Per New York State Gov. Hochul’s executive order, effective January 15, 2022, all State University of New York (SUNY) in-person students must receive a COVID-19 booster once eligible. Individuals are eligible for a booster: (1) six months after receiving the second dose in a two-dose (Pfizer or Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine series or (2) two months after receiving the single-dose (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine.
Students currently eligible for a vaccine booster should receive one prior to returning to campus. Vaccine booster documentation should be uploaded to Blackboard. Students who have an approved medical or religious waiver do not need to reapply for the Spring 2022 semester. To find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster: search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1.800.232.0233 to find locations near you.
All SUNY Morrisville students with a physical presence on campus are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 more than two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or more than two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).
On August 23, 2021, the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. All students are advised that the SUNY COVID-19 vaccine policy requires completion of a full series within thirty-five (35) days following full FDA approval. Completion of a full COVID-19 vaccine series is defined as having received the second dose in a two-dose series (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or having received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). To assist students in timely completion of a full vaccine series, SUNY Morrisville will require initial compliance with this policy ten (10) days after full FDA approval is granted. This means all students must have received their first dose of a COVID vaccine on or before September 1, 2021 or have completed a waiver application by this date. Consistent with New York State Department of Health’s policy, WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines will satisfy the vaccination policy so long as the individual is fully vaccinated.
Students may apply for a medical or religious exemption from the required COVID-19 vaccination. Students applying for a medical or religious exemption will be required to be in compliance ten (10) days following full FDA approval. Requests for a medical exemption will be reviewed by the Director of Student Health and Counseling Services or a Health Services medical provider. Requests for a religious exemption will be reviewed by a committee of Student Affairs administrators. Students requesting a medical or religious exemption will be notified if their request has been approved or denied.
Students requesting medical or religious exemptions should first consult with their academic program to confirm that the failure to be vaccinated does not prevent the student from otherwise fulfilling the programmatic or curricular requirements of their academic program.
Proof of Vaccination
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is defined as the following:
- Copy of a vaccine record indicating receipt of all doses necessary to complete an FDA approved, or World Health Organization approved, COVID-19 vaccine series.
- Each page of the submitted documents must contain the student’s first and last name and date of birth.
- The submitted record must include the specific name of the vaccine(s) given.
- Excelsior passes are not acceptable proof of vaccination.
Students may be exempt from the vaccination requirement if a duly licensed healthcare provider certifies in writing that the student has a medical contraindication to the COVID-19 vaccine. Students requesting medical exemption are required to submit complete documentation from a healthcare provider. Complete documentation for a medical exemption includes:
- Letter from healthcare provider on official letterhead including date written and contact information for provider
- Student’s name and date of birth
- Details on specific reason for medical exemption
- Vaccine(s) to which exemption applies
- Full name and signature of medical provider
Students who hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to COVID-19 vaccination may request exemption from this requirement. General philosophical or moral objections to the COVID-19 vaccine will not result in approval of a religious exemption. Students requesting a religious exemption shall submit a written statement explaining how receiving a COVID-19 vaccination conflicts with their religious beliefs or practices.
The written and signed statement from the student (parent if under 18 years of age) must explain the religious basis for the request and may include other supporting materials. This statement must address all of the following:
- an explanation in the student’s (parent’s if under age 18) own words why they are requesting a religious exemption
- a description of the religious principles that guide the objection to vaccines
- an indication whether they are opposed to all vaccines and if not, the religious basis that prohibits COVID-19 vaccination
Students under 18 years of age will be required to provide an updated written statement explaining how receiving a COVID-19 vaccination conflicts with their religious beliefs or practices once they turn 18. This written statement can be completed any time after the student’s 18th birthday, but must be received by the following semester for the religious exemption to be extended.
Note: Students granted a medical or religious exemption will be subjected to certain restrictions and COVID-19 testing responsibilities as set forth by SUNY Morrisville.