By the University at Buffalo
University at Buffalo students who have yet to be vaccinated will have seven days to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and five weeks to be fully vaccinated, a 35-day grace period.
Students who do not fulfill the vaccination requirement will be resigned from their in-person courses.
UB officials reiterated those expectations on Monday after the Food and Drug Administration announced it has granted full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
“FDA approval of the vaccine is great news for the UB community,” said Brian Hamluk, vice president for student life. “While our records show a high rate of vaccination on campus among students, we think this will encourage some of those students who have been waiting for FDA approval to finally get vaccinated.”
UB’s student vaccination requirement goes into full effect today and applies to any student attending in-person classes or participating in on-campus activities at UB. UB officials have been strongly urging students for several months to get vaccinated in expectation of FDA approval. The State University of New York announced the mandatory vaccination requirement on July 8, pending the FDA’s approval.
Students are now expected to have their first shot within seven days of FDA approval. Students receiving a vaccine that requires a second dose will have to be fully vaccinated within five weeks and provide proof to the university.
While the Pfizer vaccine was the only one approved for licensing on Monday, UB accepts any of the vaccines authorized by the FDA for emergency use, which includes the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines.
According to UB’s vaccine compliance policy, students who fail to meet these deadlines will be automatically resigned from in-person classes and assigned an “R” grade. Those students are still financially liable for all of their courses, unless they have dropped or resigned from them before the deadlines.
“We cannot stress enough that UB’s vaccination mandate is a strict policy with serious repercussions if not followed,” Hamluk said.
A small percentage of UB students were granted exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Now that the FDA granted approval on Monday, those students still seeking exemptions will not be allowed on campus while their requests are being reviewed.
UB officials expect a safe return to campus when the fall semester begins Aug. 30, thanks largely to a high vaccination rate among students and mandatory indoor masking, among other safety measures. As of today, 27,140 students have provided UB with proof they are fully vaccinated.
The 6,800 students living in university residence halls and apartments this fall were required to be vaccinated prior to FDA approval. Nearly all of these students report they are fully vaccinated.