CUNY Oct. 7 vaccine deadline explained



Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

The deadline for CUNY students to upload proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 passed on Sept. 27, with the submission approval deadline being Oct. 7.

While CUNY was mentioning an Oct. 7 deadline, the dates were  easily  mixed up, which could lead to academic and financial complications for some students.

Back on Sept. 3, CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez announced through email blast that he was amending the university’s COVID-19 vaccination policy for fully remote students, who are students enrolled in  online or asynchronous classes.

Originally, these students were allowed to enter their college’s campus or another campus’s library while being unvaccinated, but this Sept. 3 announcement changed that. Remote-only students are now required to be fully vaccinated to enter a campus. This new policy took effect starting on Oct. 7.

In order to prove that they are vaccinated, these students — along with hybrid and in-person students — are required to upload either their vaccine card  or New York State Excelsior Pass as an image or scan to CUNYfirst. Students are welcome to upload both.

To upload proof of full vaccination, students must go to their CUNYfirst homepage, then go to the top menu and then click on “Vaccination Verification.” From there, they can follow the prompts.

After uploading the proof of vaccination, it can still take up to 10 days to be cleared to access campus, because the proof is being sorted through manually to ensure all of the submissions are legitimate.

Once  students have submitted their proof of vaccination and had it approved, they will be allowed to enter campus, though the very first time they swipe into a campus turnstile, they may be asked to show proof of vaccination to a campus security officer along with their school ID card. This can be a student’s actual vaccination card, a photo of one or another variation of the card.

Students are able to swipe into campus using their regular school IDs after this first time and will likely receive an email that states they are cleared for access to campus.

However, not all students are allowed back onto their campuses after Oct. 7.

For in-person and hybrid students, Oct. 7 was their deadline to have received approval of their vaccine proof submission on CUNYfirst. If their submission was not approved by Oct. 7, it means that they either did not get their vaccination early enough or that they submitted proof to CUNYfirst after the deadline.

Students who are enrolled in hybrid or in-person classes had a Sept. 27 deadline to submit proof of their vaccination on CUNYfirst. The subsequent Oct. 7 deadline was to allow 10 days for the CUNY Central staff to approve the inflow of submissions.

The deadlines for students to have been fully vaccinated are as follows: the Moderna first dose had to be taken by Aug. 26, the Pfizer first dose by Sept. 2 and the Johnson & Johnson single dose by Sept. 23.

If in-person or hybrid students missed these deadlines to be vaccinated, it is too late for them to receive CUNYfirst approval by Oct. 7. For remote-only students, on the other hand, there is still time to receive approval.

Up until the Oct. 7 deadline, all students who entered campus and were not fully vaccinated had to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within seven days of that day at a CUNY testing site.

In-person and hybrid students that missed the Sept. 27 vaccine proof submission deadline will be “subject to potential academic withdrawal that could also impact their financial aid and make them ineligible for refunds for the courses,” according to the CUNY vaccine mandate.

This means that they will be dropped from their classes that require them to enter campus. These students will not be unenrolled from their online and asynchronous classes.

The CUNY vaccine mandates have religious and medical exemptions.

“I have had the privilege of visiting several campuses in the days since Fall classes began, and it has been gratifying to speak with those who are cautiously but optimistically returning to their classrooms, offices and laboratories for the first time in more than 17 months,” Matos Rodriguez said in his Sept. 3 email blast to students. “I thank you for your diligence, patience and cooperation, and give you my word that we will continue working to maintain the safety of our campuses so that you can continue moving forward this Fall.”