Date: January 19, 2021
The Rev. Dr. Katharine Grieb was the first person to be vaccinated. I understand that Dr. Stephen Cook has had his first shot. I did mine on Wednesday. So slowly employees of the Seminary are getting the vaccine. This is good.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is eager to see institutions of higher education to open. They want students back on the campus; and they want employees to feel safe. There are two reasons why some people are hesitating to get vaccinated. The first is that they feel that there are others who are more deserving. I completely understand that feeling (I am receiving the shot before my 89 year old mother-in-law in Goodwin House). But the social imperative is that we build up through vaccination “herd immunity”. Standing back when invited and letting shots and appointments go to waste helps no one. The second reason is that some people consider the vaccine unsafe. I do understand the anxiety. The good news, in this case, is that this is a vaccine that has been approved by several national regulatory bodies. We know that COVID is a dreadful killer; this vaccine can help prevent that.
Over the Spring we will become a mixed community. Some vaccinated, others not. So our practice needs to remain unchanged. Please do continue to physically distance and once inside do please wear a mask. We did well in the Fall; let us continue our good practice into the Spring.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President