College community. Masks and social distancing requirements on campus are also expected to be continued until further notice.
The College’s revised COVID-19 Safe Reopening Plan guidelines and Safety Procedure for Campus Operations are currently under review and is expected to be distributed by the end of the week.
I know we’re now approaching 18 months enduring this pandemic, and we’re all experiencing a level of COVID-19 fatigue and related mental and emotional toll, but I encourage us to never lose hope, lend a helping hand or offer a listening ear to each other, and continue to do our part to reduce the spread of the virus and ultimately bring an end to this pandemic.
Please see ‘NWIC COVID-19 Vaccination Policy’ and ‘LIBC Vaccination Mandate’ below: