For International Students Unable to Complete Vaccination Requirement

July 14, 2021

Dear Morningside Campus International Students, 
 
With the planned return to in person learning and associated campus activities Columbia has been working to develop a process to support our students as they return to campus.  We have already heard from some of you and appreciate your diligent efforts to ensure a safer in-person fall term. The summary information below and details available now on the University COVID-19 website are designed to help provide some additional guidance.
 
Goal

To maximize opportunities for safer in-person participation in the fall 2021 academic term.

Process for Fully Vaccinated Students (US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized vaccines)

For those individuals that have completed COVID-19 vaccination with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine, please use these instructions to submit the required documentation of your vaccination as soon as possible. Remember the deadline to receive the documentation of vaccination is August 2, 2021.

Process for Unvaccinated; Partially Vaccinated (any vaccine); or Fully Vaccinated (not FDA or WHO authorized vaccine)

There are a number of different scenarios related to students that may not have been vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine or are partially vaccinated (i.e., received one dose of a two-dose vaccine).  Please review the specific guidance on the University COVID-19 website to determine the next steps. Be sure to complete the entire online form to register as unvaccinated/partially vaccinated by July 23, 2021, so that more detailed guidance can be provided. If you have received any doses of any COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to submit your document(s) via the online patient portal as it will allow the University to provide better clarity on the process for your individual situation (upload instructions).

Requesting a Medical or Religious Vaccination Exemption

All medical or religious vaccination exemption requests must be submitted as soon as possible and on or before August 2.  Details on the process to submit a request and the associated forms can be found on the Columbia Health website.

Privacy Notice

Columbia makes every effort to ensure the privacy of all health-related information. More details on our privacy policy can be found online.

Next Steps

For those not fully vaccinated and completing the form, once verified, temporary access to University facilities, events, and academic activities (including orientations and classes) will be arranged while they go through the process to be vaccinated in New York City. Students participating with in-person activities while undergoing the vaccination process will be required to do the following:

  • Get tested post-arrival and complete any required quarantine after international arrival
  • Wear masks at all times on University property (indoor and outdoor)
  • Complete weekly COVID-19 testing at one of the University Surveillance testing sites
  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distancing (indoor and out)
  • Other public health recommendations as required

An email will be sent to your University email account confirming receipt and review of your form along with the timeline and process to complete the vaccine process. 

Thank you for your efforts to be vaccinated and support a healthier in person fall term. Please check the University COVID-19 website for more details and we look forward to seeing you on campus in the fall.
 
Be well, 

Melanie J Bernitz, MD, MPH
Senior Vice President, Columbia Health