Mahoney encourages campus community to upload proof of vaccination

Students and staff may be exempt from mandatory COVID-19 tests if they show proof of vaccination

SF State’s Student Health Services sent an email Thursday that urged students to upload their proof of vaccination before Aug. 13 to be exempted from weekly testing during the Fall 2021 semester. and get a chance to win prizes up to $3,700. 

The email is a follow-up to one that President Lynn Mahoney shared with the campus community on Monday, asking students and employees to voluntarily upload proof of vaccination against COVID-19, as it is “unlikely” that the Pfizer vaccine will obtain FDA approval by the start of the fall semester.

Those who enter their vaccination records before the due date can win $3,700 or $1,000 in tuition reimbursements, a $100 online gift card or a smart tablet, said Roger Razzari Elrod, director of Student Health Services, in the email.  

SF State cannot require vaccinations until the California State University system implements a systemwide vaccination policy. The CSU joined the University of California in implementing its policy to “strongly recommend” getting the vaccine, but not enforce it until a vaccine is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. 

According to a press release from the CSU, students, staff and faculty who are accessing campus facilities must be immunized against COVID-19 once the FDA fully approves a vaccine.

The policy implies that unvaccinated individuals or those who do not provide proof of vaccination on campus may be subjected to additional safety measures. 

We are developing an interim plan for campus safety while we await the implementation of the CSU policy,” Mahoney said in the email.  

Mahoney suggested that this plan might include mandatory weekly testing and indoor face coverings for unvaccinated individuals visiting campus until vaccines meet full approval. On Friday, Pfizer-BioNTech announced that the companies have set January 2022 as a goal for the full approval of the vaccine. 

“Given the response we have seen from our residential students and the vaccination rate for those over 18 in the Bay Area, we should have few who need weekly testing,” Mahoney wrote. 

For the upcoming semester, all 3,400 students living on campus already had to upload their vaccination proofs by late last week. As of Monday, 85% of students met the deadline, and 28 students requested to be exempted due to medical or religious reasons.

Students who requested for exemption will be housed differently, according to Bobby King, director of communications for the Office of the President. Residential Life Services did not respond prior to publication.

As of July 22, the university’s PPE inventory includes: over 60,000 masks including N95, KN95, surgical and disposable cloth masks; nearly 5,000 face shields; over 48,000 wipes and other safety products such as goggles and hand sanitizers. 

These items will be restocked as needed and will be available at six safety centers around campus located at the library, Student Services, Mashouf Wellness Center, Facilities Services, Cesar Chavez Student Center and City Eats. 

Currently, the supplies can be obtained from volunteers or gator ambassadors at the buildings. 

Proof of vaccination and exemption requests for medical or religious reasons can be uploaded through SF State’s MyHealth portal, which is hosted through Point and Click, the university’s HIPAA compliant cloud-hosted electronic health records system vendor, said King.