After much discussion and debate, and in consultation with the Virgin Islands Department of Health, the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees voted on Saturday, June 19, to institute mandatory vaccinations for all students and employees.
“This decision was made based on what the Board felt was in the best interest of the entire UVI community,” said UVI President Dr. David Hall. “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on this nation and the world. This virus can be fatal and we have seen those consequences.”
Dr. Hall continued, “Though there are numerous ways in which individuals can protect themselves from the virus, the best scientific evidence demonstrates that the various vaccines are the best protection for individuals and communities.”
Instituting mandatory vaccinations has been a national trend, wherein approximately 500 universities and colleges have also embraced mandatory vaccinations in one form or another.
UVI’s policy does include legally recognized exceptions. The method for applying for these legally recognized exceptions will be provided by legal counsel in the near future. In addition, for Eastern Caribbean students, who do not have ready access to the vaccines, they will be provided their first shot upon arrival and will have to commit to regular testing until they are fully vaccinated.
The effective dates for compliance with the mandatory vaccination requirement are as follows:
Students: Aug. 9, 2021
Staff: Aug. 1, 2021
Faculty: Aug. 11, 2021
If compliance does not occur by the deadline, then employment for staff and faculty will be adversely affected, and for students, attendance for in-person classes will be prohibited. The online courses and degrees that are part of our normal online degree program will remain available for those who choose that form of education. There are a limited number of courses that will be offered in a “hybrid” format, so that remote learning will be possible. However, the University does not have the resources to make every course or degree program available remotely. For more information on UVI’s online degree course-listing, visit www.uvi.edu to see those degrees and courses that will be available online this Fall.
“As the only institution of higher education in the Territory, the University’s mission is to make education accessible to Virgin Islanders,” said Dr. Hall. “Yet, UVI also has a responsibility to create a safe environment for students and employees.”
The University, in conjunction with the Department of Health, will provide, in the near future, the method and procedure for compliance with the policy.
For more information, contact the Public Relations Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (340) 693-1057.