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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement FAQ

 

 

General

We all want to return to the robust campus life of pre-pandemic times and believe that, as many other universities are doing, mandating student vaccination will go a long way to ensuring the health of our community.

The requirement that students be vaccinated builds on our existing requirements for other serious diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella, for which students must show proof of vaccination. These COVID vaccinations have been shown to be safe and extremely effective in preventing serious illness and helping reduce spread of the virus.

We believe this is also the best decision from a public health and community perspective because it helps alleviate the fear and anxiety faculty, staff and students may have about the risk of contracting COVID-19 as a result of being on campus.

We strongly encourage faculty and staff to be vaccinated and expect that a large majority will do so. We prioritized the decision to require vaccinations of our student population to ensure they have ample time to prepare for the fall semester.

Students are also more present on campus, tend to congregate in larger groups in close quarters, and are typically more interactive than our faculty and staff.

We have not yet made a decision regarding mandating vaccinations for faculty and staff and are coordinating closely with public health agencies.

Accommodations for medical and religious reasons will be made for students who meet the criteria for exemption from the vaccine policy. Those who are granted an exemption will likely need to follow additional protocols to ensure the safety of the community. Please see our COVID-19 Student Vaccination Policy for more information.

If you will be seeking an exemption, please bear in mind that it may take a few weeks before a decision is made: requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Requests for medical exemptions will require a signed statement from a licensed health care provider that the vaccination is medically contraindicated.

For a religious exemption, the request must be based on genuine and sincere religious beliefs or practices. A general philosophical or moral objection to vaccination will not be enough to serve as the basis for exemption on religious grounds.

Please email VaccineExemptionRequest@yu.edu for the instructions and proper form

Vaccinations are currently administered at no cost in the United States.

 

We will continue to adhere to proven approaches for reducing the spread of COVID-19, and follow federal, state and local guidelines. We expect that we will likely need to continue some form of COVID monitoring in the fall and will provide more information closer to the fall semester.

Anyone over the age of 16 can be vaccinated in New York. For the latest information on vaccination eligibility and access, please consult your local guidelines.

The vaccination site at Weisberg Commons on the Wilf Campus is available for walk-ins, for eligible NYC residents and those who work or attend school in NYC age 16 and above, through the end of June.

  • The site operates Sunday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • It is closed on Shabbat and Jewish Holidays.

Eligible New Yorkers can make an appointment at nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC to schedule appointments at New York City sites, including the one at YU.

Here is another helpful resource to schedule appointments at sites outside of New York City.

There is a lot of information on the internet about vaccines. It can be hard to untangle sometimes, especially if you’re unsure what to look for. Here are some tips:

Look for information that stems from peer-reviewed scientific articles.

Check the credentials of those writing for the website. Make sure it is written by content experts, including physicians, epidemiologists, and other public health professionals.

Don’t rely on google. Check these websites first:

  • CDC Vaccinations Webpage
  • National Institute of Health (NIH)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • World Health Organization (WHO)

 

A growing number of Universities are mandating vaccinations for students returning in the fall and we join them in the belief that a vaccinated student body will help ensure the safety of the entire campus community. 

The University’s position on vaccines is consistent with the legal authority supporting this policy and the American College Health Associations recommendations (“ACHA recommends COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all on-campus college and university students for fall semester 2021”), both of which have been thoroughly reviewed by our Office of General Counsel.

Students

Fully-vaccinated means two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Currently, these are the only three vaccines authorized for use in the United States by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Students who may have received only one dose of a two-dose vaccine should contact VaccineSubmission@yu.edu for guidance.

No. All students are required to be fully vaccinated. According to the CDC, experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected again with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Unvaccinated students without a valid exemption will not be allowed on campus. This is in line with our existing policies for other serious diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella. We are announcing our vaccine requirement early to enable students to make decisions about attendance before enrolling or paying tuition.

Students whose exemption requests are approved will attend class on campus. If someone chooses not to come to campus, they will not be able to participate in their classes remotely. Any disability-related requests will be decided on a case-by-case basis. There will not be dedicated virtual options for students who choose not to be vaccinated. We are announcing our vaccine requirement early to enable students to make decisions about attendance before enrolling or paying tuition.

Yes. All students are required to be fully vaccinated. In New York, people aged 16 and older are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and those 18 or older are eligible for the Moderna vaccine. To check eligibility in other states, please see your state health department website.

Yes. With guidance from public health experts--including the CDC, American College Health Association, and the NYC Department of Health--and our Medical team, we are developing the appropriate cadence and methods for regular, required testing on campus.

International Students

Students must be vaccinated in order to access campus for the fall semester, including international students. With the widespread availability of vaccines in New York, we expect that all students will be able to receive the vaccine upon arrival in the United States. The University will work on a case-by-case basis with those individuals who are unable to access a vaccine before coming to the United States to facilitate vaccination as soon as possible.

The University is awaiting guidance regarding vaccines not approved for use in the U.S. and will work on a case-by-case basis with  students based on this guidance.

Proof of Vaccination

No. Students will be able to register for classes before vaccination but will need to show proof of vaccination before coming onto campus or entering residence halls and/or school buildings this fall. Proof of vaccination should be submitted to VaccineSubmission@yu.edu

We strongly recommend that students submit their vaccination documentation as soon as possible. Students will not be permitted to access University buildings without having provided proof of their vaccination or received an exemption. We expect to set a deadline 3-4 weeks before commencement of the fall semester for students to submit their vaccination documentation.  Documentation should be submitted to VaccineSubmission@yu.edu

Requests for exemptions would have to be submitted at least 2-3 weeks in advance of that deadline.

Residence Halls

Yes. the University requires all students to be fully vaccinated (or receive an exemption) if they intend to be in any University buildings, including residence halls. 

No. Only students who are fully vaccinated (more than two weeks after completing the required number of doses) or have received an exemption will be permitted on campus and in the residence halls. Students will need to make alternate living arrangements if they arrive prior to being fully vaccinated. The University will work on a case-by-case basis with students who are unable to access a vaccine to receive one as soon as possible.

Accommodations will be made for medical and religious exemption requests  on a case by case basis. Those who are granted an exemption will live in residence halls and will likely need to follow additional protocols to ensure the safety of the community. 

Faculty & Staff

All faculty, staff and students – regardless of vaccination status – will need to follow our on-campus testing guidelines. We are working with our medical team to determine the appropriate cadence for testing.

 

 

Last Updated: May 4, 2021

 
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