Vaccine Mandate Compliance

General information and FAQ regarding Columbia's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

All faculty, staff, and students must be up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.  This includes receiving all booster doses for which a person is eligible.


 

See Vaccine Documentation Upload Instructions for guidance with submitting documentation.


Eligibility

Monovalent vaccine

In general, individuals are eligible for a booster five months after the last dose of a two-dose series or two months after a one-dose COVID-19 vaccination. Note that monovalent boosters are no longer authorized in the U.S. for individuals over age 12.

Bivalent vaccine

Individuals are eligible for the new bivalent booster at least two months after the last vaccine dose or three months after their last episode of COVID-19. All individuals are encouraged to receive the bivalent vaccine as soon as they become eligible.

Accepted vaccines

Per CDC guidance as of September 2022, the monovalent vaccine is no longer available for use for boosters in the US for those 12+ years for Pfizer and those 18+ years for Moderna. Individuals eligible for a booster must receive a bivalent vaccine, widely available at local New York City pharmacies and city-run vaccine sites. 

For booster doses received outside the US, Columbia will continue to accept all vaccines that are approved by the US FDA or the WHO.

Individuals who received a J&J or Moderna booster:

  • on or before January 17, 2022: will be considered compliant.
  • after January 17, 2022: may be considered non-compliant. These individuals should submit documentation of their booster to receive guidance on next steps.

Frequenty Asked Questions

Generally, you can receive your booster dose as soon as you have been cleared to end your isolation period after diagnosis with COVID-19.

In some cases waiting up to 90 days may be medically advised.  Anyone wishing to request a 90 day wait must submit a medical exemption request (short term) and it will need to be reviewed by Columbia's medical exemption committee to determine appropriateness. Please submit a medical exemption request form along with supporting documentation from your healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

Morningside and Manhattanville Students: Upload to the Columbia Health Patient Portal.

CUIMC Students: Upload to the Student Health on Haven Patient Portal.

Faculty and Staff: Email to [email protected].

At least 90 days after receiving the treatment.

Currently, there are no data on the safety or efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination in persons who received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Therefore, it is recommended that vaccination (primary series or booster) be deferred for at least 90 days after receiving such interventions to avoid interference with vaccine-induced immune responses.

The CDC recommends primary and booster vaccination for all individuals aged 5 and older, regardless of prior history of symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19. While the risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection is lower after a previous infection, waning immunity over time may increase the risk. In addition, numerous studies have shown that vaccination following previous infection enhances the immune response, and growing epidemiologic evidence indicates that vaccination following infection reduces the risk of subsequent infection, including decreasing the risk of infection from future SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as for protection against severe illness and hospitalization. Furthermore, booster vaccination has been shown to reduce the infectiousness of the person who gets infected, thereby reduces the risk for transmission, thus, benefiting family, friends, and the community in addition to the individual.

Data from multiple studies indicate that the currently approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the US can be given safely to people previously infected by SARS-CoV-2. People with known current SARS-CoV-2 infection should defer their vaccination until, 1) recovery from the acute illness (if symptoms were present) and 2) completion of recommended isolation period. This recommendation for vaccination applies to people who experience SARS-CoV-2 infection before receiving any vaccine dose and those who experience SARS-CoV-2 infection after the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but before receipt of subsequent doses.

Yes.

A booster received less than 5 months after the primary Pfizer and Moderna series will be accepted, although an interval of 5 months or greater is preferred.

28 days.

The minimum interval between receiving the final dose of a non-FDA-authorized/ non-WHO-authorized vaccine and getting an FDA-authorized vaccine is at least 28 days.   After 28 days the individual can re-start the vaccine process.

Yes, but it's not recommended.

Per CDC guidance as of September 2022, the monovalent vaccine is no longer available for use for boosters in the US for those 12+ years for Pfizer and those 18+ years for Moderna. Individuals eligible for a booster must receive a bivalent vaccine, widely available at local New York City pharmacies and city-run vaccine sites. 

For booster doses received outside the US, Columbia will continue to accept all vaccines that are approved by the US FDA or the WHO, though Pfizer and Moderna are preferred if the person received a non-FDA approved vaccine/vaccine series.

 

Yes, though FDA authorized vaccines are recommended.

Per CDC guidance as of September 2022, the monovalent vaccine is no longer available for use for boosters in the US for those 12+ years for Pfizer and those 18+ years for Moderna. Individuals eligible for a booster must receive a bivalent vaccine, widely available at local New York City pharmacies and city-run vaccine sites. 

For booster doses received outside the US, Columbia will continue to accept all vaccines that are approved by the US FDA or the WHO, though Pfizer and Moderna are preferred if the person received a non-FDA approved vaccine/vaccine series.

Probably not.

A person with 2 doses of a WHO-authorized vaccine and 2 doses of a FDA-authorized vaccine is considered booster compliant if the spacing of vaccines is clinically appropriate.

Yes.

A J&J booster is acceptable, though a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster is preferred unless an individual has contraindications to any component of the mRNA vaccines.

Yes. 

If an individual received any doses of a non-FDA/non-WHO approved vaccine those doses will not be part of the compliance calculation.