Vaccination Information

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Masking is an effective mitigation measure, but not nearly as powerful as wide-spread vaccinations. All major health organizations agree that vaccinations are the way to defeat this (or any) pandemic and offer the surest path back to normal.

We continue to strongly encourage vaccination against COVID-19. We encourage employees and students, in consultation with their local health professionals, to be fully vaccinated before the start of the fall semester. If you are still considering getting the vaccine before returning to campus, please do so immediately. Local health providers in Rome should be able to provide second shots as needed.

Our health protocols are informed by national, state and local guidelines and adhere to all local health directives.

Unvaccinated and unverified individuals must adhere to the following protocols:

  • Quarantine for 10 days if exposed to a COVID-positive person;
  • Participation in the college’s ongoing program of random testing;

All students and employees are required to identify their vaccination status before the start of the Fall 2021 semester. Having an accurate picture of the vaccination rates across the campus community will help Berry to evaluate and put forth measured policies in response to any surge in COVID-19 cases. Your response will be confidential, and the form provides an option not to disclose one’s vaccination status.

What is Berry’s position on the COVID-19 vaccination?

Berry strongly encourages vaccination. The vaccine helps protect you from getting COVID-19 and may prevent serious illness if you get infected once you're vaccinated. By getting vaccinated, you can also help protect your family, friends and the Berry community.

We encourage unvaccinated employees and students, in consultation with their personal health professionals, to receive the vaccine this summer in order to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus in August. This means acting now if you have not done so already. International, national, state and local health organizations remain steadfast in their opinion that vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States are safe and have proven effective, even against the new Delta variant.

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the US use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, remember that it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. This means that it is possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination.

If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?

Yes. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated even if you’ve already had COVID-19.

How is Berry handling vaccinated persons?

The college follows state law, local health orders and CDC guidelines for vaccinated persons. Those who choose to provide verification of vaccination have suspended testing requirements and face reduced or eliminated isolation and quarantine requirements.

Varsity Athletics

The NCAA Sports Science Institute released its latest report yesterday and it is consistent with Berry’s current guidelines. The NCAA strongly encourages athletes to be vaccinated and offers different guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated athletes and athletic staff. Several Southern Athletic Association (SAA) campuses have student vaccination rates of approximately 90%. They are rightfully wary of having athletes or visitors on campus who are not vaccinated.

If I am vaccinated, am I still subject to COVID-19 testing requirements?

Consistent with CDC guidance, Berry is suspending random sentinel testing requirements for individuals who verify their vaccination status. In the event of updated CDC guidance, a substantial increase in cases on or around campus, new state or local laws, or in response to identified clusters with the potential for breakout infections, the college may reinstate random sentinel testing for all persons or to require participation in narrowly targeted focus testing.

How does my vaccination status impact masking requirements?

CDC guidance states that unvaccinated persons are to wear masks indoors and when proper distancing isn’t possible outdoors. We expect our employees and students to be familiar with current guidelines and conduct themselves accordingly.

Why does Berry ask employees and students to identify their vaccination status?

The college’s interest in vaccination status is straightforward: an accurate measure of the aggregate vaccination rate on campus promotes our ability to maintain regular operations. Having an accurate picture of vaccination rates allows us to evaluate and put forth measured policy in response to any surge in COVID-19 cases.

Who will have access to my vaccination information?

Access to vaccination information is highly restricted, just as we maintain close control over all health information and student and/or employee records subject to HIPAA and FERPA regulations. Training is required of all persons accessing student and/or employee records.

Will the college accept antibody test results as a substitute for vaccination?

Berry accepts a positive antibody test from a certified laboratory. Rapid antibody tests are not accepted.

Will I be restricted from attending classes, eating in the dining hall, or attending events based on my vaccination status?

No. Please note, however, that external organizations offering internships, student teaching and/or clinical learning opportunities may have different requirements. Contact tracing, isolation and quarantine policies recommended by the CDC and required by local health officials also vary between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and/or whether a person is symptomatic or asymptomatic. Source: CDC Interim Public Health Recommendations for Vaccinated People.

What vaccines does Berry recognize for the purpose of suspending my sentinel testing obligations?

For persons vaccinated in the United States, the college only recognizes vaccines approved for emergency use authorization by the FDA: Pfizer-BionNTech, Moderna, and Jansen (Johnson & Johnson). Consistent with CDC guidelines, for individuals vaccinated outside the United States, Berry also recognizes three additional vaccines approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use: AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

What do I need to verify my vaccination status?

The college will accept any of the following:

  • A copy of a U.S. CDC Vaccination Record Card.
  • Electronic vaccination records where country policy requires the use of electronic documentation via app or health agency site (e.g. UK
  • NHS App, NHS Certificate, Israel Green Pass, EU Digital COVID Certificate).
  • A letter from the medical provider that administered the vaccination which meets the following criteria:
    • The Proof of Vaccination must include the name of the vaccinated person that matches the Berry College ID with the date of birth, the dates of the completed vaccination cycle, the administering physical or medical services provider and the manufacturer of the vaccine issued.
    • The vaccine is recognized by Berry as defined above.
    • You will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days following the end of the vaccination cycle (after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series such as Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson).

Has Berry offered COVID-19 vaccinations to employees and students?

Yes, during the spring 2021 semester, Berry conducted on-campus vaccination clinics with Floyd Medical Center.

Where can I go to learn more about vaccination against COVID-19?


Am I required to provide a negative PCR test result to return to campus this fall if I am fully vaccinated?

Yes. Berry will require ALL students and employees to provide a negative PCR test result prior to reentering campus, attending class, or accessing your residence hall or office.

As we gather on campus this fall, students and employees will arrive from thousands of different locations with each person having unique experiences over the summer. As there is no way to evaluate each situation, community testing allows us to establish a clear baseline independent of prior experiences, potential exposures, new variants and unknown caseloads. Baseline testing also allows any potential cases to be identified before returning to campus. Our experience last fall and this January reinforce two important lessons: (1) many infected persons are not aware of their status and therefore the potential to carry and spread the COVID-19 virus; and, (2) the single best way to protect the campus from an overwhelming outbreak that could delay or prevent the start of the semester is to identify and prevent latent cases arriving on campus in the first place.

If I am vaccinated, am I subject to Berry’s ongoing testing program?

All students and employees are subject to the testing programs. However, random sentinel testing requirements are presently suspended for individuals who upload vaccination verification. In the event of updated CDC guidance, a substantial increase in cases on or around campus, new state or local laws, or in response to identified clusters with the potential for breakout infections, Berry may reinstate random sentinel testing for all persons or to require participation in narrowly targeted focus testing.

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