Updated January 2023

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Student COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Requirements

For Spring 2023, students taking in-person or hybrid courses must have up-to-date vaccination status when classes begin. Further, all students taking in-person or hybrid classes must upload proof of that status to CUNYfirst by ten (10) days before classes begin. Students are strongly encouraged to get a booster shot when they become eligible for one.
Booster eligibility:

  • Those 18 and older are eligible for a booster shot at five (5) months after the completion of two dose regimen of Pfizer, five (5) months after the completion of two dose regimen of Moderna or two (2) months after the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) shot.
  • (Those 12-17 year olds who initially received the Pfizer two dose regimen are eligible for a Pfizer booster 5 months after completing the regimen.)

Students must be fully vaccinated for Spring 2023 and are strongly encouraged to get a booster when eligible to:

  • Take a class on campus (hybrid or in-person).
  • Do in-person clinical work or fieldwork, such as nursing clinicals or student teaching.
  • Participate in college sports.
  • Use services and resources on campus, even if they're only taking online classes.

Exceptions to this requirement include:

Student deadlines

January 15, 2023 is the last day to upload COVID vaccination documents to CUNYfirst in order to come to campus starting January 25, 2023. You'll need to provide a scan or photograph of your:

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. (If you were vaccinated outside the United States, you'll submit the equivalent document).
  • NY State Excelsior Pass if you received your vaccination in NY State 15 or more days ago.

On-site students who miss the upload deadline will be de-registered from their class before the start of the semester. 

Students requesting a vaccination exception or exemption

For students who wish to request exception or medical exemption to the vaccination requirement:

All requests are granted on a case-by-case basis.

Getting help or more information

Have questions about the student vaccine requirement or submitting a request for exception or medical exemption? Contact the campus Location Vaccine Authority (LVA) through Health & Wellness.

Instructions for students to submit documents are available online. Additional updates may also be posted on CUNY’s Student Vaccination Policy Frequently Asked Questions page.

Faculty & Staff Vaccination Information

All full- and part-time faculty and non-teaching instructional staff and ECPs are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (two dose Pfizer or Moderna regimen, or 1 dose J&J) and their proof of vaccination uploaded in to CUNYfirst by May 27, 2022 unless a religious or medical exemption has been approved.

Staff working on site (or otherwise using the campus) must either be fully vaccinated or have a recent negative COVID-19 test.

Vaccination verification documents must be uploaded through CUNYfirst at least 10 days before the first week you are due back on site.

Staff who are not vaccinated or do not share proof of vaccination are required to do regular, weekly PCR testing through CUNY's testing program and will need a negative COVID-19 test result to enter. Testing must be done at a CUNY site; results from other providers (rapid or PCR) will not be allowed.

Instructions for faculty and staff to submit documents can be found online. Questions can be directed to Human Resources.

Getting Vaccinated and Boosted

Eligibility and Locations

We strongly encourage everyone who can get vaccinated to do so to protect themselves and others around them.

In New York State, you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the state if you:

  • are age 5 years and older*;
  • live in the United States.

(*At this time, people ages 5-17 years old can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.)

The vaccine is free to all people, regardless of health insurance coverage, citizenship, or state of residence. We strongly recommend that everyone who can be vaccinated for COVID-19 do so at the earliest opportunity.

You do not need to schedule an appointment for vaccinations at most sites run by the NYC Health Department and NYC Health + Hospitals.

Walk-in vaccinations are also available at New York State-run mass vaccination sites.

If you’d like to find a vaccine site, schedule an appointment, or get more information, you can use these tools:


By phone:

  • State COVID-19 hotline: 833-NYS-4-VAX (833-697-4829)
  • New York City: 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).

Preparing to get Vaccinated

You’ll need to bring a few things with you when you go to receive a COVID-19 vaccination:

  • Legal proof of your name, date of birth, and residency. This can include a state ID card or driver’s license.
    • If you're younger than 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian must provide verbal consent at the time of the vaccine appointment. (Parents and guardians can give this approval in person or by phone.)
  • Health insurance information, if you have coverage. (The vaccine is free for everyone, and you will never be charged money. Insurance information will be used for official purposes only.)
  • Any registration tickets or appointment information you received, if you scheduled an appointment.
  • Your submission ID for the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form, if you scheduled an appointment.
  • Your COVID-19 vaccine card, if you’re going to get your second dose.

More Information About the COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccines are a valuable tool to improve odds against COVID-19. They are recognized as safe and are proven effective at lowering the chance of getting sick and keeping you from getting seriously ill or dying if you still become ill.

The available vaccines have already undergone a rigorous authorization process by the FDA to be granted EUA (Emergency Use Authorization). Following the initial EUA, vaccine manufacturers need to submit additional information about safety and effectiveness for either authorization to continue or for them to request full FDA approval.

Anyone unsure about getting vaccinated because of specific health concerns should speak with a health care provider. It’s best to work with a doctor or nurse you trust and normally visit, though that’s not always possible. Regardless, a medical professional is the best person to talk to about your personal health and the available COVID-19 vaccines; they can discuss any medical conditions or other risk factors you may be concerned about.

If you have general questions about the vaccines themselves, here are a few places to start:

  • Webinar: "COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall: True or False?" - A recording of an hour-long event featuring Dr. Scott C. Ratzan, Distinguished Lecturer at CUNY’s School of Public Health. At this event, Dr. Ratzan answered questions about COVID-19, the vaccines, and the impact on our community at Hostos.
  • CUNY: VAX 101 - CUNY's information campaign about the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Hostos Library guide: COVID Vaccination - An overview maintained by a group of Hostos faculty and staff. Look here for information about how the vaccines work, how to get vaccinated, and where to look for reliable information.
  • CDC: Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine - Check here to know what to expect when you get vaccinated and how you can prepare.
  • CDC: When You've Been Fully Vaccinated - An explanation of what's safe to resume once you're fully vaccinated, and how you should continue to protect yourself and others.