Vaccine Communication to New Students

Added April 29, 2021

Dear New UMSON Students, 

Welcome to the University of Maryland School of Nursing! 

I know you are excited to start your journey and interested in hearing from us about our plans for the fall, so I have some important updates to share with you.

The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents has mandated that all students must be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting with the fall semester (which begins Aug. 30), with some limited health and religious exemptions. Information on uploading your vaccination information and how to ask for a medical or religious exemption will be forthcoming in the near future as the USM and University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) work through plans for the various processes.

If you have not been vaccinated yet, you may register for a vaccine through UMB’s vaccination clinic, located on our Baltimore campus. Additionally, the state of Maryland has opened up vaccination to all people 16 and older. You can check the availability of appointments at Maryland’s various mass vaccination sites here. In addition, the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the Maryland Department of Health have identified “University Days” at mass vaccination sites throughout the state to provide access for USM students in addition to faculty and staff. You can reference the University Days schedule here.

There is widespread vaccine availability throughout the state. A spreadsheet with advice and information on many of the vaccination sites in Maryland can be found here. You can also call 1-855-MD-GOVAX to register.

August will be here before we know it. Please do not wait if you have not yet been vaccinated. Full vaccination does not occur until two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Becoming fully vaccinated can take as long as six weeks, so please plan accordingly as you will be expected to show proof of vaccination. Please take a photo of your vaccination card if you have not done so already.   

Fortunately, with the advancements of mass vaccinations and the lowering rates of COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations, our plan is to resume instruction on campus this fall with increased in-person courses. We are finalizing plans to maintain physical distancing in our classrooms in the fall.

There will still be safety measures in place on campus. This will potentially include, but is not limited to, the continued use of face coverings, physical distancing, symptom monitoring, COVID-19 testing, and contact tracing as appropriate. UMB will continue to evaluate its safety protocols in accordance with updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and state and USM guidelines throughout the year. Our current plan is based on public health considerations and may change, if necessary, to address safety concerns.

Updates will be communicated via The Elm, a digest of which you will receive weekly via email. Since The Elm is the primary means of communicating with UMSON students, we encourage you to get into the habit of reviewing it weekly.

Again, welcome to UMSON! We are excited to support you on your journey to make health care brighter. 

My best wishes,

Larry Fillian
Associate Dean for Student and Academic Services