Houston Community College Statement on Covid Vaccinations and Reopening
Apr 19, 2021
Anticipating that the spread of COVID-19 infection will continue to significantly diminish, that vaccination efforts will prove effective in preventing serious or deadly illness, and that restrictions for public gatherings and prevailing public health guidelines for physical distancing will be eased, Houston Community College is preparing for in-person instruction at 30 percent in the summer 2021 and up to 60 percent during fall 2021 semester.
Consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order No. GA-35 relating to COVID-19 vaccines and the protection of Texans’ private health information issued April 2, HCC will not require faculty, staff and students to receive the vaccine. However, we do strongly advise our community members to take every available precaution to keep themselves safe. Ongoing research and available information about the vaccines’ effectiveness continues to be updated and results so far are favorable. That said, we understand that each person has unique circumstances and needs that must be taken into consideration to make the best possible decisions.
To this end, HCC will not be requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for faculty, staff and students.
Because the vaccines are provided under FDA emergency use authorizations, the college cannot mandate targeted stakeholders to receive vaccinations. If the FDA fully approves the vaccines, these can be mandated only if required by the state.
In preparation for the new academic year, the college’s in-person experience goal assumes that all faculty and staff who intend to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will have been vaccinated, and that most students will have been able to receive the vaccine before the fall semester begins. To help those students who are unable to receive a vaccine, HCC plans to work in creating opportunities on or close to campus and offer the vaccine to any student who still seeks one.
Houston Community College plans to continue its robust surveillance while working with health authorities to implement the latest guidance regarding safety, testing and vaccines.