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The University at Buffalo is supporting an initiative announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a press conference on Monday morning.
"The University at Buffalo strongly supports Gov. Cuomo’s recommendation to require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19, pending final FDA approval of vaccines and approval of the requirement by the SUNY board of trustees, in order for students to participate in in-person classes and activities in the fall semester,” UB stated.
"Over the next several days and weeks, UB will continue to urge all current and incoming students to schedule their shots as soon as possible at clinics in Western New York and in their home communities throughout the U.S. where vaccine appointments are readily available. UB international students currently living abroad are also encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible in their home countries."
"Since the beginning of April, when Gov. Cuomo announced that college-aged students were eligible to receive the vaccination, UB has been leading a campaign encouraging all students to get vaccinated. Currently, 4,200 UB students have indicated to the university that they have been fully vaccinated and, in a recent UB survey, 88% of students said they are vaccinated, in the process of getting vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated. UB expects the number of fully vaccinated students will grow considerably over the next few months, leading up to the fall semester when the university will return to a much more prominent in-person experience."
"While it is not required that on-campus employees are vaccinated, UB strongly encourages faculty and staff to make vaccination appointments as soon as possible as well."
Cuomo announced the SUNY and CUNY boards will require proof of vaccination for all students attending in-person classes this fall, and encouraged all private universities and colleges to adopt the same guidelines.
To date, 112,150 doses have been administered across the state's vast distribution network in the past 24 hours, and nearly 1.1 million doses have been administered over the past seven days.
"More than 60% of the population here in New York has gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, but we remain aggressive in our efforts because the reality is we are seeing a decline in the vaccination rate not only here in our state but nationwide," Cuomo said. "There is no factual argument against the vaccine, and there is no excuse not to get your shot. This vaccine is the weapon that will help us win the war on COVID, and so I urge everyone who still needs to take it to do so quickly at one of our many sites across the state."
All New York state mass-vaccination sites are now open to eligible New Yorkers for walk-in vaccination on a first-come, first-served basis. The walk-in appointments are reserved for first doses only, with second doses to be scheduled automatically after administration of the initial shot.
In addition, all vaccine providers are encouraged to allow walk-in appointments for eligible New Yorkers. People who would prefer to schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site can do so on the “Am I Eligible” app or by calling 1-833-NYS-4-VAX. People may also contact their local health department, pharmacy, doctor or hospital to schedule appointments where vaccines are available, or visit vaccines.gov to find information on vaccine appointments near them.