Cornell’s COVID-19 booster requirement
Cornell requires all students and employees who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to receive a COVID booster. The booster requirement must be met by January 31, 2022 or 30 days after you become eligible, and proof of booster must be uploaded to the Daily Check.
Students who are eligible for a COVID booster are strongly urged to obtain theirs during Winter Break. Please be aware that neither Cornell Health nor the local communities surrounding Cornell’s campuses will have the capacity to provide a large volume of booster shots when students return for the spring semester.
Information for new Spring 2022 students
Cornell requires COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty, and staff on the Ithaca, Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses, or participating in any other Ithaca-based program, at any point of the 2021-22 academic year.
- AstraZeneca-Oxford (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria)
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
- Pfizer-BioNTech (e.g., COMIRNATY, Tozinameran) can also be noted as BNT1626
- Sinopharm (Vero Cell)
- Sinovac (CoronaVac, Vero Cell)
Winter 2021-2022 / Spring 2022 vaccination compliance (deadline: Dec. 15)
Students who have already provided proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or received a religious or medical exemption for the 2021-2022 academic year, do not need to take any further action to meet the 2021-2022 COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
All others enrolling on the Ithaca, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses, or participating in any other Ithaca-based program, for the winter 2021-2022 or spring 2022 terms must be compliant with the COVID-19 vaccine requirement by 11:59 pm on December 15, 2021.
This includes students enrolling for the first time this academic year (e.g., new students, students returning from leave) and those students who were disenrolled for any reason, including vaccine non-compliance, in fall 2021.
To be considered compliant with the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, students must:
- Submit proof of vaccination to Cornell's Daily Check, or
- If unable to complete the second dose by the deadline, schedule, complete and provide proof of a completed first dose to Cornell's Daily Check, or
- Be exempt by Cornell Health (see exemption information below)
International students: Students unable to complete or begin the vaccination series with an approved vaccine by the deadline because they currently reside in a country where those vaccines are not available must contact Cornell Health at email@example.com or 607-255-4364 prior to December 15, 2021. More details are available on our International Students FAQs page.
Consequences of noncompliance
Students who are not compliant by 11:59 pm on December 15, 2021 will be disenrolled from Cornell on December 16, 2021. Upon disenrollment students will no longer be active students and therefore will have lost all benefits associated with such status, including the ability to attend classes or otherwise earn academic credit, reside in university housing, stay enrolled in any meal plan, participate in intercollegiate athletics, be employed in positions that require active student status or participate in or benefit from any university program that requires active student status.
After December 15, 2021 there will be no further opportunities to come into compliance for the winter 2021-2022 and spring 2022 terms subject to the following limited exceptions:
- Students who are newly admitted to the university after December 15, 2021 must be compliant by 11:59 pm within seven calendar days of notification of program admission. Failure to do so will result in disenrollment as detailed above on the eighth day after notification of admission.
- Students who regain active student status after December 15, 2021 must be compliant by 11:59 pm within seven calendar days of regaining active student status. Failure to do so will result in disenrollment as detailed above on the eighth day after regaining active student status.
Students may request exemption to Cornell’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement on the basis of medical contraindication, religious objection, or both, as described below. All exemption documentation must be submitted by 11:59 pm on December 1, 2021. Documentation submitted after December 1, 2021 will not be considered, subject to the limited exceptions listed above.
Booster exemption information: Visit our COVID-19 booster information & FAQ.
Three types of exemptions to the COVID vaccination requirement are available: medical, religious, and both. Students seeking exemption must select one, and submit the documentation described as follows, by 11:59 pm on December 1, 2021.
Types of exemptions
Three types of exemptions to COVID vaccine are available:
Medical exemption: A medical exemption request must be written by the student’s 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.
Religious exemption: A religious exemption request 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:
(1) Explain in your own words why you are requesting this religious exemption.
(2) Describe your religious tradition and the principles that guide your objection to immunization.
(3) 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.
Any student filing a religious exemption request is welcome to access confidential spiritual support from Cornell United Religious Work by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting an affiliated campus minister (see CURW's online directory).
Both medical and religious exemption: Requests for both medical and religious exemptions must include the documentation for both types of exemptions (described above), and will not be evaluated until all documentation is received.
Deadline for exemption requests
All exemption request documentation (described above) must be submitted to Cornell Health (see "submission process" below) by 11:59 pm on December 1, 2021. Exemption requests and/or documentation received after 11:59 pm on Dec. 1, 2021 time will be denied.
Exception: Students admitted to Cornell after Dec. 1, 2021 who are seeking exemption to COVID vaccine must submit the required documentation to the student’s patient portal by 11:59 pm within 7 calendar days of Cornell’s notification of admission.
Exemption determinations are final and in effect for the entire 2021-22 academic year.
Students disenrolled for non-compliance in fall 2021 who wish to enroll for the winter or spring 2022 terms must first meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
Medical and/or religious exemption requests that have been denied will not be reconsidered during the same academic year.
The principles of academic integrity apply to the exemption process. Requests demonstrating a lack of integrity, such as faked medical documentation or plagiarized religious exemption requests, will be denied with a mandated referral for the student to meet with an academic advisor within 5 days of the date of the denial notification to discuss the significance of academic integrity. The student must then resubmit an exemption request that is free from the concerns raised in their first request by 11:59 pm on the day after that meeting.
Upload your medical exemption request documentation, religious exemption request, or both, by logging in to myCornellHealth using your Cornell NetID and password and selecting Messages & Pharmacy Services > New Message > Send a message or an attachment to Immunization Requirements.