Checking COVID vaccination cards is a big job at colleges in NJ, but so far it’s working
Students returning to many New Jersey college campuses faced a new requirement this fall – a COVID-19 vaccine.
The requirement was set school by school and 18 of the state’s 48 colleges and universities chose to mandate the shooting, according to University Business.
Since the vaccine is not a requirement for all college students, it is up to the university to set the deadlines and enforce it.
“Vaccination is a matter of personal responsibility, and while the state does not require students to receive the vaccine, we strongly encourage as many people who can get vaccinated to do so to protect the public health of the community in whole, “said a representative of the office of the secretary of higher education. “The decision to impose student immunizations rests with each institutional campus, which has its own process for verifying the immunization status of students. We continue to work closely with our institutional leaders as the fall semester begins and the state continues to navigate this evolving pandemic. “
NJ Advance Media has contacted several colleges and those who responded said they rely on a state database they have access to to check immunization records.
At Rutgers University, the state’s first to require COVID vaccination, Dory Devlin, senior director of media and information relations, said that once students upload their vaccination documents, they are verified by Rutgers Student Health staff.
A representative from Montclair State University, which had 30 cases of COVID in the first two weeks of September, also said its university health center is reviewing all documents submitted by students.
But does that mean that college staff check every single file submitted by the schools’ thousands of students?
Rowan University says, yes.
“There are a lot of staff dedicated to this,” said Joe Cardona of Rowan University. “It lasted all summer. And there was a big crowd the last two weeks before the start of classes.
“There is no other way around this,” Cardona said. “All schools do this.
Rowan, as of September 9, has checked the vaccinations of 14,308 students. Another 1,412 were exempted and 867 did not respond. Its workforce is estimated at 18,400.
Staff at Rowan’s Wellness, Student Life, and other departments enter each student’s name into a state database of vaccine records, the New Jersey Immunization Information System. “We are checking what they gave us against what is in the database,” Cardona said.
All the universities declared that they had not encountered any false vaccination records.
Diane D’Amico, director of information and media relations at the University of Stockton, said if a student was discovered for submitting a fake card it would be considered a violation of the code of conduct.
“Code of conduct sanctions vary, but the student would be removed from classes for violating vaccine requirements,” she said. “They would be immediately abandoned for non-vaccination. A campus hearing panel would determine whether there would also be a suspension or expulsion. If suspended, they should be vaccinated to return. “
Stockton students with approved medical or religious exemptions must complete temperature and symptom checks twice a week, according to the university’s website.
Stockton has had 18 cases of COVID since September 1.
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Allison Pries can be contacted at [email protected].