Update: August 23, 2021, 5:31 p.m.
As announced today, August 23, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for general use. This now begins the SUNY and Buffalo State College requirement for all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or to have an approved exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine, to attend classes.
What does this mean for your enrollment at Buffalo State College?
Buffalo State College must now ensure that all students are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, have started their COVID-19 vaccination series, or have an approved exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are not in compliance with one of these requirements, you likely will not be able to maintain your course enrollment.
We urge you to begin your COVID-19 vaccine series now if you have not already done so. More information about the implementation of the SUNY COVID-19 vaccine policy will be shared in the coming days.
What should I plan to do now?
If you have not already received your full or partial COVID-19 vaccination, or if you have not received an approved exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine, you will need to plan to begin your COVID-19 vaccination series as soon as possible after August 23.
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Learn more and schedule your COVID-19 vaccination at a location near you.
What should I do if I am already partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19?
If you have been partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in New York State, Buffalo State will have your vaccination information on file. You will not need to submit proof of your COVID-19 vaccination, unless you receive a communication from the Weigel Health Center stating that your vaccination information cannot be located.
If you have been partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19 outside of New York State, email proof of your COVID-19 vaccination information to email@example.com.
If you are not fully vaccinated (i.e. it has not been 2 weeks since your first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines) you will need to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing on campus. More information about weekly COVID-19 testing dates and times on campus will be shared in the coming days.
What if I am an international student and I don’t have access to the COVID-19 vaccine?
International students who have received a COVID-19 vaccination may provide documentation signed by a healthcare provider licensed to practice medicine in the United States or a foreign country. This documentation must include the dates of the vaccination and the name of the COVID-19 vaccination given.
International students who have received COVID-19 vaccines not licensed or under an Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA in the United States, or not authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization ("WHO") (e.g., AstraZeneca or Oxford), may apply for a medical accommodation which will be addressed in accordance with New York State guidance by Buffalo State on a case-by-case basis. In general, Buffalo State will designate these students as partially vaccinated and they will be subject to the conditions of the medical accommodation until further notice. International students and COVID-19 unvaccinated students who are traveling abroad and arrive in the United States to enter Buffalo State or other SUNY facilities may be subject to additional quarantine restrictions.
Students who are unable to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination in their home country will have an opportunity to be vaccinated when they arrive in New York State. These students must begin the vaccination process as soon as possible and complete one of the following:
These students must also abide by all COVID-19 health and safety protocols until they are fully vaccinated.
What do I do if I believe I’m eligible for an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine?
There are limited exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine for approved medical or religious reasons and there is a process to review individual cases. All COVID-19 vaccine exemption requests must be submitted by September 2. Learn more about the COVID-19 exemption request process and submit an exemption request form by September 2 if you are eligible.
Please note: Individuals who are granted an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine must wear a face mask in all campus areas both indoors and outdoors, must maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others, and are required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing. Failure to follow these COVID-19 safety protocols could result in your disenrollment from Buffalo State College.
What COVID-19 arrival testing or quarantine procedures do I need to complete before I arrive to campus?
Before you arrive to campus, you will need to complete one of the following COVID-19 arrival testing or quarantine procedures:
Please note: If you test positive for COVID-19, please submit your positive COVID-19 test results and quarantine for 10 days. If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you can return to campus 10 days after the date of your positive COVID-19 test.
The time to act is now to continue to keep our Buffalo State community safe and to avoid any disruptions to your fall semester. For more information and frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine requirements, please go to weigel.buffalostate.edu.
Please continue to frequently monitor your campus email for updates and important information in the coming days about the COVID-19 vaccine requirement and COVID-19 safety protocols on campus.
Stay well Bengals.
Timothy W. Gordon, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
SUNY Buffalo State College
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