October 18, 2021
Dear Madeira Community,
Madeira is committed to the health and safety of its community and to providing excellent, in-person educational programming for its students. The CDC, WHO, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Virginia Department of Health have reinforced that the COVID-19 vaccine plays a significant role in these efforts and is the most reliable intervention for supporting community wellness. Therefore, the Madeira administration, with the support of the Board of Trustees, will be implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for students and employees. All students and employees will be required to provide proof of full vaccination to the School prior to January 1, 2022.
Currently, the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine for individuals ages 16 and older, and emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 12-15 and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for individuals 18 and older. Madeira has medical experts on staff and has consulted with outside medical experts, who care deeply about our community and their health, to assess the use of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Madeira has been tested by the pandemic, and the School’s leadership is proud that our families have met the challenge as a caring, supportive community that values each member. It is in that spirit that the School’s leadership asks that our families continue working with us to keep Madeira safe and healthy.
Details and Logistics:
If you have not already done so, please upload a copy of your student’s COVID-19 vaccination card via your student’s Magnus Health Portal by December 17, 2021. The School will consider individuals to be fully vaccinated if they have received, at least two weeks prior to January 1, 2022, either:
Both doses of any FDA or WHO-authorized two-dose vaccine (such as the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines)
A single dose of an FDA or WHO-authorized one-dose vaccine (such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
The School will review requests on a case-by-case basis for exemptions from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Families seeking an exemption for their child must submit a request to the Director of Nursing, Peggy Sotos, at email@example.com by November 12, 2021. A medical exemption request must include a written statement from the student’s primary care physician explaining the medical reason for the requested exemption. A religious exemption request should be submitted via the Commonwealth of Virginia Certificate of Religious Exemption form and include a notarized affirmation from the student’s parent/guardian explaining that vaccination is against their sincerely held religious beliefs. A committee will confidentially review all exemption requests, with a decision communicated in a timely manner. Decisions about exemptions may consider previous requests and subsequent demonstrable action regarding immunization requirements. While requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered, they are not guaranteed. Furthermore, students who have a valid exemption may have specific and different expectations that may not be required of students who have been vaccinated. This may include, but is not limited to, regular mandatory COVID-19 testing at the expense of the family.