COVID-19 Vaccines Made Mandatory for SUNY and CUNY Students

Updated: May 24

By Meghan Brink | May 23, 2021


Seventy percent of UAlbany students have already received a COVID-19 vaccination, according to an informal and voluntary survey conducted by the university in which 2,545 students participated.

Univeristy Communications Specialist Kelsey Butz said the results, although unscientific, “are encouraging and show that a majority of our students are eager to help keep campus safe for the fall semester by receiving the vaccine.” Butz said university survey also reported that a "large percentage" of survey respondents who have not been vaccinated said that they plan to do so.


Governor Cuomo recently announced that SUNY and CUNY students and faculty will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine prior to arriving to campus this fall.


The vaccine requirement for all SUNY and CUNY students is contingent on a final approval of a COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The three vaccines currently being distributed throughout the U.S. have only been approved under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA), and are waiting full approval under the Biologic License Application, which subjects the vaccinations to a more in-depth review then under a EUA.

“We anticipate that the FDA will formally take up approval of a COVID-19 vaccine within the next several months,” stated a university announcement on the vaccinate mandate.

The university stated that there is limited information regarding the guidelines that will be used for the vaccination requirement, including possible exemptions.

Under current state health law, students attending college in New York State are already required to be vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) with limited exemptions, one of which includes “genuine and sincere” religious beliefs contrary to inoculation practices.

The announcement said, “while we anticipate that these exemptions would follow allowed exemptions for other vaccines such as MMR, we expect any exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement will be limited and require proper documentation.”

In a survey conducted by the ASP on student opinions on the vaccine mandate, UAlbany junior Jillian Sharp said she thinks students should receive the vaccine “if we want to

Have anything close to a normal year.”

“I am thrilled,” stated Senior Public Health student Taylor Manzelli in the survey on the mandate. “We need to protect ourselves and each other.”

While awaiting further information from New York State and SUNY on the intricacies on the mandate, the university strongly encourages students to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated “as soon as possible and before arriving at campus this fall.”


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