SMU will not mandate vaccine even as FDA gives its approval

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. However, SMU will not mandate the vaccine among students, faculty and staff.

In a prepared statement on Aug. 23, the FDA expressed confidence that the two-shot vaccine met the necessary standards to be fully approved. The Pfizer vaccine is the first shot fully approved by the FDA, as both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots remain in emergency use authorization as of September 1.

Now that the Pfizer vaccine was approved, the question soon became: Would SMU institute a vaccine mandate, like several schools across the country?

“SMU will continue to strongly encourage everyone to get the vaccine, but will not require it at this time,” university President Gerald R. Turner said.

The statement comes as SMU continues to be in the ‘Low Operational Level,’ which includes “classrooms near full capacity” and “dining and residential activities with some modifications.”