What does it mean to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19?

The CDC considers an individual to be fully vaccinated: 

  • 2 weeks after receiving their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
Is the COVID-19 vaccination required for Clarkson students?

Yes, with limited exceptions. Clarkson intends to require vaccination for students -- undergraduate, graduate and professional -- to be fully vaccinated as a condition of having access to its Potsdam, Beacon, Schenectady campuses (all buildings inclusive of residential, non-residential and academic) effective June 21, 2021 for those who work with K-12 students as part of their student jobs and August 1, 2021 for all others. We anticipate that this requirement will extend to the Adirondack Semester and study abroad experiences that may continue.

New York State has fully expanded vaccine eligibility and other states are following this same trend, as well as increasing vaccine production. It is clear that all members of our community will be able to obtain vaccination sometime this spring or summer. 

Medical and religious exemptions will be accommodated, but the expectation is that we will be a University community of largely vaccinated individuals, greatly reducing the risk of infection for all. This will also allow students to fully access classes and minimize NYS quarantine protocols based on exposure.

Is the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for Clarkson employees?

Yes, at this time, Clarkson is requiring our employees to be vaccinated with limited exceptions for medical and religious reasons. The University provides four hours of paid leave for those going to get vaccinated. 

Why is COVID-19 vaccination being required?

Throughout the pandemic, the safety of our community has been our highest priority.  With the advice, counsel and recommendations of the CDC, New York State Department of Health, St. Lawrence County Public Health, St. Lawrence Health System and the St Lawrence County Board of Health, we have accessed and relied upon the most up-to-date scientific information available to make informed decisions about our operations.

Clarkson’s decision is aligned with the recent announcement by New York State that SUNY and CUNY campuses will require vaccination for the fall semester and is consistent with the recommendations of the American College Health Association, which made a statement last month recognizing that comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way for institutions of higher education to return to a safe, robust on-campus experience for students in fall semester 2021. The vaccination requirement for all members of our campus community is to protect the health and safety of our community—and the greater communities where we have operations —to the fullest extent possible, and to enable our students to engage in-person and more fully in all aspects of university life than they have since the beginning of the pandemic. 

It is not uncommon for universities to mandate that students be vaccinated against dangerous diseases that can transmit easily throughout the student population on a residential campus. As is the case with all vaccination requirements, there will be an option for students to request religious and medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Does the end of New York State's declared COVID-19 State of Emergency in June mean that the University will no longer require employee and student vaccination?

No.  Clarkson is still requiring vaccination for COVID-19, with limited exceptions for religious and medical exemptions. 

What if I can’t get access to a vaccination approved in the USA?

Individuals who are not able to obtain vaccination prior to being on campus June 21, 2021 for summer programs/K-12 engagement or after by August 1, or whose vaccination is not recognized by New York State, will be expected to be vaccinated as soon after their arrival as possible. The Student Health Center can help accommodate those students with a plan, shac@clarkson.edu or 315-268-6633.

What other vaccinations are required?

Students attending post-secondary institutions in New York State, who were born on or after January 1, 1957 and are registered for 6 or more credit hours, must demonstrate proof of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. Medical and religious exemptions to immunization may be granted.

Post-secondary institutions in New York State are required to distribute, on a form provided or approved by the NYS Commissioner of Health, written information about meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal immunization to each student who is enrolled for at least 6 semester hours. Each such student must certify that they have already received immunization against meningococcal meningitis or that they have received and reviewed the information provided by the institution, understand the risks of meningococcal meningitis and the benefits of immunization, and have decided not to obtain the meningococcal vaccine.

Where are some credible sources of information on vaccines available and their safety, efficacy and health benefits?

Clarkson’s faculty experts and regional health experts group point to information posted on the CDC website on all three approved vaccinations in the USA and outlines the composition of the vaccines and how they work; with links to more detailed information, including their safety. 

The University Library created more than a year ago a COVID-19 Resource Guide which also includes a repository of information on COVID-19 vaccination with links to research.

How do I request a medical or religious exemption?

Students: Students may apply for a religious or medical exemption through the “COVID-19 Vaccine Proof” panel in myCU by visiting: https://go.clarkson.edu/studentvaccine. With the assistance of medical advice and/or legal counsel as needed, a determination of the reasonableness and appropriateness of the requested accommodation will be made.

Employees: Employees may apply for a religious or medical exemption through the request for an accommodation process and submitting it to Human Resources. Please visit: Request For Accommodation Form for COVID-19 vaccination. Further questions can go to clarksonhr@clarkson.edu. With the assistance of medical advice and/or legal counsel as needed, a determination of the reasonableness and appropriateness of the requested accommodation will be made. More information will follow.  

In both cases, because we anticipate more frequent changes to guidance and regulations from government and public health officials in the near future, we may need to make adjustments to our processes and have some delays in responding while written information from these entities becomes publicly available.

How can you upload Proof of Vaccination Information:

Students to MyCU: Students can upload a picture of their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card on myCU after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or after a single-dose vaccine. Upload a picture of the front of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (with all information visible) here: https://go.clarkson.edu/studentvaccine

Employees to Peoplesoft-HR: Employees are asked to upload a picture of their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card in PeopleSoft HR after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or after a single-dose vaccine. Upload a picture of the front of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (with all information visible) here: https://go.clarkson.edu/employeevaccine.

How will vaccination data be used?

Your proof of vaccination information will be used to prevent and respond to the presence of COVID-19 on campus and to comply with federal, local and public health guidelines. The information will be maintained in accordance with all applicable laws and public health regulations.

Will I have to pay to be vaccinated?

No, not if you receive your vaccination in the United States. The US federal government is providing the COVID-19 vaccination free of charge, regardless of immigration or health insurance status.

Are the vaccines under emergency use authorization?

Vaccine makers have applied for full authorization. The Pfizer vaccine received full FDA approval as of August 23, 2021.   

In a public health emergency, manufacturing and approval of vaccines can be streamlined through an Emergency Use Authorization or EUA.  All vaccines follow the same testing process, whether they are approved for emergency use or through a typical license. To learn more about EUA, please visit the US Food & Drug Administration website here which shares more about the process.

Will there be a full-remote/virtual option for students who are enrolled in the fall but aren't vaccinated?

A fully-remote virtual option will only be available for those enrolled in our degree-granting online programs. In addition,we will be exploring how to meet the academic needs of students unable to come to campus because of visa issues or travel restrictions.

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to show proof of vaccination for in-person learning and work attendance?


If I have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, can I still receive the vaccine?

Yes, as long as you have been released from isolation, are no longer symptomatic and have been medically cleared by a doctor after having COVID-19, you are able to get vaccinated. You do not have to wait until 90 days after your diagnosis. As long as you are not actively sick, you are able to get the vaccine. If you have any questions, students contact shac@clarkson.edu, 315-268-6633, and employees should contact Human Resources, ClarksonHR@clarkson.edu

Will persons who do not get vaccinated based on religious or medical exemptions face discrimination?

Clarkson University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law in provision of educational opportunity or employment opportunities.   

In response to the pandemic, we will be considering and following local public health New York State and Federal guidelines and regulations that apply to the higher education sector and related research and business operations: 

This link includes recent mask guidance from the CDC for those fully vaccinated: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html

Q. Will faculty or supervisors be told who is not vaccinated?

A. No, that is protected information for both employees and students.  All campus members are being asked to follow the mask policy on the honor system based on their vaccination status.  If found to be in violation of the posted mask rules, they are subject to a code of conduct inquiry.