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Clarification on staff vaccination mandate - Aug. 20, 2021
Dear SAISD Staff:
I want to thank you for your support of our district’s efforts to protect students, parents and staff with the safest environment possible while we continue to educate our students. I received questions about the requirement for all staff to be fully vaccinated and want to provide clarification. As I stated at the Board meeting on Aug. 16, it is the district’s informed expectation that the vaccines that have been available since March of this year and have been received by about 90% of our employees will be fully approved by the federal government well before Oct. 15, 2021. I announced the requirement to be fully vaccinated with the required doses by Oct. 15, 2021 to provide an incentive to all employees not already vaccinated to complete the process. As I stated at the Board meeting, should the vaccines not be fully FDA approved within the timeline I have set, I will reassess the situation regarding a requirement to be fully vaccinated. Let me be clear, I will not compel any staff member to be vaccinated until the vaccines are fully approved by the FDA. If FDA has not approved the vaccines by Sept. 10, 2021, I will revise the deadline to allow employees to obtain an FDA fully approved vaccine in a timely manner.  

However, we strongly encourage you to be vaccinated as soon as possible. The vaccines have shown themselves to be safe and effective with few or no serious side effects. We urge you to get the vaccine now, regardless of the status of full approval, as we strongly believe that the best path forward as a school district is for all staff to become vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a profound moment where we can choose to lead by example. By obtaining the vaccine as soon as possible, you can become maximally protected from serious illness and help to protect our community during this serious public health threat.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has confirmed that employers can make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for employees, with some restrictions. If you believe you qualify for an exemption, such as having a qualifying disability that puts you at risk of side effects when receiving vaccinations or having religious objections to vaccines, more information will be forthcoming from Human Resources on how to provide documentation for allowable exemptions. Please be watching for this communication.
We will continue to host vaccination clinics through local health providers at campus, district and other sites, and we will keep you informed of these opportunities. The providers are required to give you information regarding the vaccines including the approval status of the vaccine. You also have the opportunity to provide a current vaccination record as proof that you have already received a COVID-19 vaccination. 

Thank you for your leadership in helping us ensure the safety of all those we hold dear.

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