Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about vaccinations

Questions abound about what students should do regarding vaccinations as they prepare to begin classes in fall 2021. 

For the purposes of this guidance, individuals are considered:

  • fully vaccinated if they have completed all shots of a WHO-approved vaccination series AND the 14-day waiting period. 
  • partially vaccinated if they have completed all shots of a WHO-approved vaccination series but have not completed the 14-day waiting period.
  • not vaccinated if they have not completed any shots, have completed one of two shots in a vaccination series or have been vaccinated with a vaccine that is not WHO-approved. 
  • Are students required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend Binghamton University?

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that students at SUNY and CUNY colleges and universities will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving on campus this fall. This requirement applies to you if you are enrolled in at least one in-person class or visit campus for any reason, including to conduct research; work on campus; participate in athletic practices; or visit the library, academic buildings or other campus facilities. 

    However, this requirement is contingent upon final approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently being administered under emergency use authorization. We anticipate that the FDA will formally take up approval of the vaccines soon.

    Until then, Binghamton University strongly encourages students to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible, and ideally before arriving on campus this fall.

    Submit your proof of vaccination now by following these instructions:

    • Go to the patient portal at https://binghamton.medicatconnect.com/
    • Indicate you are from Binghamton University.
    • Sign in using your PODS username and password.
    • Click on Upload.
    • Choose COVID Immunizations.
    • Browse to the document proving you have received COVID-19 vaccines.
    • Upload.
  • Am I required to be vaccinated to live on campus?

    Binghamton University is requiring all students living in campus-operated residence halls to be fully vaccinated prior to occupancy for the fall 2021 term, with limited medical and religious exemptions only as specified below and independent of the FDA approval process. 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). Subject to final NYS guidance, COVID-19 vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) may now be accepted for purposes of determining vaccine status.

    Binghamton will further require all students accessing residence hall dining facilities to be fully vaccinated. All students living on campus and exempt from being vaccinated must use take-out dining in the resident dining halls.

  • Can a student receive an exemption from being vaccinated? (Updated July 20, 2021)

    Students intending to live in campus residence halls who wish to request a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement must submit a petition for exemption to Decker Student Health Services no later than Friday, July 23, 2021. The procedures for submitting exemption petitions are set forth in the Decker Student Health Services COVID-19 Vaccination Compliance and Exemption Process

  • I had COVID-19 within the past 90 days. Can I get vaccinated?

    Current CDC guidelines state that individuals should receive a COVID-19 vaccine regardless of whether they have had COVID-19 because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. 

  • I had COVID-19 and wish to apply for a medical exemption. Will my exemption request be approved?

    Requests for medical exemptions for students who have had COVID-19 will be approved in the following cases:

    • If a student was treated with monoclonal antibodies, a 90-day waiver from the date they received the antibodies will be granted. Their exemption request from their medical provider must include this date.
    • If a student was treated with convalescent plasma, a 90-day waiver from the date they received the plasma will be granted. Their exemption request from their medical provider must include this date.
    • If a student has been diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) or adults (MIS-A), a 90-day waiver from the date of their diagnosis will be granted. The date must be in the medical documentation from the provider. If they are not symptom-free by 90 days post diagnosis, they must re-apply for another medical waiver to extend the exemption.
  • What are my obligations if I am exempted from vaccination? (Updated Aug. 4, 2021)

    Students who are granted an exemption from the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine requirement are subject to special obligations to enable them to remain on campus. Such students are required to:

    1. Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the student’s move-in date.
    2. Comply with mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing at least once a week.
    3. Maintain 6 feet of social distancing and wear a mask at all times when indoors except:
    • when the student is in their private residential or personal space; 
    • when they are eating meals on campus while seated and social distancing is appropriately enforced; and
    • when the student is alone.     
  • If I am exempted from vaccination, can I stay in my assigned on-campus housing or do I have to be moved? (Updated Aug. 4, 2021)

    Binghamton University reserves the right to reassign exempted unvaccinated students from their current housing assignment to avoid placing a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated students in the same room or suite. If possible, reassigned students would be assigned to space in the same residential community as their current assignment; however, this may not always be possible given that the campus is expected to be at full residential occupancy. An exempted student reassigned to a different residential community and/or room type will be charged the lower of the two housing rates between the two assignments.

    However, unvaccinated individuals with an approved exemption from the vaccination requirement may request to remain in their assigned housing and share a room with their roommates and/or suitemates by gaining written consent from all roommates/suitemates. Unvaccinated students must initiate the process by disclosing their vaccination exemption status to their roommates/suitemates. Once written consent has been acquired in writing from all parties, they should provide these to Residential Life at reslife@binghamton.edu within five business days of notification that their exemption has been approved.

  • What happens to my on-campus housing if I do not want to be vaccinated and am not exempted?

    Students unwilling to comply with the vaccination requirement for on-campus housing may petition to cancel housing on or before July 23, 2021. Students who petition for medical or religious exemption who are denied such exemption must request housing cancellation within three business days of notification that their exemption has been denied. Students who fail to meet these deadlines will be subject to housing charges for the fall 2021 semester but are only permitted to occupy their space if they are fully vaccinated prior to occupancy.  

  • I cannot become fully vaccinated before I arrive on campus. Am I still allowed to move in? (Updated Aug. 4, 2021)

    For the fall 2021 semester, a student must have completed all shots of a WHO-approved vaccination series to move into their residence hall. Students who have completed all shots of a vaccination series but have not finished their 14-day waiting period may move into their fall room assignment, but will be required to wear a mask, socially distance (remain 6 feet apart from others) and participate in weekly surveillance testing until the 14-day waiting period has been completed.

  • If a student is not fully vaccinated before moving in, how will it affect their housing status? (Updated Aug. 4, 2021)

    The student can attend classes, but must wear a mask, socially distance (remain 6 feet apart from others), get take-out food in the dining halls and participate in weekly surveillance testing until 14 days after their single-dose vaccine or 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine. The student will not be able to occupy the assigned room until they have received all shots in a vaccination series. Residential Life will hold the student’s room assignment until the student can occupy the room.

    The University can extend the option to live in the interim period in an adjacent hotel at the student's expense at a University negotiated rate. There is a remote possibility that the University will be able to offer space in a residence hall apartment being set aside for special needs, but we have a limited supply of such space and until we know more about possible demand, we cannot commit that space to anyone yet.

  • How long does it take to be considered fully vaccinated?

    It depends on the vaccine, but generally speaking:

    • Johnson & Johnson vaccine: 14 days after receiving your dose
    • Pfizer-BioNTech: around 35 days after receiving your first dose (assuming the second dose is 21 days after your first dose, plus the 14 days after receiving your second dose)
    • Moderna: around 42 days after receiving your first dose (assuming your second dose is  28 days after your first dose, plus the 14 days after receiving your second dose)

    If a student has started a non-WHO approved vaccine series, they must wait 28 days from their last vaccine to begin a vaccine series in the U.S. 

  • What should I do if I received a COVID vaccine but the dosing intervals are outside of what is recommended (the dose was given too early or too late)?   (New July 17, 2021)

    While this is not an ideal situation, the CDC guidance states that you do not need to repeat any vaccine doses or start the series over. You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose is received. See Appendix A on this CDC webpage

  • I received a “mixed series” of COVID-19 vaccines (the vaccine type for my first dose is different than the vaccine type I received for the second dose.) What should I do?  (New July 17, 2021)

    If the mixed series was of the Pfizer and Moderna types, and the doses were more than 28 days apart, then you are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose was given. If the mixed series contains even one dose of a vaccine that is not World Health Organization (WHO)-approved, then you should receive a complete series of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA when you arrive in the U.S.    

  • What are the vaccination requirements for off-campus students?

    All Binghamton students who access campus facilities in person are required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination beginning before the start of the fall 2021 term, with limited exceptions. While this requirement will not take full effect until at least one COVID-19 vaccination receives full FDA approval, all students are advised that Binghamton will require full compliance with this general policy requiring student vaccinations at the earliest possible date following full FDA approval. Pending FDA full approval, the following guidelines shall apply to all off-campus students having any on-campus presence.

    Students are strongly encouraged to submit proof of vaccination in accordance with the Decker Student Health Services to the secure health services portal prior to arriving on campus for the fall 2021 academic term. Students submitting proof of vaccination are further encouraged to submit such proof by July 23, 2021, to ensure Binghamton can confirm their vaccination status prior to the start of the term.

  • How does an off-campus student request a medical or religious exemption from vaccination? (Updated July 20, 2021)

    Off-campus residing students who wish to request an exemption from the vaccination requirement must submit a petition for exemption to Decker Student Health Services no later than Wednesday, July 23, 2021. The procedures for submitting exemption petitions are set forth in the Decker Student Health Services COVID-19 Vaccination Compliance and Exemption Process.

  • Did Binghamton University send me a text message about my proof of vaccination?

    Yes, Binghamton University sent a text message asking students to upload their proof of vaccination to the Decker Student Health Services secure portal.  

International students

The CDC recommends that you start a complete, FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series when you arrive in the U.S.

For the purposes of this guidance, individuals are considered:

  • fully vaccinated if they have completed all shots of a WHO-approved vaccination series AND the 14-day waiting period. 
  • partially vaccinated if they have completed all shots of a WHO-approved vaccination series but have not completed the 14-day waiting period.
  • not vaccinated if they have not completed any shots, have completed one of two shots in a vaccination series or have been vaccinated with a vaccine that is not WHO-approved.