Updated as of Feb. 8, 2022 at 4:31 p.m. to include video.
Elon University reported 97% of students are in compliance with the COVID-19 booster mandate as of Feb. 8. According to Dean of Students Jana Lynn Patterson, the term compliant includes both students who received the booster dose of the vaccine and those who have exemptions — whether medical or religious — as well as deferrals.
Consequences will take effect in the next few days for students who are not compliant, such as Phoenix card deactivation and disenrollment, Patterson said.
“We worked through things last fall so that we ended up not having to disenroll anybody and that's certainly what we anticipate this time,” Patterson said.
The process for students uploading their booster documentation was similar to uploading their primary vaccine dose series. However some students who recently tested positive — in the last 90 days — were advised by medical professionals to wait to get the booster. These students were granted deferrals and make up roughly 6.5% of the students considered compliant, Patterson said.
“We encourage students to get the booster as soon as it's medically safe and they have their providers and families feel comfortable,” Patterson said. “But the CDC … guidelines are that you might want to think about waiting up to 90 days to get it.”
There are 303 “true exemptions” to the booster out of all of the compliant students, Patterson said. While the majority of exemptions granted are students who applied for an exemption in the fall, some students did apply for exemptions specifically for the booster dose.
Only a few days into the spring semester, the university has seen the impact of the booster shot on campus — particularly with quarantine and isolation of close contacts, Patterson said.
“We had very few close contacts that had to go into quarantine last fall because they were vaccinated,” Patterson said. “Now unless you're boosted, you can be vaccinated but not boosted and have to do that.”