Dear Pitzer Community,

I hope this message finds you well. It was wonderful to welcome the first and second year students back to our beautiful campus over the weekend. As our community continues to prepare for the start of the fall semester next week, you may have heard that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine on Monday.

Based on this, as indicated previously, the College will now require all faculty and staff to be vaccinated beginning next month. More details on Pitzer’s vaccination policy are below, and you are encouraged to regularly visit our Pathway Forward website as it is updated continually with important information for our safe return to campus.

Thank you for being mindful of each other as we gather together again.

Provida Futuri,

Melvin L. Oliver

Vaccinations at Pitzer – Fall 2021

(Updated August 26, 2021)

The CDC has found that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing individuals from contracting COVID-19 and may also prevent virus transmission to others. On August 23, 2021, the FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. Consequently and consistent with CDC guidance and the guidance of state and local public health authorities, to prevent the infection and spread of COVID-19 and as an integral part of its public health and safety measures, Pitzer is requiring all Faculty and Staff accessing any Pitzer Facility or Program in person in connection with their employment, appointment, or educational program to be vaccinated as of September 13, 2021.

If you have already submitted proof of vaccination through the Healthy Pitzer portal or to Human Resources or if you have been approved for a medical or religion exemption from the vaccine requirement, you need not do anything further.

For those who have not yet been vaccinated, the College asks that you follow the instructions below to submit proof of the first of two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine no later than September 13, 2021. Documentation of the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines must be submitted no later than October 15, 2021. Exceptions for religious or medical reasons must be submitted on or before September 13, 2021.  New employees with a start date of September 7, 2021 or later are required to follow the following steps to submit their vaccination status or file for an exemption within 7 days of employment.

If you have been vaccinated and just need to report it to us, there are two options to submit your vaccination:

  1. Recommended Option: Healthy Pitzer – (if you already did this, you are all set)Upload vaccination status through our Healthy Pitzer site.  Click here for instructions to update your vaccination status or
  2. Options for uploading your vaccination card outside of Healthy Pitzer to avoid Hamilton Health Box (HHB) consent process:
  • Upload your vaccination card to a secure Pitzer Box folder **Outside of uploading to Healthy Pitzer, this is the most secure way to load your vaccination status.**
  • To avoid having your vaccination record online at all, you can bring your vaccination card in person to River Santee at the on campus HHB clinic and she can visually verify your card and mark you as completed.
  • If you are unable to upload to the Box folder you can send an encrypted email to Human Resources at [email protected].  To encrypt your message: in Outlook, in the email message, go to File > encrypt this item.

To file a Vaccine Exemption:  Faculty and/or Staff members may request a Religious or Medical Exemption by completing a Pitzer Vaccination Exemption Form, attaching the necessary documentation and submitting it to Human Resources at [email protected].

  1. A medical exemption requires a doctor’s note stating that the employee cannot receive the vaccine due to a medical condition.
  2. For an exemption based on religious beliefs, the employee should write a statement that briefly explains how the vaccine requirement conflicts with a particular religious belief(s).

Faculty and/or Staff members who are approved for a medical or religious exemption will be required to participate in testing and mask protocols to mitigate risk to staff, faculty, students, and others whenever they access Pitzer Facilities or Programs in person. This may include more frequent and regular asymptomatic testing.  Please see the Faculty and Staff Testing Policy .

Any Faculty and/or Staff member with an approved Religious Exemption or Medical Exemption may nevertheless decide to become vaccinated. In this case, they are encouraged to discuss their plans with their primary care physicians or local pharmacies and may receive the vaccine through any of these and provide documentation of the administration to Healthy Pitzer.

We need your full cooperation and compliance with this and other health and safety workplace efforts to make them effective and to protect our community by preventing the spread of COVID-19. Any faculty or staff subject to this policy who fail to receive at least their first vaccination or submit an approved exemption form by September 13, 2021 will be prohibited from in-person access to Pitzer Facilities or Programs.


Fully Vaccinated:  at least two weeks removed from the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Medical Exemption: A reason for not receiving COVID-19 vaccine due to medical contraindications or precautions recognized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; or disability. Requests for Medical Exemptions must be submitted to Human Resources at [email protected] .

Religious Exemption: An exception to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate based on a person’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, which includes any traditionally recognized religion as well as beliefs, observances, or practices, which an individual sincerely holds and which occupy in their life a place of importance parallel to that of traditionally recognized religions. Requests for exceptions must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources.

Anyone who is granted a Medical or Religious Exemption will be required to adhere to Pitzer’s required testing and mask protocols for the health and safety of the Pitzer community.

Additional Information About COVID-19 Vaccines

  • The CDC has promoted the benefits and safety of approved and Emergency Use Authorization approved COVID-19 vaccines. According to the CDC:
  • COVID-19 vaccines currently approved or in development in the US do not contain the COVID-19 virus and will not make you sick with COVID-19.
  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not make you test positive for the COVID-19 virus.
  • COVID-19 vaccinations have been shown to be highly effective at preventing you from getting sick with COVID-19 and may prevent you from experiencing the most severe consequence of the disease and spreading the virus to others.
  • COVID-19 vaccines do not change your DNA.
  • COVID-19 vaccinations are an important tool in helping to stop the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 vaccines will be free to you, though some charges may be billed to your insurance company.

No Harassment or Retaliation

While Pitzer has legitimate reasons for vaccination and tracking how much of its workforce has been vaccinated, the College expressly prohibits any form of harassment, discipline, reprisal, intimidation, or retaliation based on an employee’s reasons to get or not get vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination.