FDA’s Approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Important Reminders

Sent: August 24, 2021
From: President Mary A. Papazian

Dear SJSU community,

Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. This is great news, especially for those who may have been waiting for full approval before getting vaccinated. The approval of the Pfizer vaccine will hopefully lead to more vaccines being administered, including to those within our own campus community.

The California State University (CSU) July 27 announcement remains in effect. Students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated by September 30 against COVID-19 if they are accessing campus facilities at any university location across the 23 campuses. Auxiliary employees as well as volunteers and other unpaid appointments are also subject to this policy. The CSU’s COVID-19 vaccination policy allows medical and religious exemptions.

As we begin the second week of fall semester and see many of our students back on campus, it is imperative that our students, faculty, staff and other members of our SJSU community follow all pertinent safety protocols and compliance measures including those found in CSU policy and SJSU Presidential Directive [pdf]. Additional FAQs from the CSU have been added to the Vaccination page on the Health Advisories website.

Fall 2021 COVID-19 Mandatory Testing

Students, faculty, staff and other members of the SJSU community who have not already self-attested and verified they are fully vaccinated will be entered into a required testing protocol. You may opt-out of testing by providing documentation that you are fully vaccinated.

For SJSU employees, auxiliary employees and volunteers

SJSU employees, auxiliary employees and volunteers will receive additional information in a separate message from University Personnel on providing proof of vaccination or exemption as well as the testing process. For represented employees, required testing protocols apply to APC, CFA, CSUEU and SUPA. All non-represented employees are required to test.

For students

To reiterate, students must also be fully vaccinated by September 30 against COVID-19 and they must also self-attest and provide verification of vaccination by that same date. To help ensure the health and safety of our SJSU community, students must complete the Self-Certification form if you have not already completed it.

Starting this week, students who are not fully vaccinated, have applied for medical/religious exemptions, or have not yet self-attested must participate in weekly COVID-19 testing protocols. Students whose vaccine records are pending verification are also expected to participate in COVID-19 testing until they have been verified as fully vaccinated. Students will be removed from testing protocols only after their vaccination records have been verified. 

COVID-19 testing will be offered Monday through Friday administered on campus by Fulgent Genetics at the Event Center, Room 1035.

NOTE: If a student is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 on the assigned test date, they are not permitted to participate in testing. Instead, call the Student Wellness Center at 408-924-6122 for support. 

If a student is unable to make the testing events on campus, a negative COVID-19 test must be provided by Friday of the test week. Visit sccfreetest.org and submit proof using the data secure Student Wellness Center COVID-19 Test Upload Form

For more information about test day instructions, checking your test results, and frequently asked questions, please visit the Student Health Center COVID-19 Testing webpage. Visit the SJSU Health Advisories website for more information on the California State University policy and other vaccination updates.

If a student has questions related to Fulgent Genetics, please email info@fulgentgenetics.com or call 626-350-0537. For other questions, please email studenthealthcenter@sjsu.edu.

Key dates and next mobile vaccine clinic on campus

To be fully vaccinated by September 30 and comply with the CSU vaccination requirement, you must get your final dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or the only dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, by September 16. If you chose the Moderna vaccine, you must have received your first dose by August 19. If you choose to receive the Pfizer vaccine, you must have received your first dose by August 26.

Mark this on your calendar: Santa Clara County Mobile Vaccine Clinic is hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Wednesday, August 25 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. for students, staff, and faculty at the Student Wellness Center. The Pfizer (2-dose) and Johnson & Johnson (1-dose) vaccine will be available. Vaccine clinic registration is encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. Additional vaccine sites in California can be found on myturn.ca.gov.

Reminder: SJSU compliance measures regarding CSU vaccination policy

If you do not provide proof that you are fully vaccinated or subject to vaccination exemption by September 30: 

  • Students: You may have your on-campus courses dropped and your access to campus facilities eliminated. You could also be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Represented employees: Full implementation of the policy and available actions that may be taken for non-compliance by represented employees is subject to completion of the meet and confer process, currently in progress with our union partners.
  • Non-represented employees, including auxiliary employees: You will be subject to formal consequences after September 30. 
  • Volunteers and other unpaid appointments: You will be dismissed.

Report a Case reminder

As a reminder, SJSU strongly recommends you report a case of COVID-19 if you have tested positive for the virus or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, regardless of your vaccination status. Use the Report a Case portal on the Health Advisories site to confidentially enter information, which will be shared with necessary campus officials.

Reminder regarding physical distancing

As more staff and faculty have repopulated and students are on campus for classes and activities, it is important to remind the campus community that physical distancing restrictions have largely been lifted. The only physical distancing requirement that remains is for unvaccinated individuals. If you are unvaccinated, you must wear a mask if you are outdoors and unable to maintain six feet of physical distance from others.

I am delighted to have so many of you back on campus! While the past year and a half has been filled with challenges, together we can carry our fellow Spartans through the tough times with patience, kindness and continued flexibility as the pandemic evolves. Here’s to a rewarding and safe semester.


Dr. Mary A. Papazian