In a University-wide email sent this afternoon, University President Sarah Mangelsdorf announced that a COVID-19 booster shot will be required to return to campus in spring for all students eligible to receive one. A student who has received the initial vaccine, but is not yet eligible for the booster, must get the booster within 30 days of becoming eligible. As before, vaccine requirements do not apply to students with medical or religious exemptions.

Information will be available on how to get the Pfizer booster on campus in the future, the email continued. International students who received a World Health Organization Emergency Use List vaccine not approved or authorized by the FDA were recommended to take advantage of this option, as Pfizer is currently the only booster approved for those cases. This option was also recommended to winter stay students and students unable or ineligible to receive the booster prior to arriving on campus.

All eligible students studying abroad in spring 2022 will be required to receive the booster prior to departure. Beginning in summer 2022, vaccine exemptions will not apply to students studying abroad. The email adds that “given the rapidly changing landscape for entry and continued residence in various countries, all students studying abroad in spring 2022 are strongly recommended to get the COVID-19 vaccine prior to departure.” Students with further questions regarding study abroad should contact abroad@rochester.edu.

Additionally, all students will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result upon their arrival to campus (or by Jan. 13 for winter stay students). For students unable to receive a COVID-19 test before arrival, UHS will provide rapid antigen testing on campus.

Further information on how to submit proof of a booster shot and COVID-19 test will become available in the coming weeks.

If infection rates surge, the email said, there may be changes to University operations, and learning may move entirely online. The email asked students, faculty, and staff to remain “flexible with their plans and expectations,” and added that “faculty should be prepared to provide virtual learning and classroom support to any student who finds themself unable to attend classes due to COVID restrictions.”



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