FAQ: Vaccines, Vaccination Policies, and Campus Reactivation

(Last updated on January 6, 2022)

What is the vaccine policy for students?
CUNY policy states that all students wishing to access any CUNY campus must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and verified in CUNYfirst unless they are one of the few that have been granted an exception or a medical exemption. Detailed vaccination guidelines and the timelines needed to be fully vaccinated can be found on the Student Vaccination Policy Frequently Asked Questions.

How can I upload or submit my vaccination documentation?

Students can provide verification of a COVID-19 vaccination by submitting evidence of vaccination through the CUNYfirst portal. A user guide on how to upload proof of vaccination can be found here.

What is the deadline for uploading or submitting my vaccination documentation?

In-person students need to share through CUNYfirst their proof of being fully vaccinated no later than January 18, 2022 for the Spring 2022 term.
Where can students find a medical or religious exemption form?

Requests for medical and religious exemptions must be submitted to the Campus Location Vaccine Authority (LVA) 30 days before the start of classes.
Where can I find more information about CUNY’s vaccine requirements for students?
CUNY’s Student Vaccination Policy Frequently Asked Questions page is the source for current information on the student vaccination policy.
Will vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) meet the vaccination policy so that international students can access the Graduate Center?
If your vaccine is approved by the WHO and you are considered fully vaccinated as specified in the WHO approval, you are fully vaccinated according to the CUNY policy.
What documents do I need to furnish to get vaccinated?
In New York State, you do not need to provide proof of immigration status or a social security number to get vaccinated. ID is only required for proof of age. Detailed information can be found on this website.
Where can I get vaccinated?

Vaccines administered by as part of the CDC’s national vaccination program are administered free of charge.
You can use the NYC vaccine finder (https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/) or the #VAXUpCUNY website to find a convenient vaccination site.
What is the CUNY travel guidance?
All planned out-of-state travel must be screened through a Notification of Intent to travel, which allows individuals to assess whether they are required to petition, and if so, whether they are eligible to do so.

The following process does not apply to CUNY study abroad programs, which are screened for relaunch through a separate process.  However, it does apply to students planning to participate in non-CUNY study abroad programs.

Faculty, staff and graduate students are eligible to petition to travel for purposes associated with CUNY employment or in pursuit of academic progress.  Additional guidelines for Principal Investigators are available through the CUNY Research Foundation site and portal.

Vaccinated undergraduate students are eligible to petition to travel  for the following purposes: 1) present research, scholarly or creative works at national or international conferences; 2) to participate in one of the following federal scholarship/fellowship programs: Boren or Critical Languages Scholarship; or 3) to participate in a non-CUNY study abroad program that meets the standards applied to in-person study through the State Department’s Gilman Scholarship Program .

Experiential learning placements do not require a travel petition unless they take place in a non-contiguous state/territory/protectorate, or abroad.  However, all internships and clinical placements, regardless of location, must follow the appropriate sections of CUNY’s Academic Continuity Guidance.  (See Guidance for Education ProgramsGuidance for Credit Consideration for HHS Student Experiences during the COVID-19 Crisis, and the section on Internships). Internships and clinical placements for students in the Journalism School or Law School within New York State must be arranged according to enhanced campus procedures that account for current conditions, guidance specific to current standards in the profession, and compliance with applicable NYS law.

More details are available on CUNY’s page on travel during the pandemic.  Petitions should demonstrate an understanding of current CDC requirements and recommendations for domestic and international travel by vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, as applicable. Personal travel is not subject to the petition requirement, but all personal travel is also subject to CDC guidance on testing and quarantine.

What is the quarantine policy after travel?

Staff and students should consult their Campus COVID-19 Liaison when planning CUNY or personal domestic or international travel, so that everyone understands what needs to be done before and after travel. Staff should also notify their managers in advance of travel.  When hosting visitors, staff should consult their Campus COVID-19 Liaison in advance to ensure that current standards and requirements are followed, including CDC guidance if visitors are arriving from out of state or abroad.

To the extent that an employee or student’s travel, whether personal or work-related, will involve quarantine per CDC guidance upon return, it is the petitioner’s responsibility to secure permission to meet work/academic obligations during the quarantine period. If the travel is under CUNY auspices, the petition must clearly outline the quarantine plan when the CDC recommends it under the circumstances. CDC recommendations are detailed and subject to change; consult its guidance for domestic travelers and for international travelers to ensure you are working with complete and current information.

How do CUNY employees show proof of vaccination?
All employees can upload their vaccine information by signing in to CUNYfirst and clicking on the Vaccine Verification link. To complete your vaccination information, you will need the date of your second shot for Pfizer and Moderna or the date of your single shot for Johnson & Johnson; a scan or photograph of your CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card (or an equivalent document if you received your vaccination outside the U.S.), and, if you have the NY State Excelsior Pass app, a scan or photograph of your pass on your mobile device.
For a visual guide to submitting information to CUNYfirst, please visit this website. For general information on getting back to working in person, please refer to this FAQ.