Vaccine Information & Resources

All students must be vaccinated to return to campus, with medical and religious exceptions honored. 

Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination is required for students in residence at St. Lawrence for the 2021-22 academic year, in accordance with the American College Health Association guidance. We have heard repeatedly from our current students that their academic success and mental health suffered in a year when they could not interact with their friends as they have in the past, when they were often taking classes remotely, and when they ended up in quarantine more frequently than they or we desired.  As a residential college, the only way that we see to get back to a life that resembles what they so clearly want is through vaccination.

A student’s final vaccination appointment should be completed no later than Sunday, August 1, to ensure they are fully vaccinated* by the time they move in.

Students should upload their proof of vaccination to Medicat before their arrival.  Students who fail to show proof of vaccination will not be allowed to access campus housing and will be dropped from classes by Add/Drop Date and provided a full refund.  We will not offer remote classes for any students.

Exceptions:  The deadline to request an exception from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons was June 17, 2021. Exemption decisions will be made and shared by Thursday, July 1. This timeline gives those not approved for an exemption time to schedule and receive their COVID-19 vaccination(s) before arriving in mid- to late-August.

* The CDC considers an individual to be fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after receiving their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Announced on August 19: All St. Lawrence University employees (including those who work remotely) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Recognizing that not all University employees are currently vaccinated, implementation of this requirement will not occur until September 29, 2021. Employees are required to provide proof of current vaccination to the Health Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the COVID-19 vaccination required for St. Lawrence students for the 2021-22 academic year?

Yes, with limited exceptions. St. Lawrence intends to require vaccination for students – undergraduate and graduate -- to be fully vaccinated as a condition of having access to its campus (all buildings inclusive of residential, non-residential and academic) effective at least 14 days before arrival on campus. We anticipate that this requirement will extend to the Adirondack Semester, Sustainability Semester, and off-campus and study abroad experiences that may continue.

Medical and religious exemptions will be accommodated, but the expectation is that we will be a University community of largely vaccinated individuals, greatly reducing the risk of infection for all. This will also allow students to fully access classes and minimize NYS quarantine protocols based on exposure.

What vaccines are approved?

St. Lawrence will accept the vaccines listed below with emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA or the World Health Organization.

U.S. Vaccines with FDA EUA:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

International vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (this list will be updated as new vaccines are approved):

  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield (Serum Institute of India)
  • Sinopharm (Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products)
  • Comirnaty/BNT162b2 (Fosun Pharmaceuticals, Hong Kong)

Is the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for St. Lawrence employees?

All St. Lawrence University employees (including those who work remotely) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Recognizing that not all University employees are currently vaccinated, implementation of this requirement will not occur until September 29, 2021. Employees are required to provide proof of current vaccination to the Health Center.

Why is a COVID-19 vaccination required of students?

Throughout the pandemic, the safety of our community has been our highest priority. With the advice, counsel, and recommendations of the CDC, New York State Department of Public Health, St. Lawrence Health System, and the St Lawrence County Board of Health we have accessed and relied upon the most up-to-date scientific information available to make informed decisions about our operations.

St. Lawrence’s decision is aligned with recommendations from the American College Health Association, which made a statement last week recognizing that comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way for institutions of higher education to return to a safe, robust on-campus experience for students in the fall semester 2021. The vaccination requirement for student members of our campus community is to protect the health and safety of our community—and the greater communities where we have operations —to the fullest extent possible and to enable our students to engage in person and more fully in all aspects of university life than they have since the beginning of the pandemic. 

It is not uncommon for universities to mandate that students be vaccinated against dangerous diseases that can transmit easily throughout the student population on a residential campus. As is the case with all vaccination requirements, there will be an option for students to request religious and medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

What if I can’t get access to a vaccination approved in the USA?

Individuals who are not able to obtain vaccination prior to being on campus, or whose vaccination is not recognized by New York State, will be expected to be vaccinated as soon after their arrival as possible. The Student Health Center can help accommodate those students with a plan for immediate vaccination and frequent testing until immunity.

NYS Public Health Law Section 2165 and NYCRR Title 10, Subpart 66-2 require students attending post-secondary institutions, who were born on or after January 1, 1957, and registered for 6 or more credit hours, to demonstrate proof of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. Public Health Law Section 2165 provides for medical and religious exemptions to immunization.

NYS Public Health Law Section 2167 requires post-secondary institutions to distribute, on a form provided or approved by the NYS Commissioner of Health, written information about meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal immunization to each student who is enrolled for at least 6 semester hours. This section also requires each such student to certify that they have already received immunization against meningococcal meningitis or that they have received and reviewed the information provided by the institution, understand the risks of meningococcal meningitis and the benefits of immunization, and have decided not to obtain the meningococcal vaccine.

How will vaccination data be used?

Your proof of vaccination information will be used to prevent and respond to the presence of COVID-19 on campus and to comply with federal, local and public health guidelines. The information will be maintained in accordance with all applicable laws and public health regulations.

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to show proof of vaccination before moving in for the fall?

Yes.

If I have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, can I still receive the vaccine?

Yes, as long as you have been released from isolation, are no longer symptomatic and have been medically cleared by a doctor after having COVID-19, you are able to get vaccinated. You do not have to wait until 90 days after your diagnosis. As long as you are not actively sick, you are able to get the vaccine. If you have any questions, students contact Health Services at healthcenter@stlawu.edu.

How to Get Vaccinated

Where can I get vaccinated?

In New York State, sign up here. https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/  If you are a St. Lawrence student or employee, you are eligible regardless of your state of residence. Here is more information about New York State’s vaccine program: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

What COVID-19 vaccines are available in St. Lawrence County?

The FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, both of which require two doses for effectiveness, as well as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, which requires one dose for effectiveness. All are available in St. Lawrence County.

Will I have to pay to be vaccinated?

No, not if you receive your vaccination in the United States. The US federal government is providing the COVID-19 vaccination free of charge, regardless of immigration or health insurance status.

Can any student get vaccinated in St. Lawrence County?

Yes! Once a student becomes eligible, they can use their local address (St. Lawrence address) to get vaccinated in St. Lawrence County.

If students are able to make appointments at off-campus vaccination sites, can the University provide transportation?

Yes. Transportation Services will take students to the vaccination site.  Please confirm availability prior to booking your vaccination appointment.

Can employees schedule their vaccination during regular work hours?

Per state law, employees who must schedule their vaccination during regular work hours are eligible for up to four hours of pay for vaccine appointments that occur during regular work hours. Please contact Human Resources about your appointment notice and timing to plan for payment.

General Vaccine & Testing Information

Are the vaccines under emergency use authorization?

Vaccine makers have applied for full authorization. In a public health emergency, manufacturing and approval of vaccines can be streamlined through an Emergency Use Authorization or EUA. An EUA does not affect vaccine safety, because it does not impact development, such as research, clinical studies and the studying of side effects and adverse reactions. Instead, it speeds up manufacturing and administrative processes. All vaccines follow the same testing process, whether they are approved for emergency use or through a typical license. Learn more about EUA from the FDA.

Where are some credible sources of information on vaccines available and their safety, efficacy and health benefits?

Regional health experts point to information posted on the CDC website on all three approved vaccinations in the USA and outlines the composition of the vaccines and how they work; with links to more detailed information, including their safety.