COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

About the requirement

Cornell University added a COVID vaccine requirement for students who will be coming to the Ithaca, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses for the Fall 2021 semester. (View university statement.) 

In order to assist students in fulfilling this requirement, the university offers this information about COVID vaccines as well as information about vaccination at Cornell

Demonstrating proof of vaccination

It is critical for the university to have accurate data on the extent of community protection from COVID-19 in order to make informed decisions about safe campus operations. Therefore, all members of the Cornell community are required to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination to the university.

Information for international students

International students should refer to the university’s vaccination at Cornell webpage and the Office of Global Learning’s FAQs for international students for additional information about fulfilling the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Please contact Cornell’s COVID-19 Support Center with questions.

Exemptions to the requirement 

Immunization requirements are in place to protect the health of the community. As is the case with other required immunizations, two exemptions for COVID-19 vaccine may be pursued: a medical exemption and a religious exemption. 

To qualify for an exemption, you should submit the following through the secure patient portal, myCornellHealth (go to Messages > New Message > Send a message or an attachment to Immunization Requirements):

  • Medical exemption: A medical exemption must be written by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner and state that a valid contraindication to vaccination exists. The exemption must specify which immunizations are contraindicated and why, and how long the medical contraindication will last. If you are uncertain whether you will qualify for a medical exemption, talk with your health care provider.
  • Religious exemption: A religious exemption is a written and signed statement from the student that they object to immunization due to their religious beliefs (parent or guardian signature required of students less than 18 years of age). The statement must address all of the following elements:
    • Explain in your own words why you are requesting this religious exemption.
    • Describe the religious principles that guide your objection to immunization.
    • Indicate whether you are opposed to all immunizations, and if not, the religious basis that prohibits particular immunizations.

     Prior religious exemption statements addressed to other institutions are not considered valid.