International Students FAQs

COVID-19 booster requirement FAQ

New Spring 2022 students: See vaccination requirement FAQs for new students below. 

What is Cornell's COVID booster requirement? 

Cornell requires all students 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. (Visit Cornell’s COVID-19 website for more information about the university’s COVID booster requirement.)

Students who are eligible for a COVID booster are strongly urged to obtain theirs during Winter Break. Ithaca students: 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.

Unable to get boosted in your home country? Please see information below.

When am I eligible for a booster? What kind of booster can I receive?

If you were vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson:

Please refer to our COVID-19 Booster Information & FAQs page for details about when you are eligible for a booster, and what kind of booster you can receive.

If you were vaccinated with an international vaccine:

If you received an international World Health Organization (WHO)-approved vaccine (AstraZeneca-Oxford, Covaxin, Sinopharm, Sinovac) – or completed a series composed of a combination of WHO-approved and FDA-approved/authorized vaccine – you are eligible to receive a Pfizer booster 5 months following your original vaccination series. (See "If you were vaccinated outside of the United States" on the CDC's COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots page.) Please visit our COVID-19 Booster Information & FAQs page for information about how to get a Pfizer booster in the U.S.

You may also fulfill Cornell's booster requirement by receiving a third WHO-approved vaccine or booster in your home country (see below). 

If you received an international vaccine, and then were revaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson:

If you have begun or completed a revaccination series with an FDA-approved/authorized vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) following your original vaccination series in your home country, you are not required to receive a booster. Please make sure you have uploaded your revaccination information to the Daily Check so it can be considered as a booster. 

What if I was recently diagnosed with COVID-19?

Please refer to information for students with a recent COVID diagnosis on our main COVID-19 Booster Information & FAQs page.

What if I am unable to get a booster in my home country during Winter Break? 

Students who received an international WHO-approved vaccine (AstraZeneca-Oxford, Covaxin, Sinopharm, Sinovac) can fulfill Cornell’s booster requirement in either of the following ways:

  • Receive a Pfizer booster at least 5 months after you completed your WHO-approved vaccine series (age 16+)
  • Receive a third vaccine / booster of a WHO-approved vaccine in your home country (please refer to your home country’s guidelines for vaccine options / timing) 

Be sure to upload your booster information to the Daily Check by January 31, 2022, or as soon as possible following the deadline.

What if my international travel plans will make it unlikely that I will be able to meet the booster deadline?

If your travel plans will cause you to miss the booster deadline, you must get your booster as soon as you are able/eligible. Temporary exemptions from the booster deadline are not necessary. You will continue to receive reminders after the deadline and should come into compliance ASAP. Prolonged noncompliance may result in restricted access to Canvas, university-maintained facilities, enrollment activity, campus services, programs, activities, or other campus events. Restrictions will not be imposed without notice.

What if I am in the U.S. during Winter Break, but am told I’m not eligible for a U.S. booster because I received an international vaccine?

According to the CDC, you are eligible to receive a Pfizer booster 5 months following your original WHO-approved vaccination series (see "If you were vaccinated outside of the United States" on the CDC's COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots page.)

However, some U.S. pharmacies and booster providers may tell you they cannot provide you with a U.S. booster because you originally received an international vaccine. If you find yourself in this situation, you can request a Pfizer vaccine instead of a booster. The Pfizer vaccine and booster dose is the same, and a single Pfizer vaccine will qualify as a booster when uploaded into the Daily Check

Students remaining in Ithaca during Winter Break may also call us to inquire about booster availability at Cornell Health (607-255-5155).

What if I have other questions about fulfilling Cornell's booster requirement?

Refer to our main COVID-19 Booster Information & FAQs page for more information. If you still have questions, please email us for guidance.


COVID-19 vaccination requirement FAQ (new Spring 2022 students)

What is Cornell's COVID-19 vaccination requirement?

Cornell requires COVID-19 vaccination for all students 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.

Winter 2021-2022 / Spring 2022 students: 

New students and students returning to in-person study 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. Please visit our COVID-19 Vaccination page for details.   

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. 

Which vaccines does Cornell accept?

New York State and Cornell both accept COVID vaccines authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), which currently include:

  • AstraZeneca-Oxford (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria)
  • Covaxin
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
  • Moderna 
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (e.g., COMIRNATY, Tozinameran) can also be noted as BNT1626
  • Sinopharm (Vero Cell)
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac, Vero Cell)

Proof of vaccination must be uploaded in Cornell's Daily Check by the deadline. To help expedite the verification process, make sure your name, vaccine type/manufacturer, and date(s) of doses are translated prior to uploading.

What happens if I can’t get vaccinated with an approved vaccine in my home country?

Students who are 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 immunization@cornell.edu or 607-255-4364 prior to the December 15th deadline.

These students will be provided with instructions to get vaccinated as soon as they arrive on campus. 

How can I get vaccinated once I get to Cornell?

At Cornell Health: 

Cornell Health is able to provide some Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for students (limited appointments only). Please call us to inquire about vaccine availability: 607-255-5155.

Off campus: 

Is there any cost to getting vaccinated? 

COVID-19 vaccine is provided by the U.S. government at no cost, and providers may charge a vaccine administration fee to cover the cost of the vaccinator.  A COVID-19 vaccine administration fee will be billed to your insurance carrier with no out-of-pocket charge to you (even if your insurance is not in-network with Cornell Health).

Are there special guidelines for students who arrive on campus without being vaccinated (or who have received an international vaccine not accepted by Cornell)? 

Please refer to Cornell's current public health requirements for unvaccinated students. 

(Cornell Tech students should refer to the Cornell Tech’s COVID-19 website.)

Are international students required to quarantine upon arrival?

Cornell is not mandating quarantine for international travelers. However, international students are strongly encouraged to follow these CDC guidelines for international travelers with regard to pre- and post-travel testing and quarantine for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. 

Cornell is not able to provide housing for students participating in travel-related quarantine.

Should I get vaccinated in my home country before coming to the U.S., even if it’s not a vaccine Cornell accepts?

To reduce the risk of COVID infection and disease, you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible, even if the vaccine is not currently accepted by Cornell. Be sure to submit proof of vaccination through Cornell's Daily Check. 

You will be required to get re-vaccinated with an accepted vaccine as soon as possible after arrival at Cornell. 

Is it safe to get re-vaccinated at Cornell if I’ve already gotten a non-approved vaccine in my home country? Will I have to get re-vaccinated right away?

Current CDC guidelines state that the minimum interval between the last dose of non-approved vaccine and the first dose of an approved vaccine is 28 days. Review these additional CDC guidelines for those who have gotten vaccinated outside the U.S.

If you have received a non-approved COVID vaccine within 28 days of coming to Cornell, you may schedule a vaccination appointment at Cornell Health after the 28-day period. Please call us to schedule your appointment: 607-255-5155. Be sure to update your status in Cornell's Daily Check to indicate the date of your scheduled appointment in order to avoid penalties.  

If you have questions about your specific situation, please send us a secure message (and include the date(s) of your last vaccine) so we can help you make a plan for getting re-vaccinated at an appropriate time. Log into myCornellHealth using your Cornell NetID and password, and go to Messages > New Message > Send a message or an attachment to Immunization Requirements.

If I’m only able to get one of two vaccines in a two-vaccine series before arrival, can I get my second dose at Cornell?

Ithaca students may get a second vaccine at Cornell Health if our supply matches your first vaccine. Please call us at 607-255-5155 to learn more.

You may also send a secure message through myCornellHealth and include the date(s) and type of your last vaccine so we can help you make a plan for completing your vaccination series: Log into myCornellHealth using your Cornell netID and password, and go to Messages > New Message > Send a message or an attachment to Immunization Requirements. 

(Cornell Tech students should contact Weill Cornell by emailing pcappt@med.cornell.edu.) 

Review these CDC guidelines for those who have gotten vaccinated outside the U.S.

If I’ve recently tested positive for COVID-19, do I need to get vaccinated? 

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19.

However, if you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, current CDC guidelines recommend waiting 90 days before getting vaccinated. If this applies to you, you may schedule a vaccination appointment at Cornell Health after the 90-day period. Please call us to schedule your appointment: 607-255-5155. Be sure to update your status in Cornell's Daily Check to indicate the date of your scheduled appointment in order to avoid penalties.  

If you have questions about your specific situation, please send us a secure message (and include the dates of your COVID diagnosis) so we can help you make a plan for getting vaccinated at an appropriate time. Log into myCornellHealth using your Cornell NetID and password, and go to Messages > New Message > Send a message or an attachment to Immunization Requirements.

If I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine, am I required to get a second dose?

Yes. Students are only considered "fully vaccinated" according to Cornell's standards when they have completed a series of an FDA- or WHO-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. 

What happens if my second dose of a two-dose vaccine is the same vaccine but is listed under a different brand name? 

As long as the vaccine is the same, Cornell can accept doses with different brand names. There is an option in the Daily Check proof of vaccination tool that allows students to enter multi-brand two-dose vaccines. 

If I've gotten vaccinated with a WHO-approved international vaccine, can I get revaccinated at Cornell Health?

International COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) meet Cornell's vaccination requirements, so students who receive a WHO-approved vaccine are not required to get revaccinated at Cornell.

However, students who wish to be revaccinated with a vaccine that is approved/authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may choose to receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at Cornell Health. (The minimum interval between receiving the final dose of a non-FDA-approved/authorized vaccine and getting revaccinated with an FDA-approved/authorized vaccine is at least 28 days.)

If you would like to schedule an appointment to receive a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at Cornell Health, please call us during business hours at 607-255-5155.

Are exemptions to the COVID vaccine requirement considered?

Students may request a medical or religious exemption, or both. See details on our COVID-19 Vaccination page.

Can my parents / family members receive a COVID vaccine at Cornell? 

Cornell is only able to provide vaccination for students.

Family members visiting Ithaca may refer to the Tompkins County Health Department website for information about getting vaccinated in the Ithaca area. Family members may also visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination sites anywhere in the U.S. 

More information: