Pepperdine’s University Management Committee (UMC) announced on Friday, July 9, the university’s COVID-19 vaccination policy decision, which requires all faculty, staff and students—with the exception of those who claim an exemption—to be vaccinated before returning to the Malibu campus in the fall.
The UMC is made up of 16 committee members including the university’s provost, COO, CFO and various vice presidents and professors, among others.
The UMC wrote in an email to the Pepperdine community that feedback from the community on a COVID-19 vaccination policy draft, as well as Pepperdine vaccination data, medical experts and other universities informed the decision.
“This policy acknowledges the university’s high degree of confidence in COVID-19 vaccinations, with authorized vaccines proving effective in preventing illness and death, including from known variants,” the UMC wrote.
The policy also acknowledges those with medical, religious and philosophical reasons for not being vaccinated themselves, the UMC wrote.
To claim a “good-faith” exemption based on those reasons, community members must submit the vaccination exemption form in Pepperdine’s COVID-19 vaccine information website at pepperdine.edu/coronavirus/vaccine.
The UMC anticipates the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) might require mask wearing while indoors for those who are unvaccinated, as well as for anyone in campus shuttles and in the university’s student health center.
For any unvaccinated Pepperdine student or staff member who comes into close contact with a COVID-19 case, the LACDPH will continue to require a 10-day quarantine. The UMC wrote fully vaccinated individuals who come in close contact with an infected person will not be required to quarantine.
Pepperdine was still waiting to receive instructions from the LACDPH on required measures in the fall.
“Regardless of health orders or vaccination status, all community members should feel comfortable wearing face coverings at any time,” the UMC wrote.
The deadline for all faculty, staff and students to complete a COVID-19 Vaccination Notification Form has been extended to July 16. Of the approximately 50 percent of the community who submitted the form, more than 86 percent were fully vaccinated or planned to be.
The university was expected to share information instructing students to verify their vaccination status before the deadline of July 31. The UMC wrote that the university will keep this documentation confidential and will share it only with relevant faculty or staff to use for contract tracing, among other unidentified purposes.
An earlier version of this story first appeared at pepperdine-graphic.com; this version was edited to appear in The Malibu Times.