Please Review: Vaccination Related Information

Dear Students, 

Over the past several weeks, many of you have started the vaccination process, and some of you are now fully vaccinated. As a College, we are well on our way to vaccinating the vast majority of our community. The next important step is to collect your vaccination information so that we can effectively plan for the fall. Below are some key topics to review related to vaccination.

Upload Your Vaccination Record: If you have received two Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech doses or one Johnson and Johnson dose, please report your vaccinations status by going to the Student Health Portal accessed from the Student Health Services website. Please DO NOT upload your vaccine information into CoVerified–we are using CoVerfied only for faculty and staff vaccination records. In order to be considered vaccinated by the College, you must submit your vaccination information via the Student Health Portal. This applies to all students whether you are remote or on campus.

Second Dose Vaccination Clinic: If you received your first Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on campus on April 20, you will receive your second dose next week on Tuesday, May 11. The vaccine clinic will be in the same location at the Athletic Center and your appointment time will be at the same time as your first dose.    

Recent CDC Recommendations: We are now in an interesting stage of the pandemic—some of our campus community members are vaccinated and others are not. Recently, the CDC released new recommendations on what vaccinated people can consider doing. Here at Conn, we will be largely staying the course for the last two weeks of the semester without major changes in our protocols. This is because many people are not yet fully vaccinated, and we are operating in a congregate setting in which many people are living in close proximity to one another. Our goal is to finish the term without an outbreak that could impact end of the year academic and nonacademic commitments for all of you, as well as Commencement plans for our seniors.

With this in mind, there are two important changes we made to our campus protocols for people who are fully vaccinated.

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you may travel off-campus beyond New London County, and when you return, you do not need to onboard quarantine. You still need to inform your Class Dean by completing this form.  

  • If you are fully vaccinated and you are identified, through contact tracing, as a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19, you will not be required to quarantine. 

In addition, it is important for you to understand the following details about being vaccinated. Please read these items carefully.

  1. When am I considered fully vaccinated? You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after your single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Until you reach the two week mark, your body is building up antibodies and you are therefore not considered fully vaccinated. 

  2. Can I still get infected with and spread COVID-19 after I am vaccinated? The latest data shows that the three vaccines approved in the United States are 100 percent effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization or death but it is NOT 100 percent effective at preventing you from getting sick with COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine is 95 percent effective at preventing illness, the Moderna vaccine is 94 percent effective and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 66 percent effective. This means that you can still contract the virus and potentially spread it. We have already had on our campus a “breakthrough” case in which a person who was fully vaccinated tested positive for COVID-19. We have also heard of other Connecticut institutions and NESCAC colleges that have also had similar cases. It is still unclear if you can spread the virus if you test positive for COVID-19 and are vaccinated, and the protocols therefore still call for at least a ten-day isolation period. 

  3. Can I test positive for COVID-19 as a result of being vaccinated? No, being vaccinated does not lead to a PCR or antigen test showing a positive result.  

  4. Do I still need to wear a mask, socially distance and test on campus? Yes. Given that much of our community is still not fully vaccinated, we must all still wear a mask, socially distance (six feet inside and three feet outside) and test on campus. 

Once again, please report your vaccination status by going to the Student Health Portal accessed from the Student Health Services website. As we plan for the end of the year, the summer and next fall, it is important for us to have this information from you as soon as possible.   

In closing, I am pleased to report that we continue to have a very low prevalence of COVID-19 on campus, thanks to everyone’s attention to the health safety of our campus and the community. This Saturday is Camel Spirit Day—a day to celebrate making it through a challenging year together. If you are part of the testing program, please come join in the fun out on Tempel Green and Chapel Green. We will have food, live music at The Dune, and amusement rides. Let’s enjoy the day together!

Go Camels!

Victor Arcelus
Dean of Students