What to Do If You Failed to Meet the Vaccination Mandate Deadline

Updated: July 16, 2021

Individuals who were unable to complete the required COVID-19 vaccination with FDA or WHO authorized vaccines before campus arrival will be offered an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival.  Among the acceptable reasons why a person may not be fully vaccinated prior to arrival include:

  • No vaccine options in their local community (only applicable to international arrivals)
  • Completed only one of two vaccine doses (only applicable to international arrivals)
  • Received a vaccine that is not authorized by the FDA or WHO (only applicable to international arrivals)
  • Treated with monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19 within the prior 90 days
  • Denied a medical or religious vaccine exemption from the Columbia University vaccine requirement

Given the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, the vast majority of domestic students, faculty, and staff are expected to have completed their vaccination series at least 14 days prior to their arrival on campus, unless they received monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19 within the prior 90 days or received a Columbia University approval for medical or religious exemption.

Those who have not completed vaccination or received a medical or religious exemption must request temporary authorization to access campus by completing the online form.

All such access requests must be submitted by July 23, 2021. (Reminder: The deadline to submit your vaccine documentation or medical or religious exemption request is August 2.) If the temporary authorization is granted, individuals must receive their first vaccination within three business days of arriving in New York City or within three business days after completing any mandated travel quarantine. Students with temporary authorization will be permitted to participate in orientations, move into housing, and attend classes while masking and distancing during the temporary period, outside of any required quarantine. Faculty and staff with temporary authorization will be permitted to access their assigned work areas. Individuals in the process of completing vaccination must comply with enhanced testing requirements, wear masks at all times indoors and outdoors when in or on Columbia grounds/facilities, take other appropriate precautions, and must immediately report any COVID-19 symptoms to their respective campus Medical Service (students) or their primary care provider and [email protected] (staff and faculty).

Individuals who fail to complete the University vaccine requirement within the timeline indicated will have their access to campus removed and may experience additional restrictions and repercussions.

Individuals that receive this vaccine must comply for 14 days post-vaccination with enhanced testing requirements, wear masks at all times when in or on Columbia grounds/facilities, take other appropriate precautions, and must immediately report any COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days following receipt of the vaccine. Documentation should be uploaded immediately after receipt of the vaccine, if the vaccine is not received at the Columbia Health or Student Health on Haven vaccine sites.

Individuals that receive both doses of either vaccine will have their temporary authorization convert to fully compliant on the 15th day after receipt of the second dose. Those choosing this option must comply with enhanced testing requirements, wear masks at all times when in or on Columbia grounds/facilities, take other appropriate precautions, and must immediately report any COVID-19 like symptoms from time of vaccination and for 14 days following receipt of the second dose of the vaccine. Documentation should be uploaded immediately after receipt of the second dose of the vaccine if it is not received at a University vaccine clinic.

Columbia will offer vaccines through the Morningside Campus vaccine site for all unvaccinated University affiliates at no out of pocket costs.  While appointments for vaccines are preferred, walk-ins will be accepted so long as vaccine supply allows on a per day basis.  Student Health on Haven will also offer vaccine appointments for CUIMC students only. Vaccines can also be received at sites across New York City.

Depending on availability, there may not be a choice in the type of vaccine available from Columbia University.  Anyone wishing to have a specific vaccine when that option is not available from the University must obtain their preferred vaccine at an alternate location and provide documentation to the University within three business days of arrival and receipt of vaccine.

Please watch for more details on accessing vaccines as the fall term approaches.

Example: Person received dose 1 of Pfizer in their home country but traveled to NY to attend Columbia before the scheduled date of their second vaccine dose.

Individuals in this category must complete the vaccine series.  If the second dose needed is available from the University, it will be provided.  If the second dose needed is not available from the University, the person must make arrangements to be vaccinated at an alternate site and submit documentation within three business days of arrival.  If the individual is in the required waiting period between doses, they will be granted temporary access that expires 3 business days after the end to the waiting period.  The temporary authorization will convert to fully compliant on the 15th day after receipt of the second dose. Those choosing this option must comply with enhanced testing requirements, wear masks at all times when in or on Columbia grounds/facilities, take other appropriate precautions, and must immediately report any COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days following receipt of the second dose of the vaccine.

Individuals that do not receive their second dose during the temporary access period will receive a redpass and must complete the vaccine process in order to restore access.

Example: Person received dose 1 of the CovidShield (AstraZeneca) vaccine in their home country.  As dose 2 is not available in the US, this person will restart the full vaccine process with an FDA-authorized vaccine once 28 days have passed from the date of their CovidShield (AstraZeneca) vaccine.

Individuals in this category will need to wait 28 days after receipt of their last dose of the non-authorized vaccine to restart the vaccination process. In this situation the individual must comply with enhanced testing requirements, wear masks at all times when in or on Columbia grounds/facilities, take other appropriate precautions, and must immediately report any COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days following receipt of the second dose of the vaccine.

Individuals that do not receive their second dose during the temporary access period will receive a redpass and must complete the vaccine process in order to restore access.

Example: Person received one or two doses of the Sputnik vaccine.  This person will restart the vaccine process once 28 days have passed from the date of their last Sputnik vaccine.

Individuals in this category should follow the process outlined above but will need to wait 28 days after receipt of their last dose of the non-authorized vaccine to restart vaccination.

Individuals in this category should follow the process outlined online. This will include those who have received monoclonal antibodies in the prior 90 days (who should submit a medical exemption request).

Individuals in this category will not be permitted to physically access any University facilities or activities, and will be referred to their respective Dean of Students (Students) or Human Resources (Staff and Faculty) for follow up.

Individuals unable to complete a COVID-19 vaccination process may request a temporary authorization to access University facilities. To submit the request each person must complete the online form and submit no later than July 23, 2021. Each request will be reviewed but approval is not guaranteed.

Students admitted after August 2, 2021 (which is the deadline to submit your vaccine documentation or medical or religious exemption request) must submit a request upon admission and are not permitted to access campus until the review is complete and specific instructions are provided.  Please allow at least 15 business days for review and determination.

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